If you missed yesterdays installment regarding statins then you can read it here.
As promised I want to give you some ideas of how to help you lower your cholesterol levels without relying on statins. It can be done but as I said yesterday, it is not rocket science but it will mean giving up some of those things that you love and that are not good for you. That does not mean to say you will never be able to have some naughty treats again, but you need to put them on the back burner for a while; and when you do eat them again it will need to be once in a while and not every day.
So what junk do you need to ditch? Here are a few of the usual suspects…
- Processed ready meals (generally full of bad fat, sugar and salt)
- Pies and pastries
- Cakes, biscuits and sweets
- Lard, ghee, butter and cream
- Fatty cuts of meat and fat on meat
Deep down, I know that you will know what it is that you have to quit. The other big factors to ditch are…
- Drinking excess alcohol
- Being a couch potato
Exercise is key. I wrote in a previous blog that I managed to lose around a stone in a month. Did I do anything radical like change my diet or go on some silly health fad… No. I simply got a new addition to my family a wonderful puppy, which I had longed for, for years. I missed having a dog and so this little lively bundle wanted lots of love, attention and exercise. Weight just started to fall off me and this surprised me considering that my weight, bmi etc are all in a healthy zone. All the extra exercise I was doing walking the dog, was and still is shifting the pounds bit by bit. I checked the amount of steps I was doing in a day and I was averaging 12-13,000. I actually do more than this in a day, as these are just my dog walking steps that I have calculated with a pedometer. They are quite brisk steps, as Max the dog does not like to go too slow! It is a just a thought for you, but if you are not keen on the gym and have a dog, or just like walking in general then this may help you. It sort of made sense when I looked at it, because after the birth of my sons I was always pushing their pram everywhere loaded with shopping; again the few extra pounds that I put on, soon shifted without any silly celebrity post baby weight loss plan.
Food is also key and what you eat can make a huge difference. You may not like what is on this list, but it is what is going to make a difference to not just your cholesterol levels, but also your health in general.
- Fruit & Vegetables
- Oily fish like mackerel and salmon
- Nuts – cashews and almonds in particular
- Beans ad peas
- Olive oil
How you cook is also important, frying any of the above good foods in saturated fat is not going to be any good. Try to steam, grill or poach, and where possible eat as much raw food like salads as much as you can. If you have chicken or any other meat then remove the fat or skin from it.
There are some products on the market containing plant sterols and these may help you. They tend to be things like yoghurt and margarine. They help to lower cholesterol but have to be used with a good diet and exercise, as they only do part of the job.
Many people I know have had success by modifying their diet, increasing exercise and ditching things like smoking and eating fatty food. I will not say that they enjoyed the process, but they are happier knowing that now they have themselves in check, and now they can have a little bit of what they fancy.