Christmas is around the corner, and so is the new year. It’s a time for indulgences that may frequently bring unhealthful changes in our eating patterns.
Studies have shown that many people manage to gain more than 2 kilos with frequent binge eating during the festivities this time of the year. So how do you enjoy yourself, yet maintain your health, and avoid undoing all the good you have accomplished in the year gone by?
Researchers have found that during the first week of January, approximately 90% of people had high levels of LDL, or low-density lipoprotein also referred to as bad cholesterol. If we are not careful, binges around Christmas and New Year’s could have an adverse effect on our health and increase the risk of liver and heart diseases. With binge eating starting off even before the holiday and parties start, taking steps to control cholesterol could help one have more control over their health.
High cholesterol levels, which have a severe impact on heart health, are one of the most common conditions affecting today’s generation. What was previously thought to be an issue related to the elderly is now progressively making its way to young adults as well. Every cell in the body has cholesterol, which plays an important role in the body’s natural processes of boosting numerous bodily functions including food digestion and hormone production. But when cholesterol gets accumulated in the arteries, all hell breaks loose in terms of your heart health.
Some imperative healthy tips that will help you get ready before the Christmas and New Year binge
Indulge in physical activities
Lowering cholesterol requires regular exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. Exercise raises good cholesterol; high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels while lowering bad cholesterol a.k.a. low-density lipoprotein (LDL). In addition to enhancing overall physical fitness, exercise is also good for the heart. It can prove to be quite helpful in the efficient removal of cholesterol from the blood, eventually bringing down bad cholesterol. People who are not active should begin indulging in routine exercises gradually and make it a part of their daily routine.
A small boost in physical activity can positively impact your health and make it easier to go to more intense exercise eventually.
Limit alcohol intake
Start cutting back on your drinking before the season starts. Alcohol use in moderation has been associated with greater HDL cholesterol levels. Even throughout the Christmas season, if you choose to consume alcohol, do it moderately. It has been observed that drinking too much alcohol increases the risk of developing significant health issues such as high blood pressure, heart failure, and strokes, to name a few.
Smoking is injurious to health as it changes the manner in which the body responds to cholesterol. Your HDL cholesterol level improves within a week after quitting smoking. During three months of quitting, your blood flow and lung function start to get better, which helps in the decrease of HDL.
Consume fruits and vegetables regularly
Consuming a lot of fruits and vegetables can increase your intake of key cholesterol-lowering substances. These elements, often known as plant stanols or sterols, function similarly to soluble fibre.
Apples: There are several reasons why they are referred to as the fruit that keeps the doctor away, including healthy skin and digestion. The tasty and crunchy fruit may help in lowering your cholesterol levels. According to studies, apple’s pectin fibre, together with other nutrients like antioxidant polyphenols, can reduce bad cholesterol or LDL levels and delay oxidation, which is a contributor to atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by hardened arteries.
Tomatoes: Loaded with a range of vitamins, including vitamins A, B, K, and C, tomatoes can work wonders for your heart, skin, and eyes. Tomato is regarded as a heart-healthy food due to its high potassium content. Reduced blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and stroke risk are all advantages.
Winter is the season of festivities and delicious delicacies. Christmas will be celebrated on the 25th of December and all of us are prepping for Christmas eve.
However, in the muse of fun and food, we develop a casual approach towards our health aside. These healthy tips will help you enjoy Christmas and the new year to the best. You should not ignore your health and try to keep your blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels in check so that you never regret binge eating.
Taking measures to keep cholesterol levels in check before the festive binge begins could help you have better control of your overall health.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Oatmeal, oat bran and foods with high fibre are the foods that immediately help to lower your cholesterol levels.
Limiting alcohol intake, frequently consuming fruits and vegetables, and indulging in physical activities are some healthy tips that can contribute to healthy cholesterol levels.
Apples, grapes, strawberries, and citrus are some fruits that are rich in pectin, a type of soluble fibre that lowers LDL.
Spinach, sprouts, and tomatoes are some vegetables that can help reduce bad cholesterol levels (LDL) while increasing good cholesterol (HDL) levels.
Contributed by Harleen Kaur