Monitoring and maintaining healthy levels of these lipids is important in staying healthy. While the body produces the cholesterol needed to function properly, the source for some cholesterol is the diet. Eating too much of foods that are high in cholesterol, saturated fats, and trans unsaturated fats (trans fats) or having an inherited predisposition can result in a high level of cholesterol in the blood. Keep your cholesterol levels under control by changing your life style:-
- Olive oil. Switch to olive oil for cooking. The Mediterranean people consume olive oil and have very low incidence of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Olive oil contains a mix of various anti-oxidants which lower your bad cholesterol (LDL). Extra virgin olive oils are even more beneficial as they are less-processed and retain more anti-oxidants than the other varieties.
- Nuts: Walnuts and almonds are rich in omega – 3 fatty acids and PUFA (poly unsaturated fatty acids) which help reduce LDL cholesterol and keep the blood vessels healthy. A handful of these nuts (unsalted, un-fried) should help.
- Oats: Being high in soluble fiber, oats reduce the absorption of cholesterol (Total & LDL) in your blood. Eating 1 ½ cups of cooked oats with milk and bananas or apples gives you your daily requirement of soluble fiber.
- Fish: High in omega 3 fatty acids, it helps increase the levels of the good (or HDL) cholesterol. It is recommended that you have at least two servings of Salmon, herring or mackerel per week. For restricting calories, they are best eaten grilled, shallow fried with very little oil or baked.
- Seeds. Add ground Flax seeds Pumpkin seeds, Sesame seeds to your Diet
- Other Healthy Oils. Add Soya bean oil, Canola oil to your diet.
- Omega 3 fatty acid supplements. These are also available in market; add it in your diet.
- Garlic: Though the cholesterol lowering effects of garlic has been debated in recent times, it has been shown that allicin in the garlic does help.
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