Knowing if you have a problem with your cholesterol level is a very important first step in being proactive with your health.Look out for the signs (look at our social media posts for signs) and schedule a bloodtest to make sure. There are medications to address high cholesterol but often lifestyle adjustments can have a significant impact. These lifestyle guidelines are great for general health and wellbeing even if your cholesterol is currently normal.
1. Shed weight
Losing as little as 5% – 10% of your body weight can reduce your cholesterol levels. So, focus on healthy eating with a controlled healthy Program (TLC-Program) that teaches you what to eat. Avoid mindless munching.
2. Get active
Even moderate physical activity can help raise healthy HDL cholesterol so include a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise into your daily schedule. Look for the TLC-Physical Exercise Plan (TLC-PEP) on the TLC-Shop for guidelines. (https://tlcforwellbeing.com/product-category/smart-plans/)
3. Avoid high-cholesterol foods
Aim for no more than 300mg of cholesterol per day if you are in good health, and less than 200mg per day if you have heart disease or diabetes.The most concentrated sources of cholesterol include organ meats and full fat dairy products and are best limited in your daily diet – or avoided completely.
4. Avoid the saturated fats found in red meat and full fat dairy products.
Instead opt for leaner cuts of meat, low-fat dairy, egg substitutes and the healthy monounsaturated fats found in olive and canola oil.
5. Avoid trans-fats
Avoid the trans-fats found in fried foods and commercially baked goods. Read all food labels and steer clear of foods that contain partially hydrogenated oil in order to avoid the trans-fat traps.
6. Get your Omega 3s
Fibre-filled fruits and vegetables and foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids should also feature prominently on your daily menu, as all of these foods can help lower LDL levels in the body. Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, trout, yellow-tail and pilchards, walnuts, almonds and flaxseeds are all packed with Omega 3 fatty acids.
7. Stop smoking
Quitting smoking not only improves your healthy HDL levels but it also decreases blood pressure and reduces your risk of having a heart attack.
8. Don’t drink too much alcohol
Drink alcohol sparingly – although moderate use of alcohol has been linked with higher levels of HDL cholesterol. There is research to suggest that a glass of red wine a day does have heart protective effects and can increase the levels of HDL in the body. If you are on your TLC-Program, no alcohol is allowed, but thereafter enjoy moderate wine using our Lifestyle guidelines.
9. Take supplements
There are a number of super supplements available which may assist you in your quest to achieve healthy cholesterol levels. This includes niacin, garlic and ginseng. The TLC-Turbo Boost pack also contains many essentials to improve wellbeing. (https://tlcforwellbeing.com/product-category/tlc-vitamins-and-products/ )
10. Follow your TLC-Program.
Your most effective tool against high cholesterol is your personalised low carbohydrate, low, healthy fats only, TLC-Program. (https://tlcforwellbeing.com/product-category/tlc-online-programs/ )
Remember that regular testing, healthy lifestyle choices and proper medical guidance by your doctor will not only ensure that your cholesterol levels remain within a healthy range now, but also help prevent the health complications caused by high cholesterol as you grow older.