We live in a generation where lifestyle diseases are the order of the day ranging from heart disease to high blood pressure. One of the biggest contributors to all these diseases is high cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fatty substance that’s present in all the cells in our body. The presence of cholesterol in our body is necessary to make hormones, vitamin D and also in making substances that help in digestion of food. However, it’s important to note that the body makes all the cholesterol it needs.
Presence of too much cholesterol in the blood can lead to coronary heart diseases. You can easily eat yourself to death (high cholesterol level) or you can choose the food you eat and keep your cholesterol level on an acceptable level. Listed below are ten foods that can help you regulate your cholesterol level and keep your general health in check:
Nuts are one of the most nutritionally packed foods that are also full of antioxidants. Additionally nuts also contain a lot of monounsaturated fats. Nuts contain omega 3 fatty acids mark you the plant variety one which is linked to the health of the heart.
Nuts are also rich in protein particularly L arginine. This is an amino acid that is used in making nitric oxide which in turn regulates blood pressure. There is also the presence of phytosterols in nuts. Phytosterols are compounds that are alike to cholesterol and help lower cholesterol level through blockage of their entry into the intestines. The bottom line is that nuts are rich in natural fats and packed with fiber that helps to lower cholesterol significantly.
2) Fatty fish
Fish like salmon and mackerel are great sources of omega 3 fatty acids. omega 3 fatty acids are associated with improved heart health by increasing the good cholesterol HDL and lowering inflammation and the risk of stroke. It is important to keep in mind that the healthiest form of fish to eat is that that has been baked grilled broiled or better eat it raw. Some peptides found in the proteins in fish are beneficial to the health of the heart.
3) Whole grains
Whole grains such as oats and barley are great for cholesterol lowering in our bodies. In studies carried out its revealed that eating about three servings of whole grains on a daily basis can lower your risk of developing a heart problem or stroke by up to 20%.This percentage even increases with up to seven servings a day.
Oats and barley are rich in beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that can help lower cholesterol level. Eating oats can help reduce your total cholesterol level by 5% and LDL cholesterol by 7% proteins in good quantities.
These are a group of plant foods like peas, beans, and lentils. legumes are rich in fiber, minerals, and proteins in the right amounts. If you replace processed foods in your diet with these plant proteins like beans your risk of developing heart diseases will be greatly lowered.
A review of 26 randomly controlled studies found that when you eat approximately half a cup of legumes in a day, you can lower your LDL cholesterol by close to 6.6 mg/dl when compared to when you don’t eat.
Avocados are richly nutritious food. They contain monounsaturated fats together with fiber. These two nutrients help lower the un unhealthy cholesterol(LDL) and help raise the healthy cholesterol(HDL).
An analysis of studies carried out found that replacing other fats with avocados was linked to a reduction in total cholesterol, and triglycerides.
6) Fruits and berries.
Addition of fruits to your diet is healthy for your heart for several reasons. Most fruits are high in soluble that’s helpful in lowering the levels of cholesterol in our bodies.
A certain type of soluble fiber called pectin has been shown to lower the levels of cholesterol by up to 10%.Its found in fruits such as grapes, apples, strawberries.citrus fruits among others.
Fruits also are known to be rich in bioactive compounds that help prevent diseases of the heart and other similarly chronic diseases. This is because they have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Incorporating fruits such as berries and grapes in your meal, therefore, can help lower the unhealthy cholesterol (LDL) and increase the healthy cholesterol (HDL)
Garlic is has been known as a medicine and an ingredient in cooking. Studies have linked garlic to lowering blood pressure and also lowering total cholesterol.
Garlic is rich in allicin a compound that can help lower the harmful and unhealthy cholesterol (LDL)
Vegetables are an integral part of a healthy diet. Being rich in fiber and antioxidants and also low in calories they are helpful in maintenance of a healthy weight. Some vegetables are high in pectin, in particular, the same fiber that’s found in oranges and apples. This soluble fiber is known to lower cholesterol levels.
Other vegetables rich in pectin also include eggplants, potatoes, carrots and okra among others.
9) Red wine
Cheers to a healthy heart! when taken in moderate amounts alcohol has been known to raise the good cholesterol or HDL.a study found that drinking a glass of red wine each day decreases the unhealthy cholesterol LDL and I turn increases the healthy cholesterol HDL.
Red wine being rich in antioxidants known as polyphenols helps keep your blood vessels in a healthy and strong state.
It’s important to note that it should be taken in moderation for one to achieve the desired effects. One drink for women and two for men. It is important to keep in mind that more is not better and won’t do you good in this case.
10) Dark chocolate
Now, this may come as a surprise but its actually true. Dark chocolate just like cocoa powder contain flavonoids which are very powerful antioxidant compounds, which help lower cholesterol. Why dark chocolate and not the milk or white one some may ask. Dark chocolate is preferred because of it rich in cocoa content. You can also try sprinkling cocoa powder in that smoothie of yours to achieve the same benefits chocolate is associated with in lowering cholesterol levels.
High levels of cholesterol can be a major risk factor for the health of your heart. This risk can be greatly reduced by including certain types of food in your meals. The foods given above are based on research and will help keep your cholesterol levels under control and hence give, you a healthy heart.
Ensure your diet is focused on monounsaturated fats
The lie that all fat make you can weight leads to crazy diet plans that never work but instead end up frustrating you. There are healthy and nonhealthy fats, it all depends on the foods you choose to consume. For monounsaturated fats, you need to increase your consumption of avocado and nuts. This is not only nutritious but also are packed with monounsaturated fats that help keep you healthy and also keep the level of cholesterol in check.
Avoid taking transfats as much as possible
The opposite of monounsaturated fats is transfats. These are saturated fats that have been completely modified thanks to a process thanks to a process called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation is a process that is used to make fats found in unsaturated fats in vegetable oil. Sadly, most of the cooking oils on the market contain trans fats because they provide more texture. Additionally, most pasta brands and cookies are packed with trans fats that make the texture softer and taste more tolerable.
One of the most reliable ways to reduce the cholesterol levels in the body is through adopting a regular exercise regimen. This does not mean over-stretching your body to a point where you are unable to function normally. Start slowly and improve gradually you will be surprised at how much more energized you will feel. Additionally, your body will also feel way lighter and even the skin improves significantly. If you have never exercised before begin with walking or going to the gym with the help of an instructor who understands what your body needs and how much you can handle.
It goes without saying that you must lose weight before realistically trying to lower cholesterol levels. Losing weight does not mean being stick thin, all it entails when it comes to the reduction of cholesterol levels is a healthy Body Mass Index. Always keep your weight in check. Exercise regularly and eat healthily. If you are on a busy schedule and cannot afford to exercises regularly, the best way to remain active is walk and always take the stairs. Avoid junk and processed food as much as possible because they are a sure way of sky-rocketing your cholesterol levels to an unimaginable high.
Use alcohol in moderation
One of the most ignored ways that people get high cholesterol is consuming too much alcohol. Drink in moderation so that your body is in a situation to handle all the toxins. Additionally, alcohol makes it more difficult to lose cholesterol even when you exercise regularly. Drink moderately and once in a while detox.
High cholesterol makes you vulnerable to a myriad of ailments. The best way to reduce cholesterol levels is by eating healthy, exercising and maintaining a normal body weight.
Here is a step by step guideline on how to do a low-carbs diet the right way
Timing is everything!
When trying to execute a low-carbs diet the right way, one has to keep in mind that timing is extremely important. One of the main reasons you need a low-carbs diet is to stabilize blood sugar levels. The right timing ensures that you consume carbohydrates at the right time without leading to blood sugar levels going on a roller-coaster ride. If you are on a low carbohydrate diet, it is advisable to take carbohydrate rich foods before extreme physical activity.
It is vital to consider your current body fat levels
If you are obese or your body weight is not healthy, it means you probably have more abdominal fat to burn depending on how your body stores fat. Here is a simple procedure that will help you accurately calculate your fat level;
- Start by weighing yourself on an accurate scale
- Determine your height using an accurate tape measure
- Uing your weight measurement, you can easily determine your BMI index.
- Using these three measurement you can easily ascertain your body fat percentage using a simple formula. Each gender has its own formula
Calculating body fat percentage for a man
- (1.20 x BMI) + (0.23 x Age) – 16.2 = Body Fat Percentage
Formula of calculating body fat percentage for women
- (1.20 x BMI) + (0.23 x Age) – 5.4 = Body Fat Percentage
Avoid processed foods at all costs
Most processed foods are simple carbs with a high sugar content and lower fiber content. This means that if you are on a low-carbs diet, you will need to stay clear off wrapped and packaged foods. If your diet heavily consists wrapped, boxed and packaged foodstuff which a vast majority of the population is addicted to.
Don’t be too strict; give yourself a break by designating carbohydrate loading days
Long term carbohydrate deprivation is extremely unhealthy. It can be risky to your health since it leads to depletion of glycogen that is stored in the body. This severely depresses a person’s immune system and this decreases metabolic function significantly. The simplest way to prevent glycogen depletion is strategically injecting carbohydrate-re feeding days into your routine.
If you are a fan of supplements seek professional medical advice and use the supplements wisely
It is a guarantee that if you go on low-carbs diet, you will have intense carbohydrate cravings. With you doctors; advice you can use supplements to help curb this unwanted carbohydrate cravings.
A low-carb diet will only work effectively if you are consistent and in it for the long-haul
Expect your weight to plummet if you go on a n extreme carbohydrate diet, this will happen consistently for the first few weeks, a person typically sheds 3 to 20 pounds in the beginning. After a couple of week the rapid weight loss slows down and might temporarily stop, it is at this point that most people give up and resume eating unhealthily.
When your body finally adopt to a consistent low-carbs diet, your weight-loss will become gradual and consistent. This will only happen if you allow yourself days when you re-fill your body’s carbohydrate storage levels.
As safety precaution prepare for some degree of discomfort especially in the first few days
In the first two weeks of a low-carbs diet your energy levels might plummet, this will cause you to get lethargic, grumpy and your body will feel a bit weak or more exhausted than normal. Without mental preparation, your low-carbs diet will be very challenging and extremely uncomfortable. If you are a chronic ailment such as diabetes seek professional medical first.
Try and stay hydrated by drinking as much water as you can
Eating a large amount of water fills your stomach hence helping you handle carbohydrate cravings that you may experience when you start your low-carbs diet. Additionally water plays a huge role in beta-oxidation which is a process your body burns fat as a fuel.
Eating foods rich in carbohydrates is not detrimental to everyone
When it comes to consuming carbohydrates it is different strokes for different folks. If you have a a very fast metabolism rate then you are able to have a carbohydrate rich diet without suffering detrimental consequences. People whom have a very fast metabolic rate include person with an over-active routine such as sports-people who train almost daily. Since this book is about losing abdominal fat without going to a gym, it is important to mention that most people with a busy life are not very physically active. This depends on what is keeping you occupied and busy.
Simply understanding the essentials of a low-carbs I just the start, you need to understand what dieting right on a general level is. Apart from carbohydrates, how you consume other food groups is also critical to loosing abdominal fat. A large percentage of the current generation knows the importance of consuming the right foods. Apart from getting carbohydrates right, you will need to get all the other aspects of a diet right for you to lose abdominal fat.
To help you get your entire diet right, here is detailed information about common mistakes that people make when it comes to dieting
Unknown to many people fruit juice is not advisable when trying to shed those extra abdominal pounds
This includes both natural fruit juice processed fruit juice. Processed juice contains more than a fruit concentrate and water mixed with sugar. Did you know that natural fruit juices contain just as much amount of sugar as Pepsi and Coca-Cola. You are not safe because you are blending g organic fruits!Fruit juice is like stripping a fruit of fibre. This means no chewing resistance and no fibre. As discusses earlier without fibre nothing reduces
Every consumer should beware because most marketers at junk food companies are shameless liars who are only focused on making profit. They tend to advertise falsely. Since most people are not well informed on nutrition and dieting, they fall prey to false marketing. Simply adding healthy ingredients to an already unhealthy highly processed food does not make it healthy.
Don’t be deceived; adding tiny amounts of Omega-3s will not make a food that contains too much sugar healthy. Always read labels even those advertised as healthy foods.
Not eating enough protein and completely removing fat from the diet
A high protein intake is good to your general health and it also help in maintaining healthy abdominal fat levels. Reliable studies have proven that meagre intake of proteins can cause downright deficiency which will detrimentally affect body composition particularly I you are physically active. Eating more proteins cause enhance fat burning, significantly reduces appetite and also improves health in numerous other ways.
Another fact many people ignore is that you should also not avoid all fats. Research shows that natural fats are beneficial to weight loss, on the other hand man-made trans-fats are detrimental to health. Numerous reliable studies prove that saturated fats are harmless and the low-fat diet that some nutritionists peddle doesn’t actually work or benefit the body.
Falsely thinking that calories are all that matters
This is a common misconception that many dieting enthusiast have. All the energy we expend and take in is crucial; it is not the only factor that matters. The fact is that different foods go through varying metabolic pathways; this means they affect hormones and hunger differently. Loosing abdominal is more than just calories, different foods affect hormones and hunger differently.
What you eat matters immensely
Maintaining a normal abdominal weight is will require you to choose wisely and eat selectively. A good diet must balance between taking the right amounts of food from every food group.