High cholesterol can vastly increase your risk of cardiovascular problems like strokes and heart attacks. Luckily, simple changes to your diet can have a huge positive effect on people who have developed high cholesterol. With cardiovascular disease the second biggest killer in England, affecting around 6.4 million people, having your cholesterol under control is vital. There are four foods in particular that should be included in your diet that can keep your cholesterol levels in check, according to dietitian and co-founder of Nutrition4.co.uk Angie Jefferson.
Angie said: “You can do a number of things to help keep your cholesterol levels in check.”Angie recommends embracing plant sterols and stanols to help reduce the risk of life-threatening strokes and heart attacks, reports the Express.
“Plant sterols and stanols are similar in size and shape to cholesterol and block some cholesterol absorption from your gut,” she explained.
“Over time, this lowers the amount of cholesterol in your blood.” Angie added: “There are tiny amounts in plant foods, but to get the effective dose of 3g/day you need to consume foods with added plant sterols and stanols.”
Examples can include “mini shot-style drinks, fat spreads or yoghurts” but, Angie cautioned, your body won’t store plant sterols and stanols if you stop eating them. Another tip from Angie is to embrace oats and barley, which contain a soluble, gel-forming fibre called beta-glucan.
Angie told The Menopause Exchange that beta-glucan “hangs on to cholesterol and bile acids during digestion”, which helps to reduce cholesterol. She elaborated: “Oats, barley and foods made from these can help lower cholesterol, provided these contain at least 1g of beta-glucan per portion.”
To help obliterate high cholesterol, it would be helpful to eat nuts and soya. Angie explained: “Research shows that nuts and soya foods, rich in protein and fibre, minerals and plant compounds, can help to support heart health.”
Her recommendation is to only have a “small handful of nuts” or to “toast them and sprinkle over a salad or soup”. Angie said: “Try experimenting with plant-based meals using soya mince, edamame beans or tofu to replace normal protein.”
While dietary additions such as these will be extremely helpful in managing cholesterol levels, unhealthy eating habits can counteract the benefits. To make sure you are reaping the rewards for eating the right foods, you must also cut down (or eliminate) the cholesterol-boosting foods.
The NHS suggests cutting down on:
- Meat pies, sausages and fatty meat
- Butter, lard and ghee
- Cream and hard cheese, like cheddar
- Cakes and biscuits
- Food that contains coconut oil or palm oil.
Exercise is also crucial in the management of cholesterol levels; everybody is recommended by the health body to get active for at least 150 minutes per week.
Source: Derbyshirel Live