Updated: Sep 20
Are your cholesterol and/or triglycerides are above normal? Want to improve your lipid profile through food and lifestyle?
Prioritize the following nutrients in your diet, and implement these habits into your daily routine.
Commit and practice for a minimum of three months, and you’re likely to see some pleasing changes in your cardiovascular health and beyond!
Where to get it:
Whole grains, like oats, brown rice, bulgur and farro
How to get enough:
Aim for one cup of vegetables with each meal
Enjoy two cups of fruit divided among meals or snacks throughout the day.
Trade in an animal-based meal for one with protein-rich, fiber-packed beans. Instead of a hamburger, try a black bean burger. Better yet, serve it on a salad!
Note: a higher fiber intake calls for a higher water intake. Be sure to drink at least 8 cups regularly throughout the day!
Monounsaturated Fat & Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Where to get them:
Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines and tuna
How to get enough:
Incorporate 4-8 ounces of fatty fish once or twice a week.
Pair your morning eggs with half an avocado
Add ¼ cup of nuts and/or seeds to oatmeal or homemade muesli with dried fruits; or enjoy nuts and seeds with dark chocolate and dried fruits for a healthy dessert.
Drizzle salad with extra virgin olive oil and vinegar
Supplement up to 4 grams of fish oil daily
Where to get it:
B-complex supplement, or daily multivitamin
How to get enough:
Have lentil chili for lunch or dinner
Try a mayo-free lemony tuna salad for lunch
If you eat red meat, enjoy grass-fed cuts a few times a month
Have sardines for a snacky lunch with hummus, fresh veggies, and grainy crackers
Pair a banana or an apple with a spoonful of natural peanut butter
Add brown rice to a meal, or use it as an ingredient in lunch/dinner recipes
Stick to a moderate alcohol consumption
Women, if your alcohol intake is over 1 drink a day… Men, if your alcohol intake is over 2 drinks a day… and your triglycerides are too high, you’re likely to see an improvement to your triglycerides with reduction or elimination of alcohol.
As with reducing sugar, can you track your intake? Can you spot any causes for the more-than-moderate consumption? Let’s devise a plan for healthy and rewarding progress.
Engage in Aerobic Exercise.
It’s time to get serious: 45-60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (high-intensity if you’re up to it), five days a week could really benefit your lipid profile. Not only can exercise bring about physical benefits to your cardiovascular system right away, it also supports a healthy metabolism and potential weight loss, which is especially good for triglycerides. If your triglycerides or cholesterol are elevated, and you need to lose weight, aiming for a 5-10% weight loss could lead to good results with your blood lipids.
Chronic stress can lead to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and hormonal imbalances, all of which are risk factors for our cardiovascular health. Gain control of stress and stressful situations by implementing a caring attitude: Nourish your body daily, especially with the nutrients indicated above. Prioritize taking breaks and deep breaths. Practice optimism. And stay active. Even if you’re not quite ready or able to do the amount of exercise mentioned above, start with movement you enjoy!
Is your daily schedule adding to your stress?
Check out The Self Care Daily Planner! The only tool that will enable you to track, notice and prioritize all your totally normal human needs like food and water, rest, goals, and even FUN, along with all the things you've got to get done every day. It's the daily planner you've been longing for; the one that recognizes you're not a machine whose only purpose is productivity. Once you start using this planner, you just might wonder how you ever managed to get stuff done without also prioritizing your wellbeing before.
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Doughty, K. N., Del Pilar, N. X., Audette, A., & Katz, D. L. (2017). Lifestyle Medicine and the Management of Cardiovascular Disease. Current cardiology reports, 19(11), 116. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11886-017-0925-z
Simha V. (2020). Management of hypertriglyceridemia. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 371, m3109. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m3109
The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website. If you're interested in making dietary changes, guidance from a nutrition expert is highly advised. Please email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
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