Cholesterol has been around for thousands of years. It's a natural function of the human body. Unfortunately, most people aren't even aware they have high cholesterol until they have a heart attack or stroke. It is possible to have up to 80 percent closure of the arteries without ever feeling a single symptom! Here are 5 tips you can use straight away to start lowering your cholesterol today:
1. Reduce fat in your diet.
Buy the leanest cuts of meat you can find. Regularly substitute poultry (without the skin) and fish for red meat. Both are lower in saturated fat. Switch to low fat cottage cheese and yogurt, reduced fat hard cheeses and skim or 1 percent milk.
2. Eat no more than four egg yolks a week.
Many people don't have to worry about eating cholesterol. Normal bodies adjust to increased intake by cutting back on regular product. However, since one third of Americans are cholesterol responders their blood cholesterol does go up when they eat cholesterol. You probably don't know if you fall into this category so play it safe. Eat no more than four egg yolks a week. An average egg yolk contains 213 milligrams of cholesterol!
3. Eliminate fried foods.
Buying low fat is just the beginning. You need to institute low fat cooking methods to keep the cholesterol from sneaking back in to your diet. Remove fatty skin from chicken and turkey. Don't fry foods. Roast, bake, broil, grill or poach them instead. Use fat free marinades or basting with liquids like wine, tomato or lemon juice. Use olive or canola oils for sautéing or baking. Both are very low in saturated fat. Use diet, tub or squeeze margarines instead of regular. Watch for the term "hydrogenated," which means some of the fat is saturated.
4. Eat vegetables and complex carbohydrates.
Lowest fat foods of all are vegetables, fruits, grains (rice, barley and pasta), beans and legumes. Try substituting some of these for meat and high fat dairy products. Don't douse your pasta with butter or your potato with sour cream. Use tomato base sauces instead of cream base. Use lemon juice, low sodium soy sauce or herbs to season vegetables. Make chili with extra beans and seasonings while leaving out the meat.
5. Lose weight.
If you are overweight, the chances are almost 100% that you have a problem with high cholesterol. You can lower your LDL and elevate your HDL just by dropping some pounds. Eat fewer fatty foods and more fruits, vegetables, grains and beans and it's a pretty good bet that you will slowly but surely lose weight.
Remember there is no substitute for your physician. Make certain that you clear any new treatments with him before embarking on any radical health changes you are anticipating.
Tony Newton publishes the popular health and wellness website - http://www.1st-for-health.com With lots of informative articles on low carb diets, hair loss, arthritis pain relief, acne and lots more.