Oats: oats contain a special form of soluble fibre that helps to reduce cholesterol. You can have 45g oat bran or 40g plain porridge oats as your Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice.
Oily fish: rich in omega-3s, oily fish can help increase levels of HDL (good cholesterol). Salmon, sardines, trout and unsmoked mackerel all count and are Free.
Two Food Optimising-Friendly Foods To Help Lower Cholesterol Photo Gallery
A Closer Look At Cholesterol
You can’t see it, you can’t feel it, yet your cholesterol can have a crucial impact on your health. And, according to Heart UK, more than half of adults have raised cholesterol levels, increasing our risk of heart disease and stroke. ‘Most cholesterol is made by the liver and it’s carried around the bloodstream by two types of protein: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL),’ says Dr Sarah-Elizabeth Bennett, Slimming World’s nutrition research assistant.
‘LDL cholesterol is known as bad cholesterol, as it encourages artery walls to harden and “fur up”, while HDL cholesterol is known as good cholesterol because it carries cholesterol away from our arteries and back to the liver where it’s broken down,’ she explains. Your GP or nurse can diagnose high cholesterol with a blood test. As a general guide, it’s recommended that your total cholesterol levels are 5mmol/L or less (4mmol/L or less for those identified as at high risk), and that your LDL cholesterol levels are 3mmol/L or less (2mmol/L or less for those identified as at high risk). Being overweight and having an unhealthy diet are two of the risk factors for high cholesterol. Recent research shows that people who lost 5-10 per cent of their body weight had significant reductions in LDL cholesterol – so if you’re losing weight through Food Optimising, the good news is you’re already helping your health… The power of fibre Foods rich in soluble fibre can help lower your cholesterol.
Why? Because soluble fibre reduces the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed into your bloodstream. So fill up on Free and Speed Free fruit and veg, as well as beans, pulses and lentils. Syn sense Cutting down on saturated fat is one of the simplest and most effective ways to lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. Saturated fat can be found in many high-Syn foods, such as fatty cuts of meat, full-fat dairy, and cakes and biscuits – so it’s good to know that if you’re Food Optimising, you’ll be eating less of these already. Move it to lose it Not only does getting more active support weight loss, it also helps fight cholesterol. ‘Exercising regularly helps increase HDL (good cholesterol) and move more LDL (bad cholesterol) to the liver, where it’s expelled,’ says Sarah-Elizabeth Bennett. ‘It also appears to increase the size of the LDLs – bigger particles are less harmful because they can’t squeeze into the linings of the heart and blood vessels as easily.’