Maintain a healthy heart and follow these tips to help maintain good cholesterol!
By changing up your diet, incorporating some fit activities, and being optimistic about change you can seriously lower bad cholesterol levels! Follow these tips to help prevent and combat high cholesterol in the first place!
What to Eat
- Oats: Start your mornings with homemade oatmeal (avoid the sugary packaged meals) or even mix together your own granola to keep with you. Add a banana to your breakfast for some extra soluble fiber.
- Nuts: This includes almonds, peanuts, and walnuts. Nuts prove to be amazing for your heart in different kinds of ways, and fighting cholesterol is no exception. Whip up your own fruit and nut medley for a healthy snack on the go!
- Oil: To stay healthy, prepare your meals with healthier oil. Use Mazola® Corn Oil for a great all purpose cooking oil that withstands the heat while retaining the delicious flavors of your meal.
- Beans: Beans are high in soluble fiber, fill you up quick and keep you feeling full for longer – so no need to add on extra items to a meal or grab that candy bar (or two) later. Since there are so many varieties, you can incorporate them into many different dishes. One example? Chicken fajitas with grilled veggies and black beans – skip the tortillas for less carbs.
- Fish: Omega-3 fatty acids are just what your heart and cholesterol level need! *Opting for fatty fish has shown to lower triglyceride levels by 25-30 percent. High triglyceride levels may lead to heart disease, especially in people with low levels of "good" cholesterol and high levels of "bad" cholesterol, and in people with type 2 diabetes. Need an incentive? Have a sushi party with friends or the fam – plenty of Omega-3 fats and fun!
What to Do
- 30 Minutes of Exercise a Day: This may be difficult to even consider, but once you get in a routine, it's simple! When we say exercise, we really mean physical activity for your body. If you are a busy bee, try to think of it as three separate 10-minute mini workouts.
- Walking: This can be a group activity. Get coworkers involved and set out for a power-walk everyday at lunch! • Biking: Riding a bike into town, over to a friend’s house, or even just a quick lap around your block is easy enough and will have you feeling fit inside and out.
- Laps: Have access to a pool? Swimming laps burns fat quickly, which in turn lowers cholesterol.
- What is your favorite sport? If you have one, go play it!
What to Think
- Stay Positive: Changing a diet along with a routine can easily turn into a discouraging thing. You will want to fight it at first. But just remember that if you stick with the changes, everything will get easy and that cholesterol will go down!
- Stay Motivated: Do not fall victim to procrastination! Putting off exercising and eating right over and over again means they might not ever happen. If you are well into the health kick, treating yourself every now and then is perfectly fine. Just do not fall off the wagon and lose all your progress. Anytime you think you may want to stop, think of how good things will look and feel a week, a month, and a year from that point. You are worth it.
- Lower Your Stress: Now this is easier said than done, but stress is never great for the body. When you start to panic, you begin thinking negatively and your energy could go out the window. High stress can also leave you reverting back to unhealthy snacking. When you are stressed, try meditating when you get a moment alone. This may seem like a lot at first, but by following these tips, you can really manage bad cholesterol levels more easily. Your body may want to fight all of the healthy attention at first, but it will soon grow to love your new lifestyle and especially the way you feel (and look)!
This article is sponsored by Mazola®.
* The results were published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1997.