Focus on increasing your fruit and vegetable intake every monday. They are rich in important nutrients, low in saturated fats, and are cholesterol-free. They are also rich in fiber, which has a cholesterol-lowering effect.
Aim to have at least five servings on Monday, and to eat a variety of different coloured fruits and veggies as often as possible.
Focus on reducing your intake of unhealthy fats every tuesday. Saturated and trans fats raise blood cholesterol levels. Trans fats are the worst, so limit your intake of processed and fast foods on this day. Try to go the entire day without, if possible!
Choose low-fat dairy products and also healthy oils such as olive oil or flaxseed oil instead of butter. Trim fat from meat and skin from poultry.
Cook with olive oil, a source of healthy monounsaturated fats, every Wednesday. It has a higher oxidation threshold than most monounsaturated oils and remains stable at higher temperatures, so is more resistant to hydrogenation and the formation of trans fats. Plus, it tastes delicious! Maybe not quite as good as butter, but you’ll probably come to love it just as much soon enough.
Eat something with garlic on Thursdays. Studies show that, as part of a low-fat diet, it can help reduce cholesterol levels – lowering levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and raising “good” HDL cholesterol. It also helps to thin the blood, which helps reduce the risk of heart attacks. Studies show countries that eat more garlic have lower rates of heart disease.
Eat more legumes on Fridays. Legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, beans, and peas are good for people with high cholesterol levels. They are low in fat and rich in nutrients such as B vitamins, iron and unsaturated fats. They are also a rich source of soluble fibre, which helps to lower cholesterol levels. There are many different ways to get more legumes into your diet such as soups, dips, and just plain. What’s your favorite way to eat legumes?
Eat oatmeal for breakfast. Whole oats are packed with heart-healthy dietary fiber and nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin E and iron. Oats are an excellent source of soluble fiber, which lowers cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease. Choose fiber-rich whole oats over quick oats. Also, try to avoid the super sugary oats that are easily found in most grocery stores. There are many healthy and easy oat recipes online that you can find. .
Swap your snacks for nuts. Nuts are rich in unsaturated fats. Choose nuts that are higher in unsaturated (mono and poly) fats and lower in saturated fats. These include almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts and pistachios. Try making up a trail mix with your favorite raw, unsalted nuts, dried fruit, and a mix of seeds.
Bonus Tip: Go for a Walk!
It’s no secret that simply getting up and walking more is a great way to lower your cholesterol. Try to find a couple times a week where you can go for a short walk. Or, even try getting up a couple times throughout the day and taking a walk around the office. Or, even just trying to park in the furthest parking spot so that you have to walk a little bit longer to get to the store. All these little changes will add up to a lot more steps at the end of each day.
Just thinking about these simple changes each week can go a long way towards starting to lower your cholesterol. As you start to make these small changes, they get easier and easier and you’ll be able to implement these changes more often and start making more changes. Just take things one step at a time and don’t push yourself too hard. It doesn’t help you if you try to change too much at the beginning, get burned out, and fall back into all your old bad habits.
Empowered Shoppers is not run by medical professionals and all comments and thoughts found in our blogs are those of our bloggers and should not be taken as medical advice. You should always consult your doctor about what is right for you and your health.