We have previously discussed the truths about cholesterol and the links between that and hypertension (high blood pressure)
So what does all this have to do with high blood pressure? If our arteries become subject to plaque formation, our hearts have a harder timepumping blood around a constricted vessel, thereby increasing blood pressure. In addition to high cholesterol, blood pressure can be influenced by other factors: being overweight, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, stress, old age, genetics, and high salt consumption to name a few.
Keeping a healthy cholesterol level is something we should all take some time to think about, so here are a few suggestions:
- Increase the amounts of antioxidants you consume:
Quite simply, eat more colourful vegetables, especially dark leafy greens like kale, swiss chard, broccoli, spring greens and spinach.
- Substitute more saturated fat in your diet for polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and omega 3 fat sources:
To lower LDL levels, aim to substitute more foods higher for the good fats. Monounsaturated and omega 3 fats are also anti-inflammatory, bonus! If you feel like you struggle to get enough good fats in your diet, why not look at PNI’s fish oils, Dr Zak’s Coconut oil, and MCT oil (also a great choice for weight loss)
- Avoid trans fats (also known as trans-fatty acids, and hydrogenated fat) like the plague:
There are some vague claims in the world of health and fitness, but the detrimental effects that trans fat have on health is not one of them. It is a well researched area that shows trans fat consumption is bad for cardiovascular health, lowering HDLs and increasing LDLs.