Lower your cholesterol by eating better
Stats Canada reports that close to 60% of adults 40 – 60 have elevated cholesterol, 45% of the 60-80 years old group. High cholesterol increases the risk of heart attack, strokes and cardiovascular diseases.
Diet vs. drugs
High cholesterol can be treated pharmacologically with statin drugs. However, diet can be another way of affecting a decrease in cholesterol levels.
Food choices which can lower cholesterol:
- Oily fish
Sardines, anchovies, salmon, char are excellent foods in helping lower cholesterol. Though some nutritionists suggest alternative ways of getting the fish intake, fish oil capsules. Really, it should not be too difficult to incorporate oily fish into one’s diet three times a week.
- Certain juices
Pomegranate and/or cherry juice help reduce cholesterol. But be careful with excessive intake of these as the retail products are usually ladened with loads of sugar. And of course, artificial sweeteners lead to other risks. Buy unsweetened juices and dilute them with water to reduce the natural sugar content. A glass a day is a good limit.
- Certain spices
Tumeric is a spice which helps lower cholesterol and is a proven anti-inflammatory supplement for your diet. Incorporate turmeric into soups, stews and even smoothies. The benefit may be seen as soon as a week later.
- Raw nuts and seeds
It is common knowledge now that raw nuts such as walnuts, almonds, macademias fight cholesterol. However, eat the raw product, unsalted and unroasted. To give the taste a bit of boost add some 70% dark chocolate chips. But again, moderation is the key, a handful not a cupful per day. Any of these products can be added as toppings to cereal, yogurt and smoothies.
- Dark green leafy vegetables
Beet tops, swiss chard, spinach, all in raw form will help reduce cholesterol. Again, these can easily be incorporated into one’s daily menu as salads, sandwich supplements and main meal side dishes.
An apple a day still holds true. Wash them, don’t peel them and eat the skin which has nutrients and vitamins. Apples also contain pectin another cholesterol-fighting agent.
Monitor your cholesterol level with regular visits to your doctor. Relax and recharge a little each day, watch what you eat, eating cholesterol-fighting foods as much as you can. Your cholesterol levels will drop and you will be healthier.
Article is based material written by Diane Sewell, health writer and Julie Daniluk, nutritionist in Zoomer magazine, August, 2018