High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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High cholesterol, alongside high blood pressure, can be drastically affected by the foods you eat. It’s easy to throw caution to the wind during the festive season but, if battling with cholesterol issues, it’s important to pay attention to certain condiments and sauces which may be unwittingly sending your cholesterol to dangerous levels.
There’s a lot of salt in soy sauce around 2.75g per tablespoon, which is almost half the recommended 6g daily maximum, said the British Heart Foundation.
The health site added: “Even reduced-salt versions can contain more than 2g of salt per tablespoon so should be used sparingly.
“Consuming too much salt over time is linked to high blood pressure, so measure out the amount you use with a spoon rather than splashing it straight from the bottle.”
The biggest offenders for sauces increasing cholesterol levels include:
- Ranch dressing
- Tartar sauce
- Fat-free salad dressing
- Barbecue sauce
- Teriyaki sauce.
Condiments and sauces are a great and easy way to add extra flavour, texture, and nutrients to your meals.
Yet, many store-bought condiments can be high in calories, sugar, salt, and other additives.
There are many healthier alternatives, like salsa, tahini, guacamole, or balsamic vinegar.
These condiments are minimally processed and made from wholesome, nutrient-dense ingredients.
It is important to note that most people will not experience symptoms of high cholesterol, particularly in the beginning.
You can only find out if you have it from a blood test.
“Your GP might suggest having a test if they think your cholesterol level could be high,” explains the NHS.
According to the health body, this may be because of your age, weight or another condition you have (like high blood pressure or diabetes).
Following a formal diagnosis of high cholesterol, you’ll be required to make lifestyle changes to lower high levels.
Diet is one of the central pillars of cholesterol control.
Arguably the most important intervention is to cut down on foods high in saturated fat.
“Saturated fats, found primarily in red meat and full-fat dairy products, raise your total cholesterol,” warns the Mayo Clinic.
According to the health body, decreasing your consumption of saturated fats can reduce your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol — the “bad” cholesterol.
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