High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your liver produces. It’s vital for the formation of cell membranes, vitamin D, and certain hormones. Having too much of it is extremely harmful to one’s health and if feeling exhausted no matter how much sleep you are getting; it could be a warning sign.
Feeling tired even after doing just a bit of exertion is a sign of high cholesterol.
The extreme fatigue accompanied with a shortness of breath often go hand-in-hand with warning signs of the condition.
Too much cholesterol in the blood directly affects the heart and may result in an increase in cardiac-related illnesses. Increasing cholesterol also increases the risk of heart attack.
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According to Healthline, symptoms of high cholesterol can include:
- Chest pain
- Extreme fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the neck, jaw, upper abdomen, or back
- Numbness or coldness in your extremities.
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Diet plays a key role in reducing high cholesterol and certain items have been touted for their cholesterol-lowering properties.
One such item belongs to the root vegetable family – carrots.
Intake of carrots has been linked to lower cholesterol levels in human and animal studies.
In a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, participants who ate 200 grams of raw carrot for breakfast each day for three weeks observed an 11 percent reduction in their serum cholesterol.
To reduce your cholesterol, try to cut down on fatty food, especially food that contains a type of fat called saturated fat.
Saturated fat raises LDL cholesterol levels – a harmful type of cholesterol that gums up the inside of your arteries.
According to the NHS, saturated fat can be found in the following:
- Meat pies, sausages and fatty meat
- Butter, lard and ghee
- Cream and hard cheese, like cheddar
- Cakes and biscuits
- Food that contains coconut oil or palm oil
Dietician Helen Bond said: “Cholesterol can change quite quickly, which is why exercise and eating healthy should be embedded into your everyday routine.
“But we’re talking a few weeks, rather than days – the odd meal or day where you eat a bit more than usual (including too much saturated fat) won’t make a difference to your cholesterol levels in the long run, but if your healthy eating and exercise habits have totally gone out the window during the lockdown, this could have a big impact on your cholesterol levels and your weight.
“Therefore, if your habits have changed over lockdown, now’s the time to reinstate healthy eating habits and get daily exercise (within UK Government guidelines to stay active and stay safe) before those new overindulgences become a habit that’s hard to break.”
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