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5 Meal Plans That Could Help Reduce Cholesterol

5 Meal Plans That Could Help Reduce Cholesterol

Choosing meals that are healthy for your cholesterol levels can be a tricky business. There is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. Determining which foods have the right balance to promote a healthy body can be difficult. Luckily, there are some staple foods that you can count on when developing a meal plan that is effective at reducing bad cholesterol. Below, you will find five delicious meals that will aid you in keeping your cholesterol low.

Salmon

Salmon is a tremendously beneficial source of nutrition. This fish does more than help lower cholesterol. It contains many helpful oils and vitamins that benefit the heart and mind. Baked or grilled salmon fillets with just one teaspoon of olive oil makes for a tasty entrée. A splash of lemon adds a mouth-watering final touch. Any type of low-sodium vegetable makes a perfect side-dish for the meal. Pearl barley or kale prepared in sterol-enriched margarine is an optimal choice. Fill up one tall glass of fat-free milk to complete the dish.

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Spaghetti

Spaghetti with meatballs, when prepared properly, can assist in the fight against cholesterol. Who says that you cannot still eat heartily? Boil whole-wheat pasta, and make your meatballs from extra-lean ground turkey. Mix ground oats, egg substitute, and minced garlic into your meatballs before you begin browning. Be sure to use a low-sodium pasta sauce. For a side-salad, prepare traditional mixed greens with 1 tablespoon of low-fat balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Fish and chips

Fish and chips are sure to be a child’s favorite. Cut either cod or tilapia into strips. Roll these strips in yellow cornmeal and seasoned bread crumbs. For extra zest, drizzle the strips with malt vinegar. For the chips, slice one potato into several thin strips. Coat the strips with olive oil before baking them in the oven. As an additional side item, you may wish to serve steamed broccoli or unsweetened applesauce.

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Black Bean Burritos

For the nights that call for a fiesta, try black bean burritos. Combine half a cup of sautéed black beans with salsa, minced onions, and a pinch of chili powder. Top the stuffing with cooked brown rice. Wrap your ingredients in a whole-wheat tortilla. Add shredded, low-fat cheese to finish off your creation. Baked tortilla chips make the perfect Spanish side-item.

Veggie Burger

The family consistently on the go typically has very little time to put into a meal. The veggie burger provides the optimal healthy solution. Boca vegetarian burgers are cholesterol friendly and are easy to prepare. They can be grilled or microwaved. Place your Boca burger on one whole-wheat hamburger bun with one tomato slice, lettuce, and blue cheese. The results are delicious. One ear of boiled corn with sterol-rich margarine completes your meal in minutes.

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Nisha represents a site called MHA. She enjoys writing about health and dementia care for the elderly.

Featured photo credit:  Bruschetta via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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