High cholesterol levels can lead to heart diseases- you know that very well and perhaps that’s why you are reading this piece of information about how to control cholesterol. Your doctor has, at last, declared what you had feared since a long time- high cholesterol levels in your blood! Now is the turn to make a game plan to lower cholesterol levels.
So, what have you researched so far- that you must go for cholesterol lowering foods, exercises, change of lifestyle and so on. You know it very well then that a little change in your diet and lifestyle is what is needed to lower cholesterol and the heart diseases. What you don’t know is – where to start from and how to form a strategy to lower cholesterol? This write up may then actually help you. Read on these simple steps to control cholesterol!
Step 1- Don’t Panic- Its only Cholesterol that can be Controlled!
It’s just cholesterol and nothing that can’t be controlled. So, don’t panic but make your will power a little more stronger because you will be now doing what you haven’t done till now- you are going to alter your habits, your diet, your lifestyle. You have to lower LDL cholesterol or the bad cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol. Start from your diet then.
Step 2- Have Cholesterol Lowering Foods!
And what are they? Foods rich in anti oxidants, plant sterols, Omega-3 fatty acids, soluble fibers like pectin etc. In short, they are:
- Whole Grains
Start your day with a bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain cereal. You can also have such whole grains as wild rice, popcorn, brown rice, barley, and whole-wheat flour (of course, not right in the morning!)
Go for fatty fish like salmon, tuna, trout, and sardines but just don’t fry them. Avoid red meat and have controlled portions of white meat.
Have at least five servings of fruits and vegetables during the day. If you think how could you do this- here’s the answer. Include some fruits in your breakfast. Have vegetables during meals and you can also have them as snacks. How you can convert vegetables in to snacks have to be found out through some interesting recipes that are of course low on fat and oils! You can have fruits during your snack time in the office too.
Have nuts like walnut and almonds every day. Nuts are, however, high in fat and calories so make it sure that you eat only a handful of them. Nuts mean those nuts that are in natural form and not covered with sugar or chocolate!
Start cooking food with such oils as canola, olive, and safflower oils– they help lower bad cholesterol levels . Avoid butter and palm oil or any other oil having trans fats. And remember, even good fats have calories- so eat in moderation.
Avoid bad carbohydrates like those found in white bread, white potatoes, white rice, pastries etc.
Step 3- Control your Food Portion to Lose Weight and to Control Cholesterol!
Having healthy food doesn’t mean that you are free to eat them in whatsoever amount you wish to! Excess is always troublesome. So, control portions. It will help in weight loss (which is one of the necessity too to lower cholesterol) as well as in controlling cholesterol. But how to control portion? Use your hand to measure your food portion.
- One serving of meat or fish Is EQUAL TO that much which fits in the palm of your hand.
- One serving of fruits Is EQUAL TO the size of your fist.
- One serving of cooked vegetables, rice, or pasta Is EQUAL TO that which fits in your cupped hand.
When eating out, choose broiled, baked, steamed, and grilled foods and avoid the fried food. Get sauces on the side. Order beforehand to pack half of your meal. These all small steps will really help you in reducing cholesterol levels.
Step 4- Get Physically Active to Control Cholesterol!
And believe it, you don’t have to hit the gym to do that. As simple an exercise as walking can do that for you. But remember, you have to be regular on that- at least 30 minutes of such physical activity five days a week is a must. If you don’t find that much time every day, do vigorous exercise such as jogging for 20 minutes thrice a week. If you hate that too, develop interest in such activities as gardening, dancing, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Remember, you have to move your body if you want to lower your high cholesterol levels- even if it is by doing housework!
Step 5- Don’t be Stressed – It Leads to High Cholesterol Level!
Many research studies have found that stress might directly increase cholesterol levels. So don’t be stressed. People prone to stress might find it a little difficult task but where there’s a will there’s a way! If stressed, reduce stress levels through relaxation exercises and meditation. Take to deep breathing. It is the most simple stress-buster you can do anywhere!