“You Can’t Help Getting Older, But You Don’t Have To Get Old” – George Burns
We are all getting older by the day, however there are plenty of ways to keep you young and fit. By simply eating the right foods and keeping active you will see a huge benefit to your health and longevity with a better quality of life. The most common issue we face as we age are with Cholesterol, Heart Health, Blood Pressure, Joint Pain and Cognition.
You can start the fight at any point in your life weather you are in your 20s or 90s by eating right and keeping active. We will explore these over our next few blog posts and give you some in-depth advice on the best foods to keep you young.
We know about cholesterol and its relation to heart disease and how it can actively block our arteries. You can reduce your cholesterol by avoiding certain foods and actively eating others. You should avoid saturated fats which contribute to high cholesterol.
High in Saturated Fats
- Butter, Margarine and Lard
- Cream and Dairy Products
- Animal fats- in excessive amounts
- Biscuits, Cakes and Pies
- Processed Meats – Sausages, Bacon, Pate, Spam, Burgers and Black & White Pudding
Trans Fats also contribute to high Cholesterol. These are found in ready meals and cheap eats and takeaways. These come from mostly fired foods and deep fried foods. If it’s battered and deep fried it’s bad for your cholesterol.
We’re not saying you should never eat cake again. Life is short after all. But keep it in mind when choosing your next meal. By eating these foods as treats and less often you will see a rapid difference to your health.
You can improve your cholesterol by eating the right kinds of fats also known as Heart-Healthy Fats. These are Omega Fats found mostly in Fish and Nuts.
Best sources of Heart-Healthy Fats
- Oily Fish – Mackerel, Salmon and Trout
- Nuts- Peanuts (unsalted), Pine Nuts, Cashews and Walnuts
- Beans –Black Beans, Mung Beans and Kidney Beans (Not Heinz Baked Beans)
- Seeds- Linseed or Flax Seed, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds and Hemp Seeds.
- Pumpkin and Squash
These are just some of the healthy whole foods that you can take to help increase your healthy Omega 3, 6 and 9. As a knock on effect Omega 3 has been proven to help with cognition and brain health. We will go into more detail in another blog.
As always the best foods to eat are natural and whole. Eating lots of high fibre vegetables and fruits is always a good direction to take. Plant Sterols have a huge effect on Cholesterol and your body’s ability to absorb the unhealthy fats from your diet. By eating foods high in plant Sterols you can actively reduce your Cholesterol by building up your bodies defence against the bad fats. Many of the foods already listed such as nuts and beans contain high amounts of plant sterols.
Other Foods High in Plant Sterols
- Wheat Germ
- Oat Bran
- Brown Rice
- Greens- Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts and Kale
- Lentils and Peas
High Cholesterol can affect people of all ages. Men are especially at risk. If you are worried about your cholesterol you should consult your GP or Doctor. It takes a simple blood test and results are usually back within a few days. For more information you can look at the Irish Heart Foundation
We will explore more ways to keep you young and fit into old age in our next blog when we continue a look at Heart Health beyond Cholesterol.