PS: This post was originally authored and published on coachesquad.com, my fitness website.
In recent times, I have seen an upsurge in medical challenges that involve high cholesterol issues in Nigerians even from their 30s. Male and female alike, its crazy. And super dangerous.
So more people are asking me for meal plans to help reduce it, as this is now Doctor’s orders.
What this means is that if it is not checked, death can actually happen as this cholesterol forms plaques restricting blood flow from the heart to the vital organs that need it. This is called atherosclerosis/arteriosclerosis and it can be fatal as it affects the heart.
We cannot be casual about our diet anymore as that is hugely implicated in its onset. You must look closely into what you are eating. Cardiovascular disorders are a big deal and high cholesterol wahala is a part.
Oh, and just to put things in context, cholesterol is not all bad. The body needs it for its normal functioning too. Infact there is the ‘good cholesterol’ called the HDL and the ‘bad cholesterol’ which is called the LDL. Mechanism of how they work is detail useful for my Advanced Nutrition class, but well out of the scope of this blog, but just know that it is a build up of the LDL that causes wahala.
Now this is where your diet comes in…
Phew, packaged and processed food. My sisters, some of the things they use to sweeten and then elongate the shelf life of these foods are not even fit for corpses. Trans fat, the worst kind of fat can be found in a good number of these processed foods cos they elongate shelf life. Listen yawl, food, the good one, is not meant to last that long. But it pays manufacturers to mass produce and sadly for a lot of people, its all about the money, so these foods are high in dangerous chemicals and trans fat.
But we can be wise in our choices.
It’s really simple. Eat more real food and leave crap alone. Or let it be a once-in-a-while thing. You can’t LIVE on fast foods, packaged foods and fried foods. Anyways, if you need help with a healthy meal plan that keeps you away from high cholesterol issues or brings down yours or any loved one, I gotcha. email firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp 09055868614.
For this post, I just want to share 3 quick and simple tips to help manage or control cholesterol issues that are beginning to affect the quality of life…
1. Trim off visible fats from foods.
By which I mean avoid. Most times in meats, you would SEE the fat right there. Trim it off. Remove the skin from chicken. If you are eating suya, avoid the fat in the meat. I know ‘tozo’ is sweet but girl, you may be messing with cholesterol issues. Some meats too are lean, that is low in fat like goat meat, and then even chicken breast is a low-fat portion in chicken if a chicken lover
2. Choose low-fat alternatives to cooking.
Instead of frying, stick to boiled stuff. Invest in an air-fryer. Grill, roast, bake, stew, stir-fry. I am really favoring stewing for meats and co, esp with our Naija pepper and all, when you spice it so well, my sister, that kind can’t even compete with fried. Boil and stew, with very little or NO oil. But I love that an air-fryer gives the same taste as something fried, only a lot healthier cos you use VERY little to no oil, so if you can afford it, please invest in one
3. Eat a diet that is so rich in fibre.
You see, fibre is a wonder class of food. Most are carbs, but the good carbs. A lot of fruits have fibre too so eat more fruits and veggies. Nigerian meals high in fibre include oats, BROWN bread (not just any kind of bread), corn, yam, sweet potatoes, brown rice/pasta. Now imagine eating these on a regular with loads of salads (I don’t need to mention that most creams even the low-fat ones are unhealthy. The low-fat sometimes is ‘high-sugar’ so skip the cream abeg) and green leafy veggies. Now that’s a diet that can hugely impact on your cholesterol levels for good. This also means that you need to let white, processed and packaged foods go bye bye.
Your health deserves your BEST so be lavish about pampering yourself with the absolute good stuff. Walahi, you DESERVE it
To your good health,