High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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High cholesterol, similarly to high blood pressure, can be difficult to spot as it doesn’t show any symptoms. However, high levels can lead to your arteries narrowing and blood vessels reducing blood flow to the heart, according to the Cleveland Clinic. It’s no secret that Christmas is about feasting and not dieting, but there are three festive foods that can help lower your levels, nutritionist Rob Hobson shared.
Between cheese boards and pigs in blankets, the Christmas period doesn’t seem to be the kindest to your cholesterol levels.
Dairy products and processed meats are packed with the fatty substance, according to Heart UK.
However, you will be happy to know the three Christmas foods good for your cholesterol may already be a part of your festive menu.
The nutritionist Rob Hobson shares that turkey, nut roasts and vegetables can help cut levels.
The staple of a Christmas table has become an all-time favourite for the Britons.
The good news is it can also lower high cholesterol as long as you stick to the lean meat and eat it without the skin.
Hobson said: “It’s not that the turkey cells contain anything particular that lowers cholesterol, it’s the fact that turkey is very lean meat that’s very low in saturated fat.
“So, by way of that it helps to ensure good cholesterol levels.”
Both nuts and vegetables are able to slash levels because of their fibre content.
“Fibre binds to cholesterol in the gut which then helps to remove it from the body,” the nutritionist explained.
Whether you opt for a nut roast, add nuts to your turkey stuffing, have them as a snack or “sprinkled over puddings”, they can lower your “bad” LDL cholesterol by five to ten percent.
“Bad” cholesterol is the one that can lead to heart problems and stroke, while “good” one can help to dispose of cholesterol from the body.
Hobson noted: “Nuts are high in monounsaturated fats and this helps to lower LDL cholesterol.
“You’re choosing healthier fat which is good for overall heart health, a lot of people think that because they’re quite high in fat they can cause you to put on weight.
“But a lot of the research has suggested that eating nuts can help people to lose weight.”
Hobson recommends eating a handful and explains that almonds and walnuts have been verified as a good choice by research.
“Obviously all the vegetables that you have at the table are going to be a source of fibre and they’re going to help to contribute to maintaining healthy cholesterol levels,” he noted.
He recommends opting for green veggies and kale as they are “more nutritious” and contain minerals.
Another beneficial effect of fibre is that it can also help with problems like constipation that often occur at Christmas time due to the change in our diets.
The nutritionist added that having some oats can also help with cholesterol. He said: “Oats contain beta-glucan which helps to lower LDL cholesterol by five to ten percent. They can be added to stuffing and nut roasts.”
He advised that around 50 grams should do the trick.
Hobson’s last recommendation is to stick to olive oil instead of popular duck or goose fat, used for potatoes, as olive oil can increase levels of “good” cholesterol.
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