Here at Granite Fitness, we have published a few posts on cholesterol. Generally, if you have a fairly healthy diet and ensure that you exercise regularly, it is unlikely that you have to worry about it. But today’s article is for those who already have higher cholesterol and are looking to reduce it. I know it doesn’t hit much of our fan base, but we want to make sure no one gets left behind.
There is a saying that goes “We are what we eat.” This is so true, as the food that we consume consumed may affect the cholesterol levels in our system. This can make you prone to high blood pressure or heart disease with increasing age. Subsequently, if you do not pay attention to it, you may end up paralysed or even dead.
So instead of just resting on your laurels being complacent, make some changes in your diet to try and reduce your cholesterol levels. Without getting too technical, a lot of delicious food that we eat contains high concentrations of what is called LDL, which is also known as “bad” cholesterol. The way to go forward is to consume what is called HDL, or good cholesterol.
A good way to start a healthy diet is to have breakfast. Of course, this is controversial. Instead of eating bread, you may elect to consume oatmeal instead. Studies have shown that this swap can help lower the cholesterol in the body by more than 20% after just two weeks of use. This figure can be even more pronounced if this becomes a habit. If you find it hard to have oatmeal, perhaps eat fruit instead.
Studies have shown that people who eat at least two large apples a day or drink 12 ounces of apple juice are able to reduce the chances of heart disease by 50%. These can be purchased at the supermarket and eaten during anytime of the day, even as a dessert right after a light meal or as a snack.
During lunch or dinner, you should aspire to have some vegetables in the meal. If possible, have fish or poultry instead of eating red meat. Such dishes are not high in saturated fat, which in turn makes them healthier. Those who love to cook at home can try using specific ingredients. One example is garlic that has natural properties that can de-clog the arteries and subsequently lower the odds of getting heart disease.
Having a can of pork and beans is also good for the diet. No, not bacon – sorry. This is because it contains soluble fibres that can combat the bad cholesterol in the person’s body. There are not that many people who will do this but those who are able to eat even a half an onion daily will be able to increase the HDL and lower the LDL.
People are often told that fats are not good for the diet. This isn’t entirely true because this comes in many forms. There are fats that are healthy such as unsaturated ones and omega 3 fatty acids. Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats are also effective since these are usually found in cooking oils. This means food preparation also plays a big factor in reducing one’s cholesterol levels.
Another top tip is that you should read the label at the supermarket and read the ingredients to find out if it is healthy for cooking. Being a bit overweight or noticing a lot of bulges in the body are one way of knowing that you may be potentially at risk for high cholesterol. Of course, not everyone is good at nutrition, at least at the start. Those interested should get the Strategic Nutrition Guide, which is part of the Granite Fitness Masterclass.
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Also published on Medium.
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