A cholesterol lowering diet is a good idea whatever your age or state of health. Ignoring the service program for your car would soon lead to breakdowns and in the same way it is just as important to maintain our bodies with a healthy diet.
Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels in the blood is an important part of staying healthy. Someone with undesirable cholesterol levels runs the risk of heart disease and stroke.
There are two types of cholesterol; HDL (good) and LDL (bad)
– a healthy level for HDL is 60 mg/dL plus and for LDL 129 mg/dL or less.
It is a good idea to get your cholesterol levels checked by
a doctor but in any case, following a cholesterol lowering diet will help maintain healthy levels. Mine were on the high side so my doctor suggested a stricter cholesterol lowering regime.
Cholesterol occurs naturally in certain foods such as eggs, prawns and kidneys so eat these foods in moderation although natural cholesterol has far less effect than your consumption of saturated fats.
There are two main types of fat – saturated (bad) and unsaturated (good).
Saturated (bad) and trans fats can be found in products such as:
Pies made from meat, sausages and fatty meats such as pork, lamb and beef
Dairy products such as butter, hard cheeses, full fat milk, lard, ghee, cream
Cakes and Biscuits
Coconut or palm oil
Unsaturated (good) fats can be found in products such as:
oily fish (such as mackerel and salmon)
nuts (such as pecan and brazils)
seeds (such as sunflower and pumpkin)
vegetable oils and spreads (such as sunflower, olive, corn, walnut and rapeseed oils)
One way to reduce fats in the diet is not to fry foods but
steam, poach, boil, grill or microwave. Tip: for the perfect poach egg smear some sunflower oil on a small sheet of cling film. Place over a small bowl and crack in the egg. Close the cling film by twisting the top and place in simmering water. Cook for the same time as a boiled egg (4 mins approx for a medium size egg at room temperature/ 5 mins direct from the fridge). Remove from pan, undo the cling film and tip out a perfect soft poached egg.
Choose lean cuts of meat and don’t be
afraid to try unusual varieties such as venison, ostrich and game birds such
as pigeon and pheasant. Most poultry is low in fat if you avoid eating the
Use spreads made of vegetable oils for spreading or cooking rather than butter.
I like to go for a coffee when I go to town with a friend and we would often share a slice of cake or a couple of slices of buttered toast. I realise it was just a social thing and I did not really need the snack. So now I will just munch on the toast without butter or enjoy just a small portion of the cake.
Eat plenty of soluble fibre which is found in: oats, beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas and try to consume at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
Try to exercise several times a week – walking, cycling,
running and many sports that involve raising the heart rate, are good.
Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol to excess and try to keep
your weight down.
If you have any questions on this cholesterol lowering diet please contact us.