There are a few words you don’t want to hear from your doctor during your annual check-up. One of them is cholesterol. That’s because bad cholesterol can increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Lowering the cholesterol in your body involves making changes to your current diet. One fun way to do this is investing in the family meal delivery Melbourne residents rely on for healthier food options. In addition to opting for pre-cooked meals, there are several changes that you can make as you prepare meals at home.
What is Cholesterol?
Before changing your current eating habits, it’s essential to understand what cholesterol is and how it affects your health. Essentially, cholesterol is a vital fat produced in the body that’s needed to ensure the proper function of cell membranes.
Understanding that there exist two types of cholesterol is crucial.
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL): Also referred to as good cholesterol, HDL reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke. For the most part, the HDL produced in the body can remove normal levels of bad cholesterol from the body via the liver. However, this can only happen if the stories aren’t extreme.
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): Referred to as bad cholesterol, LDL contributes to the fatty buildups in arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. LDL gets into the body from the foods and drinks we consume daily. When the harmful cholesterol levels become too high, it gets difficult for the excellent cholesterol to move out of the body.
Simple Foods to Incorporate Into Your Diet to Reduce Bad Cholesterol
The degree to which food affects your cholesterol levels varies from person to person. Some people might get ill from only a tiny amount of bad cholesterol, while others can withstand a much higher level.
However, everyone can benefit from increasing good cholesterol levels and reducing the amount of bad cholesterol in their arteries. Here are some foods to add to your diet to make the process more manageable.
Only some people are aware of the many health benefits of orange juice. The most prominent is that some brands boast a lot of phytosterols and plant-derived compounds that are excellent for lowering cholesterol. Take a glass of this with your breakfast every morning. You can use orange juice in your smoothies as well!
Oily foods are among the top causes of bad cholesterol and heart disease. A healthy alternative is to switch to olive oil. Since olive oil is high in antioxidants and healthy monosaturated fats, it doesn’t increase bad cholesterol. Additionally, olive oil is rich in phenols, lowering the risk of blood clots.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene which not only decreases bad cholesterol but increases good HDL levels as well. It’s as simple as adding some slices of tomato to your salad every day. Alternatively, substitute an unhealthy lunch with a tomato and cucumber sandwich on rye or brown bread.
Another easy addition to your diet is avocados. Since avocados are heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, they’re ideal for lowering LDL and boosting HDL. Furthermore, avocados reduce triglycerides and improve your overall health. Add them to salads, mash them into guacamole, and spread them onto crackers.
Reducing your red meat intake is a quick fix to a very high cholesterol level. Substitute red meat dishes with fatty fish variations. The omega-3 fatty acids in healthy fish are excellent for cholesterol levels and improving brain health.
Common examples of healthy fatty fish include salmon, tuna, and trout. If you’re unfamiliar with preparing fish, consider adding a serving to the gluten-free meal delivery Melbourne health fanatics enjoy so much!
Chocolate lovers will appreciate that they don’t have to remove this delicious treat from their diet. Opting for a few pieces of dark chocolate will provide you with beneficial monounsaturated fats, flavonoids, and antioxidants. All of these are excellent for reducing bad cholesterol. Remember that it must be dark chocolate and no more than one ounce daily.
Blueberries are another one of those superstar fruits that are jam-packed with nutrients. The good news is that the benefits extend to cholesterol levels.
Another fun advantage of blueberries is that they can be consumed in a bunch of different ways:
- Eat them fresh
- Add them to fruit salads
- Use them in smoothies
- Could you include them in cereal?
- Make their dessert with a small portion of ice cream.
Many people who change their diets to incorporate foods that reduce lousy cholesterol all agree that they instantly start feeling better. Reducing the adverse effects of LDL will also ensure that you’re taking a positive step toward ensuring heart health!
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