Do you understand what makes your heart healthy? Do you know what the connection is between high cholesterol and heart health? And do you understand how you might be able to alter your diet and lifestyle to make your heart healthier?
One in three Australians aged 18 years and over have had abnormal or high total cholesterol levels so, fact is, it has likely impacted you or someone you know. But, with a little awareness, there are lots of small things you can do to help keep your cholesterol levels down and keep your heart healthy.
For those of you embarking on a journey to a healthier heart, HeartActive Milk has partnered with nutritionist Tara Diversi to develop Your Heart Healthy Lifestyle Plan: a free guide with information on what you can do to help reduce your cholesterol levels and tips to improve your heart health. The healthy eating meal plan and delicious recipes will help get your heart on track.
What are Tara’s top tips for boosting your heart health?
Understand your diet better
– Swap foods that are high in unhealthy fats (saturated fats found in the fat on meat, chicken skin and in many processed foods) with foods that are high in heart friendly fats (unsaturated fats found in fish and plant foods like nuts and avocados).
– Include plant sterols into your everyday diet. Plant sterols can help lower your cholesterol and are found in small amounts in foods such as oils, nuts, seeds and vegetables. There are also plant sterol enriched foods available, which can help achieve an adequate dietary intake to help lower cholesterol.
– Increase your fibre intake by consuming wholegrain breads and cereals, and plenty of fruit and vegetables
“For a healthy heart, we should focus on a balanced diet that includes smart carbs, good fats, soluble fibre, and plant sterols,” comments nutritionist Catherine Saxelby, APD, one of the experts quoted in the plan.
Change your mindset to consider heart and body health as a priority
Listen more closely to your body’s messages. Is it really hungry or are you just bored and looking for ways to fill time or space in your life? Consider planning your meals a few days in advance and actively selecting the right types of food to eat. And consider eating at the dinner table rather than on the couch or while you’re doing something else. Eating mindfully will help you to understand when you’re satisfied rather than full.
Add exercise to get that heart pumping harder
Every bit of exercise you can get will count towards your heart health so don’t disregard any opportunity to increase your physical activity levels. Try to get 3-5 hours of cardiovascular exercise in a week, increasing daily little by little if you are starting from a sedentary base.
Download Your Heart Healthy Lifestyle Plan here for free and try out the diet and lifestyle tips that are detailed inside, and tell us… Have you been impacted by heart health and cholesterol concerns in yours or a loved one’s life?
This article is sponsored by Heart Active Milk and has bee specifically prepared for the readers of Starts at 60.