We all worry about our cholesterol levels. From government campaigns to routine check-ups, we are constantly told to keep our levels under control. But what happens if your cholesterol is already up? How can you get it back down quickly and easily?
It can’t be denied; with a modern diet, it’s very easy to raise your cholesterol…but not so easy to lower it, right?…
Well that’s not strictly true. We admit, that the quest for health can seem like a drag when all you want is a lovely night of comfort food in front of the TV. However it can be, in essence, fairly simple, and one of the most satisfying challenges you ever undertake. Don’t believe us? See if you can follow our simple guide to lowering your cholesterol, and we are confident that not only will you achieve your goal, but you will notice a whole range of other health benefits too! Ready?
So let’s start at the beginning. You’ve just had your cholesterol levels tested and they are higher than you want them to be…than you expected them to be. What do you do first?
Without doubt, at number one, is the all-time greatest health decision of your life:
We say it a lot here at GNet, but stopping smoking is one simple step you can take towards drastically improving your health. It goes without saying that it will improve the health of your lungs, but it will also put your heart under less strain, improve your skin condition, and save your liver. And now, studies are also showing that by quitting smoking, you can lower your bad cholesterol levels, and raise your good cholesterol levels! In one step!
So, that’s smoking out of the way. What’s next?
Watch How Much Saturated Fat You Eat:
We all need a treat every now and then, and sugary, greasy foods are often just the thing when you feel like a little self-indulgence. However, these foods contain high levels of saturated fats, which send our bad cholesterols through the roof! You don’t need to cut them out altogether, but keep them to being the occasional treat- you’ll enjoy them all the more for it! Here are some examples of foods high in saturated fats:
– cakes and biscuits
These are just a few common foods that you may stumble on, but most supermarkets now have labels that easily show how high a particular saturated fat content is, so be sure to check, and if it’s high give it a miss and look for a low-fat alternative.
Head for the Veg!
Fruit and vegetables are great at countering cholesterol. This is because they are full of fibre, which soak up fat and cholesterol in your digestive system like a sponge! When shopping for carbohydrates, think wholegrains, oats and pulses instead of white pasta and bread. And for a healthy cholesterol-busting snack, try a handful of nuts like almonds or walnuts, as they can also help to lower that cholesterol figure. If you are not used to cooking with a variety of vegetables, now is your chance to be adventurous! The Internet is packed full of easy recipes from around the world, that can help you discover flavours and cuisines that you’ve never tried before, and that can help you become healthier quicker!
We know- exercise can be a drag, especially after a hard day at work. But it can also be incredibly fun, and hugely energy-boosting if you find the right kind for you. You don’t have to slog away at the gym, or endlessly pound the pavements to get fitter. There is now a wealth of classes available where you can learn all sorts of amazing skills, from martial arts to Brazilian dancing. Don’t like group exercise? Then grab your partner or a friend, and try a sport you’ve never tried before, like squash or badminton. You may find that you have so much fun, that you are completely distracted from the fact that you are exercising!
Eat More Unsaturated Fat!
Sounds confusing, but unsaturated fat is actually really good for you, and can boost your levels of good cholesterol, whilst lowering bad cholesterol. It’s really easy to boost your unsaturated fat consumption; all it takes is eating some oily fish 3 times a week, like mackerel or salmon. Try cooking your food in a little sunflower, rapeseed or olive oil, which are all rich in unsaturated fats.
Try A Cholesterol-Lowering Product:
Food products that contain the active, plant-derived stanols and sterols, are proven to lower cholesterol levels, and you don’t even have to notice that you are taking them! Look for brands of spreads, yoghurts and milk that are fortified with these clever ingredients, and you can lower your cholesterol without even really trying- Brilliant!
A Simple Guide, and a Whole New Outlook On Life?
If this guide is drastically different to how you live your life now, don’t be scared. Getting fit and healthy really needn’t be a chore; it can be an opportunity to try some new things in life. In the process, you will lose weight, feel happier and ultimately make great steps towards getting that cholesterol figure down! You never know, your next trip to the doctor to have your cholesterol tested may be a pleasant surprise!