Top Tips To Lower Blood Cholesterol
What I Learnt In My Efforts To Lower My Blood Cholesterol
After a recent visit to the doctor I was somewhat shocked to discover that I had to make some changes to my lifestyle and diet in order to lower my blood cholesterol level.
I left the surgery clutching a diet sheet which I vowed to read the following day.
True to my promise, I sat down with a coffee the following morning and began to read the advice that I had left the doctors surgery with.
It quickly became obvious that the single, most important thing that I could do to reduce my cholesterol levels would be to cut down on the amount of saturated fat in my diet, but what else could I do to make sure that I brought my cholesterol down to an acceptable level.
I read more about the importance of lowering blood cholesterol and came up with a strategy to change my diet in order to help.
The following are my top tips to lower blood cholesterol levels… and it is working!
Changes To The Way You Cook Your Food Can Help Lower Blood Cholesterol!
This is my first tip because I think that it is one of the easiest changes to make in an attempt to lower blood cholesterol.
Your food will taste just as good, if not better, when it is either grilled, baked, poached or steamed!
Think about it, you are not adding any extra fat and your vegetables retain much more of their nutritional value when steamed, it just makes so much sense anyway.
Meat Free Curries Can Help To Lower Blood Cholesterol.
- Potato And Cauliflower Curry
This potato and cauliflower curry is one of my favorite vegetarian curries. It an easy to prepare vegetarian recipe based on a Punjabi style curry.
- Lentil Curry
I'm not a Vegetarian but this vegetarian lentil curry is easy, tasty, healthy and especially great if you are on a budget!
Eat Less Meat!
I’m not a vegetarian and I dare say that I never will be but I have tried to introduce lots more meat free meals throughout the week!
I’m not saying that eating less meat is easy to begin with if you have been a big meat eater previously but it is possible to find lovely meat free alternatives to your favourite dishes with just a little planning.
For instance, I love spicy food and curries in particular which aren’t always great on the saturated fat front but it really is quite easy, with a little thought, to come up with some recipes that are healthy and will help in the quest to lower your blood cholesterol.
Not All Fats Are Bad
Fats get a lot of bad press don't they, but you should never cut out fat completely and some types of
fat are essential for the body to function properly but it helps if you eat the
right fats. Good fats such as those found in avocados, oily fish, nuts and seeds when eaten in moderation can actually help to lower blood cholesterol levels.
Monounsaturated fats can be found in avocados, nuts, rapeseed oil, olive oil and olive oil based spreads.
Omega 3 fats – found in oily fish, linseed and hemp oil, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, tofu, green leafy vegetables.
When You Do Eat Meat Quality Is Way Better Than Quantity!
Saturated fat is generally that which is solid at room temperature and is present on nearly all meat that you buy but you can help lower your blood cholesterol by buying the leanest cuts of meat.
I still eat meat of course but I buy the leaner cuts and if there is any visible fat I take it off before cooking.
Chicken and turkey are both low in fat but there is quite a bit of fat below the skin, so taking off the skin helps to reduce the amount of fat you consume.
Cut Down On Your Cheese Consumption!
Certain cheeses are really high in saturated fats and I thought that cutting down on cheese would be one of the most difficult adjustments to make in order to reduce cholesterol but a couple of simple changes worked for me:
Use a stronger type of cheese, that way there is no need to use as much in your recipes.
Switch to half fat cheese where possible.
Grate the cheese… it makes the cheese go a lot further than slicing it.
Swap Full Fat Milk For Semi Skimmed Milk
Ok, this one really isn’t an issue for me as I only buy skimmed milk which is fine, but if you prefer the creamy taste of the full fat milk I would suggest swapping to semi skimmed milk before going the whole hog and switching to skimmed.
Reduce The Amount Of Butter You Use
I didn’t think that this was one of my major vices as I already used a low fat spread but there was normally butter in the fridge for whenever it was needed.
Cutting down on the amount of butter isn’t too hard as there are a growing number of great tasting low fat spreads on the market these days, in fact spreads like Benecol or Flora Proactive even claim to help lower the amount of cholesterol in your blood.
Increase The Amount Of Fruit, Vegetables And Fibre In Your Diet.
Soluble Fibre helps to reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood so add more things like oats, beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, vegetables and fruit to your diet.
Finally, Check The Labels!
Wherever possible try to choose foods which contain no more than 1.5g of saturated fat per 100g. That means giving up on a few things but the benefits of lowering cholesterol levels and feeling generally more healthy all round outweigh that.
Foods high in saturated fat include:
sausages and fatty cuts of meat
cakes and biscuits
foods containing coconut or palm oil