Cholesterol 101

September 08, 2014

Are you struggling with maintaining healthy cholesterol levels or know someone who is? Well, September is National Cholesterol Education Month and here are SupermarketGuru’s top tips for keeping cholesterol levels in check...

September is National Cholesterol Education Month and SupermarketGuru wants to remind you of some great ways to keep your cholesterol at healthy levels. Here are some tips to keep you on track and your cholesterol levels healthy.

Stock up on soluble fiber. Fiber, specifically soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol by binding with it in the digestive tract and helping it pass through the body. Choose beans and lentils, apples, oats, barley, carrots and freshly ground flaxseed and chia seeds.

Use fresh garlic when cooking. Garlic has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels.

Brew some green tea. The antioxidants in green tea have been shown to help lower cholesterol and prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

Snack on almonds. Studies have demonstrated almonds ability to lower LDL cholesterol as well as blood sugar levels – yes a 1-2 punch.

Avoid trans-fat. Read food labels, specifically the ingredient lists and stay away from items that list “partially hydrogenated oil” on the label. Reading all food labels is essential, even if the nutrition facts states 0 trans fats.

Stay away from sugars. Cutting back on the sugary foods in your diet can have a positive impact on your cholesterol levels. Sugars are a main source of inflammation in the body, which triggers cholesterol.

According to the Society for Vascular Surgery website, cholesterol from eggs, pasture raised, grass fed meats, and dairy foods, when consumed with a whole foods based diet, in moderation is not harmful. The oxidized or overcooked, corn fed sourced meat and other products are where we can run into trouble.

A study from the Chinese University in Hong Kong isolated oxidized cholesterol in foods and found that it both increases total cholesterol levels and promotes atherosclerosis; the hardening of the arteries. 

It is also recommended that you exercise – for at least 30 minutes a day and reduce excess weight for those with waist size more than 40 inches for men; more than 35 inches for women. And if you are a smoker, now is the time to quit!