Dr. Murphy's Lifestyle measures that will help raise your good cholesterol and decrease your bad! (And improve your heart health!)
Think radically and holistically!
What is going to be beneficial to my heart and gut, muscles and brain ?!
Lets look at the basic everyday habits some of us may have or are thinking of adopting.
Chronic stress is associated with a variety of health issues including heart health. Whilst no specific one reason has been identified, most likely it is that stress triggers inflammation. Also, you may have noticed, stress causes us to act in ways that can increase our risk for heart disease for e.g, stress eating, drinking excessive alcohol, smoking not finding the time to exercise etc.
Laughing has been show to lower cholesterol believe it or not! everyone has their own ways of chilling and de-stressing. What works for you?
- Laughter + staying positive (Hows about this gif of Kathy Bates Laughing! She has many wonderful movie roles, two of my favourite are Fried Green Tomatoes and About Schmidt) Read & Read!
- Meditation (start by closing your eyes and observing your breathing! There you go you have meditated)
- Exercise …Walk, stretch….
- Unplug (decide you aren’t checking your phone first thing in the morning!)
- Find your own destressors- long shower, bath, reading, listening to music.
If you’re going to binge on fatty foods, think smart.
Don’t you love it when you hear you should eat more of something ?
EAT MORE Good Fats
- Fatty Fish
- Avocados, olives
- Olive Oil (extra virgin)
(I can see…Guacamole, fish tacos…)
Good fats contain unsaturated fats. Consuming them allows the polyphenols contained in the to lower bad cholesterol, and raise good cholesterol
EAT LESS Bad Fats
- Processed meats, processed foods.
- Excessive red meats, cheese.
Saturated fats raise your bad cholesterol.
Mediterranean Style Diet
FORGET FAD DIETS! In terms of living a long healthy life, following a mediterranean style diet has the most evidence behind it.
After observing that people in the mediterranean live longer and have lower rates of heart disease, Alzheimer’s and other chronic health issues, it was identified that their diet and lifestyle was reason for their long healthy ives.
Following a mediterranean style diet, involves eating more fresh fruit and vegetables, Olive oil, olives, avocados, greens. Use a variety of coloured vegetables to get a variety of micronutrients!
More fibre from oats etc!
Enjoy meal time, cooking and eating with family. (put the phones away!)
Less stress, less meat.
We sit a lot. Especially now in the midst of lockdown, working from home etc.
Walking for 2.5 hours a week, reduces your risk of heart disease by up to 30%! Thats just over 21 minutes a day. This occurs as walking lowers your cholesterol and blood pressure and reduces your risk of diabetes.
Heart health aside, walking is beneficial for your brain, cognitive functions and memory.Regular, uptempo walking can help improve mood and protect against chronic stress. One of the reasons being endorphins are released when we walk. Studies also show that regular walking increases blood flow to our brain, and can offset the effects of sitting around for prolonged periods.
Walking encourages food through the gut, and gastric emptying, helping our digestive system.
Irish Neuroscientist Shane O’Meara, extolls the virtues of walking for our brain health on his blog here.
He maintains we get old when we stop walking.
I mention muscle A LOT! It is so important for our bodies and walking can help keep our muscle mass up. Cholestero-Low blog post on muscle!
Muscle protects our bones, it is also very metabolic breaks down calories and studies have shown that strength training can reduce your bad cholesterol and triglycerides.
As we naturally loose muscle from the age of 30 onwards, it is a case of use it or loose it!
Just like diet and exercise, a decent nights sleep is beneficial for your heart heath. A good nights sleep helps prevent against infection, chronic illnesses and heart health.
Caffeine, Nicotine and alcohol
All interfere with our ability to fall asleep, or stay asleep in a variety of ways. Think about what they are-they are all drugs and they interact with our body in a varity of ways.
- Caffeine blocks the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep.
- Caffeine and alcohol cause us to urinate nocturnally, thereby waking us up.
- Nicotine raises our heart rate, blood pressure and stimulates us to stay awake.
- Alcohol, suppresses REM sleep and therefore you will feel more fatigued the next days.