Eat right to control bad cholesterol
M ost adults have high cholesterol levels. Strangely, we do not usually worry too much about heart diseases until we are in the middle age. But, adults as young as 20, need to watch cholesterol because high levels of LDL or bad cholesterol are likely to cause the development of heart disease. By eating healthy foods, which have cholesterol lowering effects, we can reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Following are the top three foods that have benefits for people with high cholesterol.
Oats: Begin your day with a bowl of hot oatmeal in the morning with nuts and fruits. It makes for a filling and healthy breakfast. Ground oatmeal can be added to soups. Oat bran can also be mixed with wheat flour and rolled into chapattis.
Fish: Salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel help reduce triglyceride, reduce blood pressure and decrease blood clots. Two servings of oily fish per week are recommended. Omega-3 fatty acids present in fish lower triglyceride levels and raise the good cholesterol in the body. Bake or grill the fish to avoid adding unhealthy fats. If you do not eat fish, get the omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed or canola oil.
Soya: Consuming at least 25 grams of soybean helps reduce total cholesterol. Soybeans have low glycemic index. They help lower insulin levels and normalise blood sugar. Workout regularly: Exercising regularly reduces triglycerides. It helps strengthen heart, bones and other muscles of the body, besides weight loss. There is no need to do strenuous exercises. Walking, swimming, yoga, bicycling, jogging, aerobics can be included in your daily regime. If you have time constraints, just walk three times a week for one hour or six times a week for half-an-hour. Smoking increases bad cholesterol or LDL. HDL or good cholesterol moves the bad cholesterol away from the arteries to the liver, from where it is eliminated from the body. Smoking, however, decreases this HDL cholesterol in the body, thus increasing the risk of heart disease. There is an immediate drop in bad cholesterol and increase in good cholesterol after quitting smoking, leading to better health and safe guarding against heart diseases. Losing weight is not only important for lowering cholesterol but is an important part of improving overall health. Eat five to six small meals a day. Switch to whole wheat bread, brown rice and reduce refined carbs such as sugar and white flour. Eat vegetables, olive oil, nuts, oats and barley. Drink green tea. Manage stress with yoga, meditation and catching up with your hobbies.