Getting your cholesterol levels checked on a consistent basis is the key to living a healthy life. According to the American Heart Association, those who have cholesterol levels higher than 240 mg/dl are at double the risk of having a heart attack as opposed to those who have cholesterol levels <200 mg/dl.
- Include “good” fats in your diet such as avocados, olive oil, and nuts.
- Eliminate saturated fat intake and trans fats.
- Try substituting tofu and soybeans instead of meat.
- Increase your intake of omega 3 fatty acids, found in fish. Try salmon, albacore tuna, sardines and lake trout. Try to make your goal of eating fish 3-5 times a week.
- Incorporating more fiber in the diet can aid in lowering cholesterol as well. You can get this fiber from beans, vegetables, fruits and whole grain products. Snacking on apples is a great way to get your serving of needed fruit while helping to lower cholesterol levels.
- Make sure to get enough Folic Acid which helps to decrease elevated levels of homocysteine, which may contribute to the risk of heart disease and stroke. Folic Acid can be found in such foods as green leafy vegetables which include spinach and broccoli. Beans and peas are also a good source of Folic Acid.
- Make all starches whole grains. Instead of your usual breakfast treats, try ½ to 1 cup cooked oatmeal daily.
- Add 1 tablespoon of ground milled flaxseed one to two times per day to yogurts, cottage cheese, soup, omelets, and cereal.