How to eat healthy cholesterol
High cholesterol can affect anyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity or age, although family history is a big factor. For most people, it’s lifestyle factors, such as smoking or high alcohol intake, poor eating habits and lack of exercise that can cause the problem. However, there are easy changes we can make to our diets that will help keep our cholesterol levels healthy.
Fill up on fish: Oil-rich fish is a great source of omega-3 fats, which help maintain normal triglyceride levels. Salmon, mackerel and pilchards are rich in omega-3s. Tinned fish, such as tuna and sardines, is as beneficial as fresh. Just watch the salt levels.
Cut down on saturates: Dairy products and red meat can contain a lot of saturated fat, which is linked to increased LDL cholesterol. The same is true of foods such as cakes and biscuits. Choose lean meat, switch to low-fat dairy and cut right down on cakes, biscuits, puddings, pastries, chips and crisps.
Take your pulses: Beans, chickpeas and lentils are rich in soluble fibre, which helps reduce the amount of cholesterol absorbed into the blood. A recent study revealed eating 130g pulses a day can cut LDL cholesterol by 5%.
Watch the booze: Alcohol causes weight gain, which is linked to high cholesterol and raised triglyceride levels. While headlines say red wine may be good for you, scientists agree having too much is bad for health.
Have a brew: Tea contains compounds called catechins, which research suggests may lower cholesterol absorption. All varieties of tea, especially green tea, contains high levels of catechins as well as antioxidants.
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