Turning 50 comes with a number of shifts and changes in your body, which is why it’s recommended that you make quite a few changes as well, for the sake of your health.
For instance, the walls of your heart become thicker and the arteries tend to stiffen more over time as well which can lead to a higher risk of heart disease.
Perhaps the most well known risk factor for heart disease as you age, however, is high cholesterol which has a number of different causes including alcohol consumption, smoking, genetics and weight gain.
But no worries! There are efficient ways in which you can lower your cholesterol levels through your diet.
To learn more about that, a couple of dieticians shared the best healthy eating tips that can keep your cholesterol in check even after the age of 50.
Consume soluble fiber
There is no secret that oatmeal is one of the healthiest foods you could ever eat and there’s more than enough evidence that is the case!
That being said, one of the reasons why is that oats contain soluble fiber!
Soluble fiber is a really helpful nutrient if you’re looking to lower your cholesterol levels and can also be found in certain fruits such as apples and pears as well as a number of legumes!
Author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook, Amy Goodson, says that “It is one of the biggest factors that can really help lower cholesterol because it dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance that can bind to cholesterol, and the goal is to eat 25 to 38 grams of fiber a day and to make 5 to 10 of those grams come from soluble fiber.”
Pick healthier fats
As per the author of Go Wellness, Courtney D’Angelo, one of the most efficient habits in lowering cholesterol beyond the age of 50 is substituting unhealthy fats for much healthier ones!
D’Angelo recommends that you should “Limit the amount of foods that contain saturated fats, which can raise your LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, such as fried foods, chocolate, and baked goods.”
Furthermore, Harvard Health claims that healthy fats, which include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, are really efficient in lowering one’s risk of getting sick.
D’Angelo goes on to recommend replacing saturated and trans fats with the healthier fats mentioned above which can be found in canola and olive oil, in nuts, avocados, lean meats and fish.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
A lot of the time, people forget just how important it is to incorporate enough veggies and fruits into one’s diet – this is especially vital if your goal is to lower your cholesterol levels.
D’Angelo points out that “Consistently eating fruits and veggies can increase cholesterol-lowering compounds, called plant stanols or sterols, which work like soluble fiber.”
Apples, in particular, are well known when it comes to preventing high cholesterol, mainly because of a type of soluble fiber they contain, known as pectin.
Other really good fruits for lowering cholesterol are grapes, which have been proven to decrease LDL cholesterol as well as improve gut bacteria diversity by recent studies.
However, if you are not a fan of neither grapes, nor apples, you can always go for other produce that act very similarly, such as pears, avocados, apricots, Brussels sprouts, carrots and broccoli.
All of these fruits and veggies are high in soluble fiber which, as we’ve already established, is great for managing one’s cholesterol levels.
Eat frequent but small meals.
As you might already be aware, losing weight can also do a lot of good if you are planning on lowering your cholesterol after the age of 50.
Goodson mentions that “Research suggests that individuals who lose 5-10% of their body weight can lower their total and bad (LDL) cholesterol levels.”
To trigger healthy weight loss, Goodson goes on to recommend eating more frequent, smaller meals that are high in protein and fiber.
This is because both of these important nutrients help “slow digestion, which helps you get full faster and stay full longer.”
Finally, before losing weight, make sure to discuss it with your doctor so that you can make sure it’s even necessary and that you are doing it in a healthy way.