Monday, September 8, 2008

Change 5 to Lower Cholesterol


Remember the old saying "There are many roads to Rome"?

When it comes to the state of health whether your concern is cholesterol, heart disease or stroke it is no different. You took many roads to get where you are. Most likely you will need to take many roads back. It is good for you to remember it took some time for your state of health to develop to where it is now. Getting back is not an over night process. There is no one solution and no quick fix.

You can begin by asking yourself "how did I get here?" Your health and well being is complicated with many factors to consider. Your sleep or sleeplessness. The amount of activity (exercise) you do or not, what and how much you eat, drink. Your feelings, thoughts and those around you who care or do not "care" for you. Some of what you were born into is in the mix but just a little (10 -30% is genetic).

On the road to better health remember, one change will not do it, several small changes will make a big difference in the long run. Let's start with 5.
  1. Eat a fiber rich breakfast.
  2. Switch to whole grains.
  3. Eat beans.
  4. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
  5. Eat foods rich in omega 3's.

Suggested foods

Breakfast:
Make a habit of eating breakfast. Breakfast improves mental clarity, reduces weight gain, increases weight loss and increases your chances of adding fiber to your diet. The more fiber you eat the lower your blood sugar and cholesterol.
  • Whole grain cereal - greater than 8 grams of fiber
  • Oatmeal - add almonds, walnuts, berries, cinnamon
  • Soy yogurt (unflavored) - add fresh fruit, apples, berries, oranges, almonds
  • Peanut butter (all natural, low sugar) - with apples, pears, celery, carrots
  • Smoothie - Soy or almond milk, yogart, fruit, flax seeds or flax oil, soy protein powder
Omega 3: Eat fish 3 times per week.
Research supports increasing omega 3 in your diet will reduce blood pressure, reduce inflammation, reduce risk of blood clots, decreases brain fog and in some cases depression. (www.nordicnaturals.com, www.coromega.com)
  • Salmon
  • walnuts
  • almonds
  • avocados
  • flax seeds, flax oil
Whole Grains:
Adding whole grains reduces LDL (bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol, the body's insulin requirement thus lowers blood sugar (Type 2 diabetes) and reduces risk of many cancers. The recommendation for daily fiber is 35 grams. For example: 1 1/2 cups of oatmeal = 6 grams.
  • Barley
  • Brown rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • Millet
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole-wheat bread, pasta or crackers
  • Wild rice
Beans: Beans are a major player is the fight against cancer, high in protien, high in fiber, anti-inflamitory andlower cholesterol and also impact diabetes. (www.nutritiondata.com)
  • Add 1/2 cup 4 times per week. Add to soups, salads, dip ect.
Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are the only way to clean up oxidative stress in your body. Oxidative stress impacts DNA, immune system and inflammatory process. The anti- oxidents in fruits and vegetables are critical to the state of your health or dis-eas. When you eat fruits and vegetables you feel more energetic, awake, improves digestion, impacts depression and every chronic disease including cholesterol management. (www.yourjuiceplus.com)

Fresh, raw, is best, blanched, lightly steamed is OK.
  • 2 cups/day children
  • 6 cups/day for women
  • 7 cups/day for men

The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association no longer recommends taking supplements of antioxidants to prevent cardiovascular disease. They recommend getting your antioxidants from whole foods.

Food for Thought: Every state of health or dis-ease is impacted and improved by the nutrition you put into your body. There is no disease that is improved by bad nutrition. - Dr. Paul Williams, Emergancy Room Physician

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