How to lower cholesterol: The best way to start reducing cholesterol levels explained
CHOLESTEROL can embed in the walls of blood vessels, causing the blood passageway to narrow. In order for blood to push through clogged vessels, the heart muscle will have to work harder, increasing your blood pressure.
If you’ve been told by your GP that you have elevated cholesterol, it’s time to take action. In fact, even before such a diagnosis, it would be wise to keep cholesterol levels to a minimum. How can this be achieved? The classic combination of a healthy diet and exercise are the best things to do, but where should you start? According to a major analysis, cited by Harvard Health, hundreds of men and women successfully reducing cholesterol levels in controlled trials.
What are trans fats?
Trans fats are created by adding hydrogen to a liquid fat to help it solidify.
It’s a popular preservation method as it can extend the shelf life of packaged baked goods.
Any nutrition label that lists “partially hydrogenated” on its label is better left on the supermarket shelf – and not in your home.
The Mayo Clinic listed foods that contain trans fats, such as:
- Microwave popcorn
- Frozen pizza
- Fried chicken
- French fries
Substitute trans fats for “polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats” advised McManus.
This includes cooking with canola, safflower, sunflower, olive, grapeseed and peanut oils.
Instead of pies or a frozen pizza, choose fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, trout, herring, or mackerel.
In place of biscuits, doughnuts, or cookies, opt for seeds or nuts – and avocados and soybeans are also considered good fats that you can add into your diet.
Fruits and vegetables will be your best go-to options as they contain elements that actively help to reduce cholesterol, such as:
The NHS recommends everybody to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables daily, but the more the better.
Another useful tip is to choose wholegrain options when it comes to pasta, rice and bread.
These are great sources of fibre, which is another great tool to help reduce cholesterol levels.