Aug 7th, 2014
Lower your cholesterol and help keep your heart healthy.
Say “I can” lower my cholesterol and you’ll have made a big step towards looking after your heart. Lowering your cholesterol level is a great way to help keep your heart healthy and it’s easy to do once you know what it involves.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a wax-like substance in the body: a small amount comes from what you eat, in foods such as eggs and shellfish, but most is actually produced by your liver when you eat saturated and trans-fats. Everyone needs a certain amount of cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D and bile, and to build cell membranes. Because modern diets contain a lot of saturated fat, your liver may produce more cholesterol than your body actually needs, which can result in the build up of fatty deposits in the arteries.
Good or bad cholesterol?
There are two main types of cholesterol:
1. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is known as ‘bad’ cholesterol: it is carried to the cells and arteries and causes fatty deposits to build up.
2. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as ‘good’ cholesterol: it’s carried away from the cells and arteries and then removed from the body.
You need to keep your LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol at a healthy level, and maintain a higher level of HDL (‘good’) cholesterol. Most people could benefit from reducing their LDL cholesterol levels.
Reducing LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol
Health professionals recommend moving to a healthy diet as part of a strategy to reduce LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol. They are now also recommending foods like Flora pro·activ low fat spreads, new one-a-day yogurt drinks, semi-skimmed milk drink and low fat yogurts that dramatically reduce cholesterol because they have the added active ingredient plant sterols. The best news is that the cholesterol-lowering effect of the Flora pro·activ range is additional to that achieved by moving to a healthy diet, so the combination of both gives excellent results.
A better diet
Saying “I can” enjoy a healthy diet is easy. And, once you’ve read the simple tips below, you’ll find sticking to it is easy too.
Just follow the guidelines and apply them to what you normally eat and your diet can become healthier overnight. It needn’t be dull or difficult and best of all you shouldn’t have to cut out all your favourite things.
Tips for a better diet
1. Eat a variety of foods – a balanced diet is the healthiest option.
2. Eat more fruit and vegetables – aim for 5 portions every day.
3. Grill, stir-fry or microwave foods rather than frying or roasting.
4. Try to eat fish twice a week, of which oily fish like mackerel or salmon should be once a week.
5. Check the ingredients lists of any packaged foods such as cereals. Ingredients are listed in order of quantity, so avoid foods that have saturated fat, sugar and salt high on the list.
6. Try to eat more starchy carbohydrates than fat – for example a large portion of pasta served with a small amount of sauce.