Healthy living is always a good thing and may actually help reduce the overall impact of having high cholesterol. Carrying extra weight increases cholesterol and many people experience weight gain in middle age. If you can prevent weight gain as you get older this is great for all aspects of your health. It's important to know your cholesterol breakdown too: what is your LDL (bad) and HDL (good) cholesterol? It may be that the overall number is higher than recommended but your ratio may be good because of the positive effects of higher good HDL cholesterol. One of the key reasons your cholesterol may be high is you are not eating enough good fats: the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated ones. If your total fat intake is low, saturated fats are likely to predominate (because they are often hidden or less obvious in foods) and this isn't good. The solution is to add good fats to your diet so they replace the bad saturated ones. A simple example is to swap from butter to margarine for spreading and cooking. Another is choosing low fat dairy foods and snacking on nuts. Using oils like sunflower, canola and olive for cooking and dressings also ups the balance of good fats. Remember a low fat fat diet is not the best for lowering cholesterol: a good fat diet is. And of course enjoy good fats along with heart-friendly foods: wholegrains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, fish, lean meats, low fat-dairy foods, nuts and seeds. If you're not exactly sure how best to do this, see an Accredited Practising Dietitian for individualised advice (find one near you at www.daa.asn.au) or grab a copy of my book Eat to Beat Cholesterol available here http://www.greatideas.net.au/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=Eat+to+beat+cholesterol&osCsid=404273e0420f591f80799fe42062e584&x=33&y=8
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