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Rethink Your Choices to Outsmart Cholesterol

By Sandy Schroeder

It's hard to escape the warnings about cholesterol and the threat of heart disease but you may be able to rebalance your cholesterol by making key changes. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, "Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in the blood. The body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, but high levels of cholesterol can increase the risk of heart disease." 

When high cholesterol occurs, fatty deposits can develop in the blood vessels and gradually reduce the flow of blood through the arteries. If a deposit breaks and a clot is formed, it can cause a heart attack or stroke.  

Take Steps to Prevent High Cholesterol 

Start now to take charge. 

  • See your doctor to test for cholesterol and discuss  weight, lifestyle and overall health.  
  • Lose extra pounds and control weight 
  • Exercise daily for at least 30 minutes 
  • Quit smoking 
  • Drink alcohol in moderation or not at all 
  • Manage stress 

Put Your Food to Work for You 

Check this list of recommended foods and match it with your family's tastes. Then shop farmers market and the fresh fish market as you look for special recipes in sites such as Epicurious.com to spice up your meals. Finally, cook and bake at home as much as possible and sit down to supper with family and friends to relax and regroup. 

Smart Food Choices 

Here are some foods that will help reduce bad cholesterol. 

  • Old Fashioned Oats - Add berries and enjoy for breakfast or bake oatmeal cookies
  • Black beans, kidney beans, lentils  - Make chili, black bean tacos or lentil soup
  • Dark chocolate - Enjoy in moderation 
  • Red wine - Enjoy a glass at dinner 
  • Avocados - Make guacamole or avocado toast 
  • Cabbage - Add to vegetable soup or make fresh coleslaw 
  • Barley - Make homemade soup with lots of veggies 
  • Nuts - Pick almonds, walnuts and pistachios
  • Salmon  - Grill with veggies or make salmon patties
  • Olive oil - Saute veggies, create salad dressings 
  • Yogurt - Add cocoa and peanut butter to low fat Greek yogurt for a new breakfast choice, or create a cucumber dip with dill and green onion.
  • Pears - Serve for snacks or create a pear dessert
  • Eggplant  - Make Eggplant Parmesan or bake and mash with spices to make an easy  dip
  • Apples - Pack in lunches or turn into an apple pie or tart

Wherever you are in your cholesterol story, take it seriously and check with your doctor to stay on top of your health numbers. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Hoboken, N.J.

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