Top Nine Ways to Slash Your Cholesterol

Why should I care about my cholesterol level?
High cholesterol is a leading risk factor for heart disease. Excess cholesterol in the bloodstream can form plaque in artery walls. The cholesterol or plaque build-up causes arteries to become thicker, harder and less flexible, slowing down and sometimes blocking blood flow to the heart.

“When blood flow is restricted, angina (chest pain) can result. When blood flow is severely impaired and a clot stops blood flow completely, a heart attack results.”

So…take the following recommendations to heart ♥:

1.) Eat a variety of grain products, including whole grains.

2.) Make the mainstay of your diet fat-free dairy products, fish, legumes (beans), skinless poultry and lean meats are the mainstay of your diet.

3.) Choose fats and oils with liquid/tub margarine, canola and olive oils and no trans fats.

4.) Balance the number of calories you eat with the number you use each day. (To find that number, multiply the number of pounds you weigh now by 15 calories. This represents the average number of calories used in one day if you’re moderately active. If you’re sedentary, multiply your weight by 13 instead of 15. Less-active people burn fewer calories).

5.) Maintain a level of physical activity that keeps you fit and matches the number of calories you eat. Walk or do other activities for at least 30 minutes on most days.

6.) Limit your intake of foods high in calories or low in nutrition, including foods like soft drinks, and candy that have lots of sugars.

7.) Limit foods high in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol, such as whole milk, fatty meats, tropical oils, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and egg yolks.

8.) Try to limit salt. Even if you do not have a heart condition, overdoing on the salt is never a good idea.

9.) Have no more than one alcoholic drink per day if you’re a woman and no more than 2 if you’re a man. Examples of one drink include: 12 oz of beer, 4 oz of wine, 1 ½ oz of 80-proof spirits or 1 oz of 100-proof spirits.