Diet is one of the key lifestyle changes that can help to contribute towards lowering cholesterol levels. Along with eliminating certain foods from your diet, experts also recommend adding in some items which can help aid overall health.
This should be done as part of a balanced diet, packed with nutrient-rich foods.
While eliminating high-fat foods is a key way to help aid cholesterol levels, the type of fats you are eating is vital.
Everyone should aim to reduce their intake of saturated fats, but they should also think about upping how much unsaturated fat they are consuming, according to Lynne Garton, Dietetic Adviser for the cholesterol charity HEART UK.
Unsaturated fats are seen as a more healthy form of fat, and are actually key when it comes to reducing the risk of heart disease.
Ms Garton recommends replacing all of the saturated fat within your diet with healthy amounts of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
Unsaturated fat can also help to increase weight loss, which in turn will aid cholesterol levels.
One easy way to do this is to incorporate “oily fish” into your diet.
Ms Garton explained: “Cutting down on saturated fat can be a great way to lower cholesterol and it is important to replace some of this with unsaturated fats.
“Oily fish is a good source of these marine-based omega-3 fats eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
“Aim to eat two portions of fish per week, at least one of which should be oily.
“A portion is 140g, but you could have two or three smaller portions throughout the week.”
Tinned tuna, salmon, sardines, pilchards, trout, herring and mackerel are all oily fish that are high in unsaturated fats.
Fish is not the only way to integrate more healthy fats into your diet, however.
In fact, many plant-based foods and cooking substances are also rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
Monounsaturated fats, for example, are found in high concentrations in olive, peanut, and canola oils.
They can also be sourced from avocados, nuts – such as almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans – and seeds, including pumpkin and sesame seeds.
Polyunsaturated fats, which are associated with oily fish, are also found in sunflower, corn, soybean, and flaxseed oils, walnuts and flax seeds.
Ms Garton explained: “Eating healthily and being active is important for keeping your cholesterol at a healthy level because too much cholesterol can lead to health problems and increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and vascular dementia.
“Replacing foods high in saturated fat with those containing unsaturated fats, such as walnuts, oily fish and avocados, is one very good way to help manage cholesterol.”Internet Explorer Channel Network