Research has suggested that there is a link between stress and abnormal levels of fats in the blood. Those with stressful jobs were found to have higher levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol and lower levels of "good" HDL cholesterol, which may increase risk of heart disease. So what can you do to reduce your risk?
Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce your LDL cholesterol and increase your HDL cholesterol levels. So why not build a regular, gentle workout into your timetable to help encourage a healthier cholesterol balance? Aerobic activities such as brisk walking, running and cycling are especially good at conditioning the heart and increasing circulation.
When trying to balance cholesterol levels, try the following simple swaps:-
- Swap red meat for fish, poultry and vegetable proteins (beans, lentils, quinoa) at least twice a week
- Swap high fat dairy products for lower fat alternatives
- Swap butter and other saturated fats for monosaturated oils such as olive oil
- Swap trans fats from fast foods for essential fats from oily fish, nuts and seeds
- Swap refined carbohydrates (white bread, white rice, white pasta etc.) for fibre-rich whole grain alternatives (such as wholemeal bread and pasta, brown rice and oats)