Health, they say, is wealth. Every individual no matter the situation or condition should try as much as possible to be healthy, especially with the types of food we eat.
Now it’s one thing to claim you’re healthy but a whole different story to maintain it. What do I mean by this? Most people eat whatever they like not considering the consequences it will bring to them health wise.
After much consideration and research, I have chosen ‘CHOLESTEROL’ to be this post’s theme. Why? Cholesterol is increasingly becoming a pressing issue in today’s society, especially in people of colour. However, it is something that is often ignored, maybe due to a lack of awareness to what it actually is.
Cholesterol is a steroid lipid (fat) found in the blood of all animals and is necessary for proper functioning of our cell membranes and production of hormones. While there can be negative health risks associated with low cholesterol, cholesterol deficiency is rare. Our bodies already manufacture all the cholesterol we need, so it is not necessary to consume more. Excessive consumption of cholesterol has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Some foods that contain higher Cholesterol than others are these (so it might be idea to limit your intake of these):
- Dairy products
- Meat, shrimp/ fish (including caviar) and egg yolks
- Baked goods
- Fast foods
Believe it or not, there are a variety of foods to include in a low cholesterol diet. The most important factor in considering any diet that lowers cholesterol is watching the amount and types of fats that you consume. ‘Unsaturated fats’, also known as your ‘Good Fats’, is Heart – Healthy and can actually lower your LDL cholesterol, (or ‘bad’ cholesterol). It is important that most of the facts you do consume in your diet should from this category.
Foods that are high in unsaturated fats include;
- Nuts such as walnuts and pistachios
- Fish (especially salmon)
- Olive oil
- Seeds such as sunflower seeds
- Whole grains such as oatmeal, flaxseed and wheat bread
- Chicken and Turkey (any spare fat you see attached to the meat should also be trimmed away)
- Fruits and vegetables.
For those of you who particularly struggle with high cholesterol, recommended that you buy a cholesterol test kit to monitor your cholesterol levels at home and see which diet works best for you.
As the holiday season approaches, don’t use it as an excuse to pig out. Watch what you eat and how much you consume.
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Author: Onyeka Egbuniwe