A poor diet and inactivity are a recipe for high cholesterol, which is a risk factor for life-threatening conditions such as strokes and heart attacks.
Having personal experience training people from all walks of life, Aroosha has recommendations for people who have high cholesterol.
“Increase your intake of fibre,” Aroosha said, listing fibrous foods you should eat more of, including popcorn:
Aroosha also recommended eating foods that contain unsaturated fats, which helps to reduce total cholesterol levels, such as almonds, peanuts, walnuts and pecans.
In addition to nuts, you can increase your intake of unsaturated fats by adding seeds to your breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Seeds to try include:
You also need to eat foods that are going to help the body absorb excess cholesterol that can then be broken down in the liver.
“The liver then flushes it from the body,” Aroosha added, which can lower your risk of disease.
You can do this by eating more:
As well as incorporating healthy foods that reduce cholesterol, you probably need to cut down on the foods that contribute to high cholesterol.
“Excess intake of saturated fats increases total cholesterol,” Aroosh said, which means cutting down on:
- Ice cream
- Coconut cream.
People should also limit their sugar intake, or consider using raw honey when they fancy a sweetener.
“Raw honey contains antioxidants and may help lower LDL [low-density lipoprotein] and raise HDL [high-density lipoprotein] levels, potentially decreasing overall risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Aroosha.
What is HDL and LDL cholesterol?
Leading charity Heart UK says HDL contains more protein than fat, making it very dense.
HDL removes excess cholesterol from the blood vessels, it has an anti-inflammatory effect, and an antioxidant effect, hence why it’s considered good cholesterol.
LDL, on the other hand, is considered bad cholesterol because too much of it can clog up the blood vessels.
Aroosha Nekonam works on behalf of Ultimate Performance (UP), a leading personal training company, known for its results-driven approach and scientific foundation.