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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 December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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