High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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If you have been told by your doctor that you have high cholesterol, it’s in your best interest to “be more careful” with your diet. According to the leading cholesterol charity Heart UK, those who have high cholesterol “should avoid liver and offal”. Both liver and offal are “very rich sources of cholesterol” that can raise your blood fat levels.
While liver can be considered healthy due to its high vitamin content and low saturated fat content, its consumption can lead to health problems.
Without controlling cholesterol levels, you are putting yourself at risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Heart UK clarifies: “All animal foods contain some cholesterol.”
However, this does not mean that people with high cholesterol have to turn towards a vegetarian diet.
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In order to manage cholesterol levels, the best eating plan is a “heart-healthy diet”.
The charity advises people to “eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and plant-based foods”.
Fresh, frozen, canned and dried options all count towards your five-a-day recommendation.
Heart UK adds: “Vegetables, pulses (such as peas, beans and lentils), fruits, nuts, seeds and whole grains are full of nutrients and good for your cholesterol and your heart.
“Go for at least five portions of fruit and veg a day (about a handful each) to stay healthy and help you eat less high-calorie foods.”
A healthy variety of protein sources is also recommended, which can include:
- Lean red meat.
While animal products contain cholesterol, it’s more crucial to be aware of the saturated fat content.
Consuming fatty foods can eventually clog up the arteries, which can lead to heart disease and other health ailments.
It can help to take stock of what you typically eat during a week.
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You can record what you eat during the week by jotting it down or putting it into your phone.
A diet overhaul can be an overwhelming task, so it can be helpful to start small by completing simple swaps that will help your cholesterol levels.
For example, you could swap snacking on crisps, for example, by eating a piece of fruit.
Heart UK offers an in-depth cholesterol-lowering diet plan you can access here.
If you have not had your cholesterol levels checked, you can request a blood test from your doctor.
While having high cholesterol is a significant health risk, there might be no symptoms that you have the condition.
If you do have high cholesterol, in addition to dietary changes, you must partake in frequent exercise to help protect yourself.
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