Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels goes a long way in determining your overall health conditions and your heart conditions in the long run. A healthy cholesterol level indicates healthy heart conditions and correct blood pressure levels. Our eating habits and active lifestyle contribute a great deal in balancing cholesterol. You can control your cholesterol levels by many natural means, such as:-
When it comes to maintaining ones cholesterol levels everything boils down to eating correctly. Therefore, one must avoid some foods altogether while there are others that can be consumed sparingly. Overall, a healthy food pattern coupled with an active lifestyle is the prerequisite for a healthy body and mind.
- Meat contains a great deal of natural fats and hence it is advisable to have it as a side dish rather than as the central item of your meal. Avoid the fatty parts of steak, pork and lamb and opt for lean meats, fish or white meat.
- Opt for low fat dairy products and avoid cream, butter and whole milk.
- Opt for low-fat snacks every time you feel like munching on something. Pick fresh fruits or salads instead of a muffin and homemade popcorn or dry fruits instead of candy bars or potato chips.
- Opt for vegetable oil for cooking instead of butter or margarine. If possible, avoid frying and opt for baking, broiling, roasting or steaming foods.
- Increase consumption of complex carbohydrates and fiber that is present in fruits and vegetables, wholegrain products, legumes ad pulses etc. you can reduce dietary cholesterol by trying to eat less than 200mg of cholesterol every day. Avoid having more than four egg yolks per week and have two egg whites instead of a whole egg.
- Consume more fish as they contain essential fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6.
- Reduce the amount of salt intake, as it is a primary motivator of high blood pressure, leading to cardiovascular diseases.
- Avoid trans fats, as they raise LDL cholesterol levels and lower HDL cholesterol levels. Check the labels to see if the food has been prepared in hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil among their first ingredients as these foods contain trans fats.
Cholesterol and Fats
Cholesterol and fats are two different things, whereas fats can be seen on the body, cholesterol is invisible. It is hidden in the lean portion of meats, in the membranes that surround each cell of the animal’s body. Therefore, every bite of meat is coupled with fats and cholesterol separately. In case of fruits and vegetables, the cholesterol content is zero.
Read the labels of food products when you buy them and check the cholesterol content in them. You will be amazed at how well you can control your cholesterol intake by just avoiding foods that are high in cholesterol content.