top of page
  • Writer's pictureKathy Ozakovic

Heart Heath Tips From An Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Wellness Coach

Did you know - Optimal blood cholesterol levels are below 4.0 mmol/L. However, more often than not, a GP won't refer you to a dietitian until levels are above 5.5 mmol/L. So, there is this grey space between 4.0 - 5.5 mmol/L where many people sit and wait for their cholesterol to rise higher before their doctor becomes aware of it. If a year or two has passed without a blood test, some people's cholesterol may spike from 4.0 to 6.5 and now they are being prescribed statins. Heart disease takes years to develop. You can take steps to reduce your risk, delay the onset and prevent adverse events. Be curious about the direction your cholesterol is going in. Keep reading to learn what you can do if you are in the grey area.



Firstly, have a general understanding of cholesterol - it is not the devil it has been made out to be. Cholesterol is actually a steroid found in mammals that is needed for the formation of cell membranes, bile acids and hormones. So, cholesterol helps us heal, digest foods and produce hormones. We need a healthy level of cholesterol in the blood for these reasons.


Be aware cholesterol will naturally rise during stressful times. Cholesterol is a precursor to the hormones cortisol, testosterone and aldosterone. When faced with a real or perceived threat, our body will switch into 'fight or flight' mode and signals will be sent to the liver to up regulate the production of cholesterol to allow for the production of more of those hormones which help us stay ready. So, the question then becomes, how can I support my body during times of stress? (learn more in the Detox By Design 5 Day Wellness Challenge)



MY TOP 10 TIPS TO KEEP YOUR HEART HEALTHY


1) Be Fibre Fuelled - Aim for 3 Fruit & 5 Vegetable servings throughout the day, everyday. Plant foods will deliver fibre, antioxidants, polyphenols and heaps of other micronutrients to protect you from oxidative stress those 'fight or flight' times and feed your gut microbes so they can do their job to protect you. What does this look like? Have a fruit for breakfast, at lunch and as an afternoon snack to reach 3 fruits. Aim for 2 cups of vegetables at lunch and 3 cups at dinner. Progress is perfect.


2) Include oats and/or barley - both naturally contain beta-glucans which have been shown to reduce the reabsorption of cholesterol in the gut therefore helping excrete it through our bowels. Burgen has a Cholesterol Lowering Whole Grain & Oats bread for this reason.


3) Add 2g PLANT STEROLS to your daily intake. Plant sterols are a compound very similar in chemical makeup to cholesterol. When humans consume 2g (better slightly more than less) our body confuses the plant sterols for cholesterol and signals to get rid of cholesterol! Very useful when we have increased cholesterol levels. Fortified foods include cholesterol lowering Weetbix, Nutlex, Flora Proactive, Carman's Cholesterol Lowering Oats. Just 2 cholesterol lowering weetbix (2g plant sterols) has been shown to reduce cholesterol by up to 9% over 4 weeks! (PS. My clients achieve up to 40% decrees in cholesterol in 4 weeks using all 10 tips and attending regular weekly check ins keeping them on track)


4) Add 25g soy protein to your day for additional heart health benefits. Including non GMO edamame, tofu, tempeh, unsweetened soymilk, soy & linseed bread. High in isoflavones, soy proteins are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Worried about oestrogen build up? Well don't. Isoflavones in non GMO soy products actually help the body clear oestrogen faster.


5) Avoid ULTRA-processed foods. These are packaged foods that your great great grandmother wouldn't recognise as food. These foods will have ingredients listed as numbers, weird names that are hard to pronounce, artificial sweeteners, colourings, fillers. They are also usually high in saturated and trans fats that are not good for your ticker. Even if marked as 'low fat', they may have other unrecognisable ingredients that clog your hormones and affect your gut microbes (therefore overall health).


6) Avoid processed meats. Including sausages, deli meats, canned meats, pate. High in saturated and trans fats which have been shown to increase cholesterol levels, clog hormones, increase triglycerides in the blood all of which contribute to build up of toxins in organs.


7) Support your body's natural detoxification processed. The liver especially during stressful times as it is responsible for cholesterol production. The body is constantly detoxing through urine, bowels, our breathe and sweat. Support the major organs involved with natural herbs and supplements. This is why I created Detox By Design.


8) Give yourself permission to feel. Sit with your emotions, acknowledge and release them. Journaling can start with "I feel..." let yourself write as if no one will read it. You can burn it to make sure. Grief, sadness, hurt, heartache and heartbreak weigh especially heavy on our hearts. Anger, frustration, shame builds up in the liver (think crossed boundaries). Emotions are chemical feedback in the body and absolutely do contribute to increasing cholesterol levels.


9) Exercise. Movement is life. If you are not moving, you are stagnant and rotting in those stale emotions. Movement will help support the body's natural detoxification processes (Detox By Design again) including the lymphatic system, bowels, skin. Movement produced feel good chemicals and moves the negative neuropeptides for release. Use it or loose it!


10) Create a wellness routine specific to stressful times. Every season requires a different strategy. What is your 'go to' wellness strategy when you're faced with deadlines, increased workload, unwell kids, or struck by tragedy. These things will happen. So what is your default at the moment and how can you make it more supportive? Meal prep? Cleaning? Sauna? Massage? Ocean swim? Journaling? Supplements specific to nurturing adrenals? Not sure? Book a discovery call today and lets get planning. Prevention is better than treatment.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Did you find this blog helpful and informative? Tag & Share with your friends who would love it too! Sign up for my Free NuFit Wellness Newsletter to stay in the loop. Attend my Wellness Workshops. Promoting consciousness in food choices helping people heal. Dietitian & Wellness Coach, Health Presenter, Gut Health Specialist - Kathy Ozakovic.

.

.

.

.

.

.

KEYWORDS: Heart, Health, Cholesterol, Lowering, tips, Dietitian, Wellness, Fibre, Antioxidants, Mediterranean, Diet, Lifestyle, Plants, Plant Dominant, Rainbow, Colour, Color, EVOO, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Eat, Eating, Health, Longevity, Healthy, Healthiest, Best, Dietary, Pattern.




22 views0 comments

Comments


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page