Keeping cholesterol at bay in the summer can seem difficult as we tend to let go and be superficial. Yet, with some advice from doctors and nutritionists we can succeed in the enterprise. And at the same time enjoy the summer season without sacrificing too much our innate light-heartedness.
As the heat sets in, most of us are craving fresh fruit, frozen drinks, and ice cream. But if your blood cholesterol levels are high, consuming these snacks – albeit in moderation – can increase your risk of getting heart disease. Nutritionists suggest that the best way to avoid raising cholesterol is to eat a healthy diet rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. However, if we can’t completely avoid heavy, fatty foods during the summer, there are some tricks that can help us keep cholesterol in check.
With cholesterol in the summer: watch out for sodium and fats
If we are at risk for high cholesterol, we need to pay particular attention to the amount of sodium we consume. This is because sodium increases the amount of cholesterol in the blood. Sodium is present in many foods, such as chips, salted peanuts, pickles, cheeses, and processed meats. So, if you consume these foods, you unknowingly raise your blood cholesterol. Many people believe that by cutting down on salt you can lose weight. But contrary to this common belief, reducing salt actually reduces the risk of heart disease.
Saturated fats are found in meat, dairy products, and some tropical plants such as coconut. These fats are known to raise cholesterol levels in the body. They are also found in industrial and processed foods, so we prefer the consumption of fresh foods such as vegetables, seeds and foods with few condiments.
We also avoid fried foods: they are high in fats that are known to raise blood cholesterol levels. In addition to fried foods, you should also avoid eating baked goods and sweets that are full of trans fats. These fats are also known to raise cholesterol levels.
Diversify your diet and hydrate
Dietary cholesterol is found in animal products such as eggs, fish, milk, poultry and meat. To reduce cholesterol, it is necessary to eliminate or reduce the intake of these foods. Warning: we must not eliminate these foods but limit their consumption and insert foods that reduce the protein intake.
To effectively reduce cholesterol, it is necessary to consume healthy foods rich in vitamins and minerals. Some of the best foods for lowering cholesterol are:
- fruits and vegetables: bananas, pears, apples and carrots are excellent sources of fiber;
- whole grains: millet, quinoa and oats;
- nuts: almonds, walnuts and peanuts.
Drinking lots of water is essential for good health in all seasons. But in the summer it is even more important. In fact, when you sweat, you lose water and micronutrients. Replacing lost fluids with water is the easiest way to rehydrate the body. Water not only helps your body stay hydrated, it is also an effective cholesterol-lowering drink.