5 Ways To Lower Cholesterol

Click here to watch my new video: 5 Ways to Lower Cholesterol 

Click here to watch!
Click here to watch!

What’s the number one cause of death in America? According to the CDC, it’s heart disease. The preventable, unnecessary, easily avoidable, heart disease.  Half of men >65 years old are prescribed expensive statin medications that cause obnoxious side effects like muscle pain. Here’s 5 tips to decrease cholesterol naturally.

1. Minimize Dietary Cholesterol and Saturated Fat

Cholesterol and saturated fat stick to our blood vessels and cause them to narrow, leading to erectile dysfunction and heart disease
Cholesterol and saturated fat stick to our blood vessels and cause them to narrow, leading to erectile dysfunction and heart disease

Cholesterol is only found in animal foods like meat, dairy, eggs, butter, and mayonnaise, and products containing animal foods like pastries, ice cream, cakes, and cookies.  Our livers make cholesterol to help fat travel in the blood.  Cholesterol is not a nutrient and it is not necessary to eat it.

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Meat consumption is associated with a 25% greater risk of coronary heart disease

Saturated fat is fat that is solid at room temperature.  Most animal fats are saturated (fish being the exception).  Be sure to avoid processed  and red meats and high fat animal products like cheeses and creams.

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A few years after experiencing erectile dysfunction, one is likely to have a heart attack.

2. Portion Control Healthy Fats

There are lots of benefits to a little bit of healthy fat but be sure to remember the two key words here, LITTLE BIT! Healthy fats would be the fats from plant sources or ones that are liquid at room temperature, like avocado, olives, almonds, sunflower seeds, and olive oil.  The general rule is 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fat is enough per meal.  Think of it as a garnish, not a main event.  Try these 10 tips to help decrease fat intake:

  1. Steam, boil, or bake food instead of frying it.  Be sure to use parchment paper instead of spraying pans with oil. It is super quick clean up and very effective non-stick.
  2. Sautee in water, it tastes the same!
  3. Buy a nonstick pan, I have made perfect pancakes without any oil
  4. Replace some of the oil in recipes with apple sauce
  5. Instead of eggs try making a “flax/chia egg”: 1 to 3 ratio- 1 tablespoon of ground flax or chia to 3 tablespoons of water, combine and let sit for about 10 minutes to let it form a gel.  Or, a mashed banana also works as a great egg alternative.
  6. Choose low fat plant based alternatives when it comes to meat, cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, milk
  7. Incorporate more products that are already naturally fat free like salsa, fat free marinara, jelly and jam
  8. Instead of snacking on fatty snack foods like chips, try pretzels, fat free organic popcorn, fat free granola, or rice cakes
  9. Be sure to read ingredients labels and look out for any added fats and oils, especially “hydrogenated oils” because those are trans fats!
  10. When you go out to eat, ask for dressing on the side so you can control how much fat you are eating and let them know you are sensitive to oil so they won’t sprinkle any extra on top of your food.

3. Eat Plenty of Plant Foods

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The American Heart Association did not hold back when recommending plant foods like grains, vegetables, and fruits. 4-5 servings of fruit a day! That could be 5 bananas!

Plant foods like grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds are all sources of fiber.  Soluble fiber has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels.

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4. Exercise!

The American Council of Exercise says most adults could gain substantial health benefits from 2 1/2 hours of weekly moderate intensity exercise, such as brisk walking or gardening.  That’s only 30 minutes a day 5 days a week! Our hearts are muscles too- gotta work those out!

5. Make Stress Your Friend

Health psychologist Kelly McGonigal has a great talk about recent research showing if we believe that the stress response is a good thing, the negative effects decrease.  Definitely watch her talk and remember: our stress is good! It makes us perform better, and there is nothing that we can’t handle.

Click here to watch my new video: 5 Ways to Lower Cholesterol 

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Texas A&M University in Kingsville- My New Home

From Purdue to green Vermont:

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to working at the Organic Garden Cafe in Massachusetts:

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to yoga on the edge of the North Shore:

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To Paoli to Pcutie and Kyle gettin’ hitched!

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Congrats P Cutie and Kyle <3 !!!
Congrats Pcutie and Kyle!!!

to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky:

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to Chi City climbin’ and eatin pizza and burgerz:

Whole Foods multigrain crust with Vegan Cheese, loaded her up with our fixin's from the salad bar
Whole Foods multigrain crust with Vegan Cheese, loaded her up with our fixin’s from the salad bar
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100% Vegan Native Food’s Chicken Bacon Avocado Club and Chili Cheese Fries

to lots of hope in Hope, Arkansas

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Finally to my new home:

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Doesn’t it look like paradise? Texas is another country!  Palm trees and massive flat nothingness, random watermelon stands and banana trees.

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Class began on Monday, July 6th.  There was lots of review, but what I got out of it most was the negative vibe of what working in the hospital as a dietitian is like.  The professor made it clear that a hospital is not where you can take the time to cure a person completely, it is where you get them well enough quick enough to leave as soon as possible.  It was made clear that the hospital food is awful, and that no matter what condition a person has, whether cancer or colitis, they all have to get the same hospital food, just modified in different ways.  He also made it clear that it is all corruption because the longer kidney patients need to go to a dialysis center like Devita, the more money Devita will make.

Bottom line: Hospitals are a business, and sick people make that business happen.

I could feel the frustration spewing from my grad professor with every detail he said about his experiences.  You just don’t have enough time to talk to all of the patients.  So sad.

I was personally most frustrated to hear that a lot of patients think the food sucks so they won’t eat.  Not only do they think the food sucks, but the food isn’t being prepared by dietitians, it is being prepared by average Joe’s who don’t really know what the different patients need.

Maybe in the future, they will have Raw Vegan Chef, RD’s working in the hospital kitchens 🙂

For now, I am so excited to make a difference in the Kingsville/ Corpus Christi area, and it is fun making new friends and adventuring to new places.

tx4Click here to see my 4th of July experience!

Cheers to adventuring! xx