Cholesterol too high? GP not happy? Here are five swaps you can make now to help push your cholesterol down.
1. Replace butter with sterol spread
Using a sterol-enriched spread can help reduce ‘bad’ LDL blood cholesterol. Avocado is also a heart-healthy choice.
You need about three tablespoons of spread such as Pro-activ or HeartPlus each day to lower cholesterol by 10 per cent, says the research. Reach that goal by spreading it on a sandwich, melting it over vegies or in mash potato, and drinking a glass of sterol-fortified milk such as HeartActive.
2. Eat oily fish regularly
Replace chicken or meat in some of your meals with oily fish (salmon, sardines, tuna) to boost your levels of ‘good’ HDL blood cholesterol and also reduce the chance of blood clots forming.
A fish oil capsule taken every day will also do the trick.
Aim for two to three oily fish meals a week.
3. Swap low-fibre cereal for oats
Oats and oat bran contain soluble fibre which has been shown to lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol.
Enjoy a bowl of porridge or muesli for breakfast, with a sprinkling of psyllium. Then choose either an oaty muffin as a snack, or include chickpeas, lentils or barley (which are also good sources of soluble fibre) at lunch or dinner each day.
4. Snack on nuts, not chips and salty snacks
Nuts contain healthier fats that have been shown to lower cholesterol and not have an effect on weight. Plus, they’re loaded in satisfying protein and fibre plus antioxidant vitamin E.
Grab a handful (about 30g) of unsalted, raw or roasted nuts as a go-to snack. Thirty grams is approximately 20 almonds or 15 cashews.
5. Add thick yoghurt in place of sour cream
Substitute reduced-fat Greek yoghurt for sour cream to garnish soups and curries and you’ll go from 35 to 10 per cent fat.