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Thinking about your heart health? Why not try incorporating these surprising foods each day so you don’t have to skip a beat?

Do you think menopause has caused your recent cholesterol test to come back high?

You’re not alone, 1 in 4 women associated their increased cholesterol levels with menopause and they aren’t wrong!

If you have experienced a spike in cholesterol levels during menopause there is a perfectly logical explanation! Oestrogen protects your heart and decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease. As your oestrogen declines between 55-65 years of age, your LDL cholesterol (harmful cholesterol) rises! At the age of 65, women have the same risk of developing cardiovascular disease as their male counterparts! While there is a physiological explanation for this, your lifestyle also has an effect.

With the absence of children in the house, eating habits become more relaxed. A bottle of wine is likely to be opened at the end of the day and you suddenly have more time to eat out with your partner. Mix these factors together and you have a recipe for high cholesterol levels.

Even though high cholesterol has no symptoms and doesn’t seem like an immediate issue to address, not doing anything about your cholesterol levels could result in the development of cardiovascular disease, increase your risk of stroke.

80% of cardiovascular disease can be prevented by diet and lifestyle interventions!

Therefore, a healthy lifestyle is the first line treatment for raised cholesterol levels and its not too late to start! Addressing your cholesterol can help lower your cholesterol levels, improving your heart health, decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease and improving your overall health.

These surprising foods have been shown to block absorption of cholesterol during food digestion and stops re-absorption in the liver, resulting in decreased cholesterol levels! Best of all, these foods are easily accessible and straight forward to add into your daily food routine!

Surprising go to foods

1. Foods rich in soluble fibre! These are foods such as beans, legumes, wholegrains, and linseeds. For more information on foods rich in soluble fibre, click here for our resource!

2. Fruits and vegetables such as apples, kiwifruit, strawberries, brussels sprouts, avocado, kumara and broccoli.

3. Herbs and spices such as dried oregano, dried sage, mint, thyme, clove, all spice and cinnamon.

4. Foods high in unsaturated fats such as oily fish (salmon, mackerel), nuts and seeds, avocado and olives.

These foods can easily be added into your daily food routine. These changes may seem small, but many small changes can make a big difference in improving your cholesterol levels