If your doctor has told you that you have high cholesterol, it is vitally important that you change your diet and lifestyle to reduce your risk of heart disease. Many times, the solution is in the palm of your hand, and with simple and inexpensive measures, a big problem can be solved. For this, we give you 15 keys to reduce cholesterol in a healthy way.
Good and bad cholesterol
Cholesterol is a fundamental component of the body’s cells. It is made by the liver and reaches the cells through the blood. The two types are “bad” and “good.” Bad cholesterol (LDL) can damage the heart and arteries, but well (HDL) does not hurt.
What causes bad cholesterol?
When you have too much bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood, it builds up in the walls of the arteries and a plaque forms that can narrow them and make it difficult for the blood to circulate. In addition, it can cause heart attacks and strokes. Keeping bad cholesterol at a low level helps avoid many problems.
15 Keys to reduce cholesterol in a healthy way
- Control Portions
- More fruits and vegetables
- Eat more fish
- Whole grains at breakfast
- Eat nuts as snacks
- Yes to unsaturated fats
- More fiber, fewer potatoes
- Get moving
- Walking, a good start
- Care when cooking and eating
- When you go to the restaurant
- Read labels well
- Low stress
- Lose weight
- Pay attention to the doctor
Keys to reduce cholesterol in a healthy way-1: Control Portions
The portions of food are usually too large, but there is a practical way to shrink them: measuring with your hands. An ideal portion of meat or fish is what fits in the palm of your hand. A serving of fresh fruit is about the size of a fist. And a serving of cooked vegetables, rice or pasta, should fit in the cupped hand.
Keys to reduce cholesterol in a healthy way-2: More fruits and vegetables
If your cholesterol is at the high limit or is very high, limit your cholesterol intake to 200 mg per day. Follow a nutritious and balanced diet, low in saturated fats, trans fats, and that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and non-fat or low-fat dairy products.
Keys to reduce cholesterol in a healthy way-3: Eat more fish
At least 2 times a week. Fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce cholesterol and the formation of platelets in the arteries. The most recommended are salmon and tuna. Among the lean fish are the sole, hake, fresh cod, squid, pangasius, haddock and herring.
Keys to reduce cholesterol in a healthy way-4: Whole grains at breakfast
A bowl of oatmeal or whole grain has benefits that last all day. Other grains you can choose from are popcorn, rice, barley and whole wheat flour. All provide fiber, vitamin E, zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6, prevent the development of diseases and help lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
Keys to reduce cholesterol in a healthy way-5: Eat nuts as snacks
Instead of other foods, opt for a handful of nuts when your hunger attacks. Almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, nuts, pine nuts, and pistachios are rich in protein, fiber, antioxidants and healthy fats that help reduce cholesterol levels.
Keys to reduce cholesterol in a healthy way-6: Yes to unsaturated fats
They are fats that help to lower the cholesterol in the blood if they are used instead of the saturated ones, although they have many calories, so it is necessary to limit their consumption. Olive, canola, peanut and liquid margarine oils contain mainly unsaturated fat.
Keys to reduce cholesterol in a healthy way-7: More fiber, fewer potatoes
A diet rich in fiber has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease. The insoluble fiber is in cereals, whole grain bread, rice, and vegetables. And soluble fiber is in oatmeal, dried pulses, peas and in apples, strawberries, and citrus.
Keys to reduce cholesterol in a healthy way-8: Get moving
Many studies have shown the clear benefits that physical activity brings to the body in people of all ages. 30 minutes a day can raise the levels of “good” cholesterol and lower the “bad” cholesterol.
Keys to reduce cholesterol in a healthy way-9: Walking, a good start
You do not have to be a marathon runner to benefit from physical activity. We advise you to do activities that you like and make them part of your daily habits. Many people like to start walking, and little by little they increase time and distance.
Keys to reduce cholesterol in a healthy way-10: Care when cooking and eating
Choose cuts of lean meat to remove all visible fat and strip the fat that comes from the meat when cooked. Remove the skin when you eat poultry meat. Use more baking or boiling and less fried and consume a minimum amount of fats and oils, no more than 2 or 3 servings a day.
Keys to reduce cholesterol in a healthy way-11: When you go to the restaurant
If you control fats and cholesterol at home, you do not have to leave that measure aside in a restaurant. You must choose the menu well and reduce the portions. Choose grilled, baked or steamed meals, avoid fried foods and sauces. Also, practice controlling the portions, for example, by ordering half a serving of a dish.
Keys to reduce cholesterol in a healthy way-12: Read labels well
When shopping, look at the nutrition facts table and choose foods with low levels of saturated fat, trans fatty acids, and cholesterol. Experts recommend keeping the consumption of these nutrients as low as possible, and at the same time, have a nutritionally adequate diet.
Keys to reduce cholesterol in a healthy way-13: Low stress
High cholesterol has to do with the lifestyle you lead. In addition to eating healthy and exercising, you must lower the level of stress, which can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of atherosclerosis, which occurs when cholesterol plaque builds up in the arteries.
Keys to reduce cholesterol in a healthy way-14: Lose weight
That helps reduce “bad” cholesterol. In most people, high cholesterol is the result of an unhealthy lifestyle, which commonly includes a high-fat diet, being overweight, consuming too much alcohol and being less active.
Keys to reduce cholesterol in a healthy way-15: Pay attention to the doctor
To stay healthy and have your cholesterol level checked; follow the doctor’s instructions regarding habits, medications, and check-ups. If your cholesterol level decreases, do not let your guard down: continue with the healthy lifestyle and you will get benefits in the short and long term.
We hope you will like these keys to reduce cholesterol in a healthy way. We want your comments and suggestions to promote our ideas. Thank you and have a great day!