The average American diet is high in less healthier foods and low in healthier foods. Hence we suffer from many nutrition and diet related health issues. High cholesterol is a prominent nutrition related health risk. The combination of a sedentary life coupled with diets high in fatty foods is creating health problems. Many occupations provide little exercise and long periods of sitting. The frenetic pace of life we try to live sees more and more meals eaten at a desk, in a car and on the run. Increasingly more of our leisure time is spent staring at a screen, too. Hours spent watching television or playing video games with little exercise creates problems with cholesterol and other circulatory issues.
What is ‘cholesterol’ and how does it cause health problems? Cholesterol is a component of fat. Cholesterol is essential for the building of healthy cells and cell metabolism. Good cholesterol, that is. LDL, or low -density lipoprotein, found in animal meats and dairy products is the bad cholesterol. This cholesterol clogs arteries by adhering to blood vessel walls and forming plaque. LDL cholesterol acts on the body like pouring bacon grease down the sink and then running cold water. All that grease collects on the inside of your plumbing. Clogged arteries lead to poor circulation, heart disease, heart attack and arteriosclerosis.
Interestingly, HDL (high-density cholesterol) the good cholesterol is the antidote for bad cholesterol. HDL cholesterol cleanses and purifies the LDL cholesterol from the body. The best way to keep your good cholesterol up and bad cholesterol down is to make some simple diet and lifestyle alterations.
Eat fewer cooked foods and more raw foods.
Eat less deep fried foods and more grilled, baked or broiled foods.
Eat fewer fried snacks and more baked snacks and oat bran snacks. Pretzels, baked potato chips and baked tortilla chips with salsa make excellent snacks.
Eat fewer chips and baked goods and more raw vegetables like edamame, carrots, broccoli, dark green lettuce and vegetables rich in vitamin C.
Eat fewer french fries, dinner rolls and fried potatoes and more baked potatoes, oats, rice and barley. Rice and barley are both good sources of vitamin B, a natural enemy of bad cholesterol.
Eat less baked goods and white bread and more whole grain, high fiber breads, cereals and snacks.
Eat less red meat and more white meat, chicken and fish.
Eat more yogurt and kefir and less sour cream, butter, cheese, milk and cream cheese.
Eat less ice cream and more fresh fruit.
Eat less meat and more beans. Eating one half cup of turtle beans, black beans, fava bean, garbanzo beans, lentils, kidney beans provides fiber, protein and vitamin B. All of these boost HDL cholesterol.
Eat fewer foods cooked in shortening and vegetable oil and more foods made with olive oil.
Drink less whole milk and more skim milk, Silk soy beverage and Rice Dreams rice beverage. Silk and Rice Dreams are delicious on cereal.
Take a vitamin B, garlic and lecithin supplements.
Take an Omega-3 oil tablet daily. These are rich in HDL cholesterol. Evening Primrose, Fish oil or Borage oil all work well.
The goal isn’t to immediately stop eating foods with bad LDL cholesterol. Notice I said to eat less of the bad and more of the good. If you set out to crash diet or cut food out your diet, especially foods that you have eaten all your life, you will have difficulty maintaining this eating pattern. Try to make small daily changes. Keep this list on your refrigerator. Take it with you when you shop for groceries. Be kind to yourself and reward the progress you make. For more on good nutrition and health issues, visit my blogs at www.healthhelp4u.blogspot.com and www.greatfood4u.blogspot.com . To your good health.