In many situations in life, it’s very easy to go with your head and not your heart. For emotional and health reasons, we sometimes choose to ignore one of the most important organs in the body. Research published in the American Heart Association Circulation journal found that for every decade you have elevated cholesterol between the ages of 35 and 55, your future risk of heart disease may increase by 39% showing that it is more important than ever to look after your ticker, here are some tips on how.
Keep a balanced diet
As well as helping towards maintaining a healthy weight, sticking to a balanced diet can help prevent high cholesterol and heart disease. In order to keep a balanced diet, the British Heart Foundation has said that you should aim to:
- Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables
- Choose wholegrain varieties wherever possible
- Consume milk and dairy in moderation
- Consume non-dairy sources of protein e.g. meat, eggs, fish and beans in moderation
- Allow a small amount of high in fat/sugar foods but opt for lower options when possible.
The good, the fat and the oily.
When consuming fats the key is to have the right ones, the good (monounsaturated) and the oily (polyunsaturated) and to avoid the bad ones (saturated). Saturated fats increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood which can increase the risk of developing coronary heart disease. Monosaturated fats can be found in olive oil, rapeseed oil, almonds, unsalted cashews and avocado and should be consumed with moderation. Polyunsaturated fats are the healthiest option and can be found in sunflower oil, vegetable oil, walnuts, sunflower seeds and oily fish.
Make exercise a part of your day. We’ve said it before, and we will say it again – if doing the recommended 150minutes of exercise a week is too much for you, go at your own pace and progress steadily. The main thing is to make sure that you do stay active (by walking for example) and set realistic goals for yourself.
We hope that you take these tips on board, and remember that the heart wants what the heart wants…but if it want’s sticky toffee pudding, it might be better to go with your head and not your heart.