With Ramadan just around the corner, all one can think about are the mouth-watering snacks that we all will devour during suhoor and iftaar. However, the alarming amounts of calories and cholesterol we consume have an adverse effect on our overall health. To get things into gear, we at The Updates have compiled a list on 5 easy ways to reduce your cholesterol.
According to research, cholesterol is a fatty substance produced by the liver and is present in our blood and is vital for healthy cell growth, digesting food, producing hormones and vitamins. There are two types of cholesterol; good cholesterol, also known as HDL and bad cholesterol known as LDL. High amounts of LDL can put one at risk of a heart disease.
- Reduce the intake of foods high in LDL:
Identify the sources of LDL in your diet and cut them down slowly so as to eliminate them eventually. Some of the sources of LDL include: fatty cuts of meat, deep fried foods (all the pakoras and samosas on our Ramadan menu got to go), butter, coconut oil, processed foods, fast food (pizza, burgers and etc), and baked food (pastries, cakes etc).
COVID-19 has limited our physical activity and has restricted us to closed spaces. Use the extra time to your advantage and engage in workouts that are known to burn cholesterol. Running/jogging during the nigh/evening when the weather is more pleasant is a good option to begin with. Other options include: cycling, yoga, swimming and weight lifting.
- Quit smoking:
The key to reduce the cholesterol levels effectively is to quit smoking; the effects are instantaneous and rewarding. When you quit smoking, the HDL levels in your blood boost up and your heart begins to recover from the damage that smoking puts you at.
- Lose weight:
The drastic shift in our lifestyle due to COVID has lead to many of us putting on extra weight, therefore putting us at health risks. Engaging in physical activities and by monitoring our diet, we can easily shed the extra pounds that contribute to the high levels of cholesterol.
- Incorporate food that lowers your cholesterol:
Changing your diet can work wonders for you. There are many foods that function to lower the levels of LDL in our blood. Some of these are:
- Nuts: walnuts are one of the most popular remedies to reducing cholesterol. Other nuts that may be consumed to lower the cholesterol levels include walnuts, peanuts, cashew nuts etc.
- Fruits: Apples, grapes, and citrus foods are rich in vitamins and pectin (a soluble form of fiber) that is known to reduce the LDL cholesterol levels.
- Oats: Oats and a natural source of fiber that provides you with soluble fiber that is crucial to reduce cholesterol levels.
- Fish: Substituting your protein with fish is a healthier option of boosting the HDL levels in your blood. Fish is also a source of Omega-3 fatty acids that reduce the risk of heart diseases and increase the life expectancy.
As per expert recommendations, all healthy adults must get their cholesterol levels checked every four to six years while those with a family history of high cholesterol or heart diseases are advised to monitor it more often.
What are some of the tips that you use to keep your cholesterol levels stead? Let us know in the comments below.