You are what you eat !
What you eat has an impact on your organs and your arteries. Your arteries supply your organs with oxygen. Any adjustments to your diet can influence your health. I discuss some very basic but important diet facts in this article.
What is cholesterol?
We all need some cholesterol, it makes up part of the wall of every cell in your body. Most of us have too much of it in our systems. Excess choleste
rol can be deposited on the inside of your arteries as fatty ‘plaques’. These clog up your arteries, which can lead to heart attack and stroke.
Making sure that your weight is down will reduce blood
pressure and cholesterol. Exercise will increase your ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. This can actually protect your heart and brain. Diet plays an important role in how high your cholesterol is.
High blood pressure can narrow and damage your arteries, which increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.
How to keep your cholesterol low
Diet changes will help both your cholesterol and your blood pressure.
- More fruit and vegetables (at least five portions a day)
- More fish
- Less meat, particularly red meat
- Less processed food
- Less saturated fat
- More unsaturated vegetable oils (olive oil)
- More unrefined carbohydrates (wholemeal, wholegrain foods and beans)
Plant based foods can lower your cholesterol. Some examples are:
- Soluble fibre (oats, strawberries, oranges, prunes)
- Soya foods (tofu, soya products)
You have to make sure it is in your daily diet, so it can be challenge to stick to it.
Too much salt….
Salt plays a major role in raising blood pressure. The recommended maximum is 6 g (about a teaspoon) of salt a day. Salt is sodium chloride, not just sodium (6 grams of salt is 2.4 grams of sodium).
Most salt is already in foods. Ideally you should cut down gradually, until your taste buds get accustomed to less salt. Within weeks, you’ll find the foods you used to crave taste far too salty.
Cooking from scratch makes you more in control. When you’re cooking, experiment with more spices and lemon juice to add flavor. You might find it fun. If you have any further questions or concerns you should contact your trusted medical practitioner.