High cholesterol diet: Five cooking methods to slash your risk of heart disease
High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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High cholesterol impacts an estimated 39 percent of UK adults, however, due to its lack of clear symptoms, many people do not realise they have it. As a result, if left untreated, the condition can lead to heart disease – which is why it is often referred to as a “silent killer”.
High cholesterol and heart disease can develop for a number of reasons, including hereditary factors.
However, the NHS notes that diet choices can be a leading factor in developing both conditions.
The NHS states: “It’s important to keep your cholesterol in check because high cholesterol levels increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
“Adopting healthy habits, such as eating a healthy, balanced diet and keeping active, can also help prevent your cholesterol levels becoming high in the first place.”
Being aware of the types of fat you are getting in your diet is an important step in the journey to eating healthier.
There are two main fats to be aware of: saturated and unsaturated.
Saturated fat, which is found in foods such as meat pies, sausages and fatty cuts of meat, hard cheeses and biscuits, is often thought of as “bad fat”.
According to the NHS: “Most people in the UK eat too much saturated fat.”
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Eliminating these types of food from your diet is certainly one way to go about reducing your intake of saturated fat, but opting for new cooking methods could also play a crucial role in cutting down on the overall amount of fat in your diet.
The NHS says this is a key way to “reduce your risk of heart disease”.
Instead of roasting or frying, consider grilling, steaming, poaching or boiling your foods.
The reason frying can up your intake of fat is that typically, this involves using a lot of oil.
Pan-frying is generally considered to be healthier than deep frying or shallow frying because the food will absorb less oil and have less fat and fewer calories.
However, the oil you are cooking with is still purely fat, with no other key nutrients.
Once again, if you choose to roast your food with high levels of oil, this can also contribute to an intake of extra fat.
When it comes to using oils, vegetable oils and spreads are cited as being a better alternative.
These include things like rapeseed, sunflower, olive or vegetable oil.
The NHS also recommends people try to switch out high-fat foods for “small amounts” of those which are rich in unsaturated fats.
These include oily fish, such as mackerel and salmon, nuts such as almonds and cashews, seeds and avocados.
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