HELP! MY CHOLESTEROL IS TOO HIGH!
Tips For Eating Healthy
Many of my clients are as concerned about their cholesterol levels as they are about their weight so they are interested in tips for eating healthy. Weight loss and exercise can certainly decrease cholesterol but I wanted to point out a few helpful hints when you want to get that number lower.
First of all, cholesterol isn’t a bad thing. Many motivated clients want to get their numbers below 150 and that’s just not necessary. We need cholesterol to help form cell membranes, provide building blocks for hormones, and formulate bile which helps break down dietary fat. There’s even some evidence that cholesterol levels that are too low seems to increase the incidence of stroke and depression. When we get too much cholesterol, either from our diet or genetics, it forms that fatty stuff called “plaque” which restricts blood flow and can cause heart disease.
Overall, we want a healthy balance between the “bad” cholesterol and the “good” cholesterol. The most important thing is the cholesterol/HDL ratio but as a general rule, you want your cholesterol below 200mg/dl, the “bad” cholesterol or LDL under 130 (or below 100 if you have risk factors for heart disease), and the HDL should be at least 60mg/dl.
These are the main questions I get.
1) Can I eat eggs?
Eggs do have quite a bit of cholesterol in the yoke; however the yoke has a lot of really good nutrients in it as well so the good outweighs the bad. Still, one egg a day is enough but for you omelet lovers, having one egg and 2-3 additional egg whites makes up a yummy omelet without the added fat and cholesterol.
2) What about Shrimp?
Again, shrimp is high in cholesterol as are many shellfish but the overall fat content is low so it usually isn’t a problem. Eating shrimp scampi smothered in butter isn’t quite so healthy though.
3) Should I eliminate meat?
Meats that are high in saturated fats will increase cholesterol levels. Select meats that are lean such as poultry breast, fish, sirloin or round steak. Portions count here so keep it around 4 oz per serving.
4) What else can I do to improve my cholesterol/HDL ratio?
A) INCREASE SOLUBE FIBER. Soluble fiber clings to cholesterol and flushes it out of the body.
*Lentils, black beans, kidney beans, navy beans can be added to soups and salads for a healthy dose of soluble fiber
*Steal cut oats or oat “groats” made into oatmeal aren’t processed or refined and are a great source of fiber.
Note: Oat Groats can be hard to find in ‘regular’ grocery stores. Clients have told me they buy theirs HERE on amazon.com.
*Fruits such as apricots, oranges, grapefruits and mango have some soluble fiber but don’t go overboard on the fruit.
*Focus more on vegetables and include those rich in soluble fiber such as Brussels sprouts, turnips, sweet potatoes and asparagus.
*Add flax seed daily. Adding 1-2 Tablespoons a day to your yogurt or oatmeal not only provides soluble fiber but a great source of Omega 3’s which help reduce your risk of heart disease.
*Decrease saturated fats and trans fat. These fats are abundant in processed foods, packaged foods and fast food.
B) INCREASE HDL
*Decrease refined sugar. There is some evidence that links sugar intake with low HDL levels. HDL is the protective kind so you want to get these levels higher.
*STOP smoking – smoking will lower HDL levels. Get Help HERE!
*Add healthy fats such as nuts, olive oil, avocado and fish to your diet
*Have green tea daily
C) DRINK SHAKEOLOGY
Shakeology is your daily dose of dense nutrition providing you with the superfoods you need to help your body work at it’s maximum. Shakeology has now been clinically tested and the PROVEN results are in – Shakeology is clinically proven to help you lose weight, lower cholesterol, and reduce blood sugar levels (as measured by HbA1c) . FIND OUT MORE
One of the women in my kickboxing class, received the dreaded news at her Dr. appt that she needed to start a Statin to lower cholesterol. She asked if she could try Shakeology first and he reluctantly gave his OK. After 3 months her cholesterol was down and has continued to decrease a total of 60 points and stay in a healthy range. Not only has she avoided the cost and side effects of a statin medication but she has improved her cholesterol and her overall health with Shakeology!
Following these tips for eating healthy will help to keep your cholesterol in check. You still want to make sure you’re staying balanced with your diet so you get an abundance of fresh produce, adequate protein and don’t go overboard on starchy foods.
**if you have a history of heart disease and are being medically treated, please discuss these changes with your doctor.
Call me today for help in getting started lowering your cholesterol!
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