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High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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From well-stocked liquor cabinets to a selection of tasty puddings, Christmas is not exactly a time when people decide to exercise moderation. While indulging once a year is perfectly acceptable, constant poor dietary decisions can raise your high cholesterol, hiking your risk of cardiovascular problems. It is therefore crucial to enjoy the festive season without overdoing it. Fortunately, a nutritionist shares that some Christmas favourites can be actually good for your cholesterol levels.

Between decadent cheese boards and pigs in blankets, the Christmas period isn’t the most wonderful time of the year for your cholesterol levels.

Dairy products and processed meats that often end up on the festive menu are packed with saturated fat, which can hike your risk of “bad” cholesterol, also known as LDL cholesterol.

This type is responsible for laying the groundwork for heart disease and strokes, according to the NHS.

While one day is not going to hurt your levels, diflucan bij zwangerschap you might be glad to know that there are some popular Christmas foods that could actually help keep your cholesterol in check.

Rob Hobson, a Registered Nutritionist who sees private clients, told Express.co.uk that nut roast, lean turkey and Brussels sprouts could complement your levels.

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Nut roast 

According to survey of 2,000 Brits polled by Treedom, a quarter are planning to have a classic nut roast or a pasta dish instead of turkey this year, and they might be onto something.

With various nuts wrapped in festive packaging currently taking over supermarket shelves, nuts are undoubtedly a Christmas staple.

Whether you opt for a nut roast, make a stuffing or enjoy the small snack on its own, Mr Hobson explained that nuts are packed with good fats, known as unsaturated fats, that can help lower your levels of bad cholesterol.

Mr Hobson said: “[This fat] changes the balance, so it causes the liver to produce more HDL [good] cholesterol which is the healthy type. You’re increasing your HDL but lowering your LDL.”

The expert also suggested pairing your nut roast or stuffing with oats to enhance the cholesterol-busting effect. The tiny foods contain a type of soluble fibre called beta glucans which can help decrease the absorption of cholesterol in your intestinal tract.

Turkey

While nut roast is becoming increasingly more popular, turkey remains the number one food option for Britons. Fortunately, sticking to lean meat and eating it without the skin could also offer a helping hand for your levels.

Mr Hobson said: “Sticking to lean proteins means they’ve got very little fat, so obviously they’re very low in saturated fats.”

While the turkey cells don’t contain anything special that can bust your levels, the lean meat offers a healthier option.

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If neither turkeys nor nut roasts don’t belong on your Christmas menu, salmon makes for a good option as well. “That’s a good source of Omega-3s which is good for your cholesterol,” the nutritionist added.

Brussels sprouts

Love them or hate them, Brussels sprouts are another integral part of the Christmas menu, with countless recipes offering new takes on the traditional food.

If you enjoy sprouts, that’s great, but Mr Hobson explained that any vegetables on your table could help keep cholesterol in check. So carrots and parsnips are also a fair game.

“Including loads of vegetables is good for cholesterol because they contain fibre, so any vegetables you can eat are good.

“You might want to be careful of cooking your Brussels sprouts in pancetta or bacon because that’s obviously got high amounts of saturated fat.”

Mr Hobson suggested using flavours like garlic, onion and chilli to season the green veggies. Furthermore, the nutritionist also explained that reaching for olive oil instead of goose fat could be another healthy choice for your cholesterol.

While all of these foods and swaps can ensure you keep up your good practices even at Christmas, Mr Hobson also stressed that one day won’t hurt your levels.

He added: “I definitely think – don’t get too hung up on this – because it is Christmas Day.

“The caveat here is that it’s just one day of the year. But if you want to keep your good habits up to lower cholesterol, then maybe these are just some things that you might want to think about.”

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