It’s National Cholesterol Month, which makes October the perfect time to get yourself up to scratch on what cholesterol is and how to reduce it. Here at Active Nation we want to make sure that everyone finds manageable ways to improve their overall health. Helping you to assess your diet and know what changes to make and what to keep up, is a great step to improving your health.
What is cholesterol?
A fatty substance that is vital for your body to function normally, cholesterol is made by the liver, as well as being found in some foods. It is carried in the blood and comes in two types – the good type, and the bad type. High levels of the bad type (known as LDL) can lead to a variety of health problems.
If you have a high level of bad cholesterol in your blood, this could increase your risk of a number of serious health conditions. The risks of high cholesterol include narrowing of arteries, stroke, heart attack and peripheral arterial disease. If the blood in your body cannot flow easily to your heart and brain, this can also heighten your chances of blood clot.
How to reduce it?
There are a variety of ways that you can reduce your cholesterol levels. If you are overweight you will be at greater risk of having high cholesterol. Therefore, regular exercise is a great way to control your cholesterol levels, as well as improving your overall health.
Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet will also have a hugely positive impact on your health. Reducing your intake of foods containing saturated fat is one great way to lower cholesterol levels. One of the best changes you can make to your diet is to eat less meat, and pack your plate full of fruits, vegetables and wholegrain cereals.
Our third top tip to lower those cholesterol levels is to stop smoking, and cut down on your alcohol intake. Smoking has a seriously negative impact on a whole host of health issues, and high cholesterol is no exception.
Whilst we understand that a glass of wine can be enjoyable, it is so important to recognise the health risks that come with alcohol consumption. If you decide to drink, current guidelines recommend no more than 14 units per week. Make sure you also have some drink-free days each week!
Cholesterol busting recipes
Want to try and reduce your cholesterol levels, but not sure where to begin changing your diet? Here at Active Nation we want to make sure that you can reduce your cholesterol, without reducing the fantastic flavours in your foods. This is why we have put together a variety of cholesterol busting recipes that you must try out!
Baked Savoy Cabbage Parcels are a tasty, nutritious and filling way to get your greens, whilst also curbing that cholesterol. An all-round winner at Active Nutrition! Another vibrant and warming option is this Roasted Root Vegetable dinner. Easy to make, this one promises to please on those colder evenings!
Just in case your sweet-tooth is craving a treat after all that cholesterol cutting, we’ve got you covered! For some Halloween fun, turn all that leftover pumpkin goodness into this perfect Pumpkin Pie.
So, there you have it, some great ways for you to reduce cholesterol and improve overall health. Make National Cholesterol Month your reason to reduce your saturated fat intake, keep active, and fill up on flavour!