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5 food tips to maintain healthy cholesterol levels

When trying to keep your cholesterol at a healthy level, it can be hard to create meals that accommodate this, even though it's key. Family gatherings, holiday parties and company events all present an opportunity to make unhealthy food choices. However, with a few simple changes to your diet, avoiding the pitfalls can be easier.

Here are five food tips that may help you maintain a healthy cholesterol level:

  • Minimise Refined Carbohydrates - Sugar, white flour and other refined carbs are among the biggest contributors to obesity and cardiovascular disease, alarmingly common health problems. Reducing the amount of refined carbohydrates as part of a balanced diet can help to reduce your risk.
  • Steer Clear of Trans Fats - Any product that lists hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils on the ingredients label contains trans-fats, even if the product claims otherwise. These are often found in snack foods like crackers and chips. Search for products with natural oils instead, or even better, ones that are baked or air-popped instead of fried.
  • Get More Garlic - Make a regular habit of putting fresh garlic in your dishes. This incredible vegetable is believed to promote healthy cholesterol levels.
  • Green Tea - Many experts recommend drinking green tea every day. The antioxidants it contains have been shown to help protect HDL (good) cholesterol and help inhibit the oxidisation of LDL and VLDL (bad) cholesterol.
  • Fibre - Eat foods high in soluble fibre. The fibre helps reduce dietary cholesterol from being absorbed into your bloodstream. Good sources include legumes, pulpy fruits, oatmeal, root vegetables and peas.