8 tips to keep a check on cholesterol levels

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Research proves that the cholesterol levels could be lowered by making your food as colourful as possible.
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Cholesterol is one of the most common life style diseases that affect the young and the old alike. Most people give up their favourite food just because they are scared of shooting their cholesterol levels. However, the cholesterol levels could be controlled to a certain extent by following these 8 simple tips.

Oats for breakfast

Studies reveal that the amount of bad cholesterol would be reduced up to 12 – 24% if one and half cups or 50 grams of oats are consumed daily. The fibres called betaglucon that are water soluble is responsible for lowering the cholesterol levels. You could eat a variety of oats dishes throughout the day or have a filling oats breakfast. Ground oats are better than the flakes.

Consume less eggs

There were studies which said that the cholesterol in food items like eggs isn’t harmful. However, the modern eating habits have changed significantly and fatty food items are often the suppliers of extra energy and calories. An egg yolk contains 250 milligrams of cholesterol. As this would exceed the daily dose of 300 milligrams of cholesterol that is required for the body, it is not advisable to eat egg yolks daily.

Colourful food

Research proves that the cholesterol levels could be lowered by making your food as colourful as possible. Besides the chlorophyll, the phytochemicals like sterols and stenols can effectively control cholesterol. The cholesterol levels drops up to 10 – 15% in those who consume at least 2 grams of vegetarian dishes daily. It is especially healthier to eat at least two and half raw carrots daily. The antioxidant called beta-carotene in carrots could increase the HDL which is the good cholesterol.

Statin medicine

Statins are a class of drugs often prescribed by doctors to help lower the cholesterol. These help reduce the size of the fat balls that block the blood vessels. Statins are essential for those who are diagnosed with diabetes and those who have a family history of heart diseases.

Eat more fish and less meat

The niacin and the omega 3 fatty acids in fishes like sardines, mackerel and tuna prevents the oxidation of the bad cholesterol. It also increases the good cholesterol levels. However, the fat from the meats could increase the bad cholesterol in the body. It is alright to occasionally eat white meats like chicken and duck with the skin removed. Olive oil, cashews, walnut, almond and avocado are store houses of good cholesterol.

No to trans fat

The trans fats could oxidize the fats and block the blood vessels. Solid fats like the vanaspati are trans fats which should be avoided. Bakery items like chips, fried food, cookies and biscuits contain high amount of trans fat. These foods shouldn’t be eaten regularly.

Cooking tips

Meat and other fatty dishes should be cooked on the day before and stored in the fridge. Take it out two hours before eating the dish and remove the fat that has accumulated on top using a spoon. Instead of deep frying in oil or roasting meat you could try grilling it or baking in microwave oven. You could also cook in steam of pressure cook as well.

Exercise

Around 25% cholesterol could be reduced through regular workouts and exercise. Aerobic exercises like swimming and brisk walking and resistance workouts are excellent to reduce the cholesterol. You could do these workouts for 40 minutes at least thrice a week. If done on moderate levels, you should at least do it for 150 minutes a week.

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