Among the most prized of Chia health benefits is the ability to help the body lower cholesterol. Of course you have to do your part as well by keeping to a low cholesterol diet. As the name itself suggests, “ow cholesterol diets” concentrate on limiting the amount of foods that are higher in cholesterol and replacing them with foods that have either low, or no, cholesterol.
Because there are some foods that are much higher in cholesterol than most others, it is a relatively simple matter to avoid them, or at least limit how big a part they play in your diet. The “Big 6″ foods that are high in cholesterol and should be avoided are:
- Meats from organs (brains, liver, etc.)
- Egg Yolks (but egg whites are fine)
- Poultry (the skin has the most cholesterol)
- Dairy products of all types
- Whole milk (use 2%, or low fat)
- Red meat
But, unfortunately, it is not that simple to just avoid these foods and craft a diet that is still healthy. This is because, besides the higher levels of cholesterol, these foods also contain vital proteins, minerals, and vitamins our bodies absolutely require to maintain basic functioning.
And, the body does need some cholesterol as well. Cholesterol is a fundamental building block of the cell membranes and is additionally a vital source of energy. So, if you decide to embark on a limited cholesterol diet you will also need to plan on how to replace not only the lost nutrients but to make up for the lost energy source as well.
Chia Health Benefits
A good first step is to be certain that you have a generous supply of dietary fiber included in your daily meal plans. Fiber is crucial in reducing cholesterol levels and is heart healthy as well. Adding fiber to your diet will also help by reducing those annoying hunger pangs. High levels of soluble fiber is just one Chia health benefit.
Other good sources of fiber include
- Whole grains
- Bran (both wheat and corn)
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts, etc.)
- Potato skins
- Vegetables (green beans, cauliflower, carrots, broccoli)
- Fruit (bananas, apples, pears,plums)
And, lastly, a critical part of all low cholesterol diets is exercise. It is important to get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Getting this exercise does not require a gym membership, or a treadmill at home. You can increase your exercise levels by doing simple things like parking at the back of the parking lot, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. It all counts!
Increasing the amount of exercise will burn more calories which will, in turn, promote healthy weight loss. It will also strengthen your muscles, heart and lungs.
To maintain the required levels of vitamins and nutrients during a low cholesterol diet will, most likely, require an additional supplement to replace the nutrients you won’t be getting in your diet. Because of the many Chia health benefits, Chia seeds are the best supplement to use.
Chia seed is classified by the FDA as a whole food. Chia seed is a concentrated source of many vital nutrients including Calcium, Potassium, Selenium, Magnesium, antioxidants, and Iron. As well as fiber, other Chia health benefits include the very important heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
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