“In the present context we cannot lower our vigilance against high cholesterol and it is necessary to reduce it when it is in excess. Now more than ever, it is imperative to control risk factors because the healthier we are, the better we can fight potential infections. “
These are the words of Dr. Carlos Macay, President of the Spanish Heart Foundation (FEC)which warns of necessity “Keeping cholesterol at bay” in the context of COVID-19 as people with elevated levels may have a worse prognosis if contracting the coronavirus, developing more serious symptoms and consequences.
In addition, after Christmas, marked by the consumption of foods with an increased content of saturated fat and cholesterol, alcohol consumption or changing habits, cholesterol levels can rise by up to 10%. This is worrying considering that, according to data from the Euroheart II study, it is responsible for 60% of heart disease, and half of the adult population of our country suffers from hypercholesterolaemia.
How to control cholesterol: diet and exercise
However, you can control your cholesterol in accordance with a good nutritional pattern (Mediterranean diet), paying particular attention to the correct choice of meals and exercising regular exercise of moderate intensity.
“Acquiring good habits early in the year is rewarding as it positively strengthens our self-esteem and helps them become part of our lifestyle. Focusing on our diet: always use seasonal fruits, vegetables and vegetables as a base. Protein foods such as legumes, putting fish over meat, resorting to extra virgin olive oil and containing dairy products, choosing those fortified with plant sterols to help lower high cholesterol, ”he says. Elizabeth Perezdietitian-nutritionist.
10 keys to maintaining good cholesterol
- The basis of the diet should be the Mediterranean diet.
- Include vegetables, fruit and vegetables daily and in sufficient quantity.
- A few weekly rations of legumes.
- Prefer whole grains in bread or pasta.
- Go for extra virgin olive oil and nuts rich in healthy fats.
- Include dairy with plant sterols that help lower high cholesterol.
- Increase your fish intake, especially blue fish (tuna, bonito, anchovies, mackerel, horse mackerel, pomfret, salmon, sardines, etc.) as it contains a type of heart-healthy fat, omega 3 fatty acids that helps lower cholesterol.
- Give priority to lean meat and poultry over red.
- In addition to the dietary recommendations, regular and moderate physical activity is important. For example, walking for 45 to 60 minutes a day three to five days a week.
- Also maintain good rest habits and adequate hydration.