A week late but finally here, I apologise for the delay I jumped a plane last week for a weekend getaway to escape the chaos, torrential rain, and cold for some much needed sunshine in Brisbane. A quick trip, but well worth it. However, back to the topic at hand – cholesterol. There are some things which may lead to high cholesterol which are beyond your ability to control, these are;
- Your age (45 years or older for men, 55 years or older for woman)
- Genetics (a family history of heart disease)
There are also those things that are within your means to control. Consider making some healthy lifestyle changes in order to reduce your likelihood of developing high cholesterol.
- Reduce your saturated fat intake.
Your total fat intake on a daily basis should equate to no more than 20 – 25% of your daily caloric intake. Of this your saturated fat should make up less than 5 – 7% of your total. Some ways to reduce your saturated fat intake include;
- Swap high fat dairy products for low fat options
- Remove the skin and \ or fat from meat before eating
- Cook meat by grilling, steaming or using a non stick pan
- Swap high fat meats for their leaner version
Exercise has favorable effects on most aspects of your life, especially in maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol and blood pressure. If you haven’t already introduced moderate exercise into your lifestyle now is a great time to do this to prevent cholesterol issues. Most studies on the benefits of exercise as related to cholesterol refer to cardiovascular exercise, or anything which elevates your heart rate. Think tennis, cycling, squash, swimming, golf, walking, kayaking, jogging, surfing, karate, aerobics classes, and many more. Start with 30 minutes of aerobic activity on 4 out of 7 days to maintain a healthy heart and healthy cholesterol levels
- Maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight range, and optimal body fat for your height, age and gender will increase the efficiency of bodily functions, and reduce the amount of stress placed on your body as it performs its day to day activities. In order to maintain a healthy weight incorporate a healthy diet which is low in fat and high in fibre with at least 4 days exercise. If you are unsure of what a healthy weight range is consult your doctor.
Some risk factors for high cholesterol are beyond our control however, you don’t need to let these factors stop you from putting strategies in place to control those items which you do have some say over.