It’s never too early to start keeping cholesterol in check. A study published in the American College of Cardiology’s medical journal found that people with a natural genetic predisposition to low levels of cholesterol have as high as a fifty-to-sixty percent reduced risk of developing heart disease! By adopting a lifestyle of exercise and healthy eating, you can keep heart disease at bay. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Are you among those 50 and up adults who didn’t pay as close an attention to diet and exercise as you should have? The good news is that you could still benefit from a healthy intervention of your own making. If you’re at risk of heart disease, or you’ve been diagnosed with high blood cholesterol, then the following list will be especially of interest to you. Let’s have a look at this step-by-step map from Canada’s Heart and Stroke Foundation, which was designed to help individuals effectively manage their cholesterol levels.
1. Request that your doctor check your cholesterol levels if the following apply:
- You are a 40+ male, or post-menopausal 50+ female
- You have diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure or heart disease
- Your waist measures 40+ inches (male) or 35+ inches (female)
- For individuals of S. Asian or Chinese descent, your waist measures 35+ inches (male) and 32+ inches (female)
- You have a family history of stroke or heart disease
2. Check your fat intake to ensure that it is no higher than 35% of your total daily calories
3. Make sure you’re getting enough polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats – those are the healthy ones. You can find them in vegetable oils, nuts and fish .
4. Saturated fats should be limited to no more than 7% of your daily calories. Saturated fats are found in red meat and high-fat dairy products.
5. Avoid trans fats, as they raise bad cholesterol and lower the good cholesterol. Trans fats tend to be found in food made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils – including hard margarines, fast food, and premade meals.
6. Use the Canada Food Guide while preparing your healthy menu. Include lots of fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
7. Bake, broil or steam foods rather than frying them.
8. Quit smoking.
9. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise per week. Make sure each workout is at least 10 minutes long.
10. Maintain a healthy BMI and take regular waist measurements.
Recommendations for Healthy Eating
Canada’s Food Guide recommends that both men and women over age 50 eat 7 daily servings of vegetables and fruit. Include a dark green vegetable like asparagus, romaine lettuce, or broccoli – and an orange vegetable such sweet potatoes or carrots. Ensure that half of your daily grain products are whole grains. Oatmeal, quinoa, bulgur, brown and wild rice are all great suggestions.
It’s recommended that you enjoy rainbow trout, salmon or sardines about twice a week. Lentils, beans and tofu are great, too – rich in protein, they provide an viable alternative to meat. Low fat milk and fortified or soy beverages are also excellent sources of protein.
If you’re over age 50, ask your doctor if you ought to be taking a Vitamin D supplement. A Vitamin D deficiency could double your risk of heart attack or stroke.
Make a resolution to lower cholesterol
Begin your journey is by asking the dietician of our retirement community to assist you in the creation of a meal plan. Your next objective will then be to maintain a regular exercise routine. Why not find an exercise buddy and sign up for a fitness class together? It’s an excellent way to keep each other motivated. Keeping LDL cholesterol levels in check is a great idea – so start as early as possible, and reduce your risk of heart disease today!
About the author: This article was written by Alice Lucette, a blogger from Canada.