Diet and a sedentary lifestyle are major factors to developing hypercholesterolemia and, therefore, exercise and diet are key in both preventing and treating it.

These two risk factors are closely associated to overweight and obesity, so losing weight until you reach the right
weight is essential to reducing cholesterol.

In this case, the diet must be hypocaloric, until you reach the right weight and then, a diet plan should be defined based on the following criteria with the help of Sanitas Health Insurance Spain :

  • Fats should not account for more than 25% of the diet.
  • Reduce saturated fats and high-cholesterol foods: fatty meats, cold meats, eggs, dairy products, hydrogenated fats (margarine, pre-prepared foods, etc.), products containing coconut, palm or palm kernel oil (packaged baked goods, packaged food labelled with unspecified vegetable oils, etc.). Cholesterol intake should not exceed 300 mg a day. Meat should be lean and excess fat should be trimmed before cooking.
  • Increase your intake of fruit, vegetables and pulses.
  • Use olive oil when preparing meals, but always the amounts specified by the specialists.
  • Eat fish at least twice a week, particularly oily fish (sardines, mackerel, anchovies, etc.) or containing omega-3 essential fatty acids (salmon).
  • Increase your fibre intake (fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals).
  • Avoid pre-prepared foods.
  • Healthy cooking: grilled food, steamed vegetables, en papillote, etc., avoiding fried and breaded foods, etc.
  • Avoid sugar (baked goods, sweets, fizzy drinks, ice cream, jam, etc.)

More Tips from Sanitas Health Insurance Spain:

  • Addition to a balanced diet, exercise must also be part of your daily activity.
  • An hour a day is ideal. You can walk briskly, run, swim, cycle.
  • The important thing is the exercise should be aerobic.
  • Another very important tip is to give up smoking, as this habit is closely associated to cholesterol metabolism.
  • It has been proven that giving up smoking increases HDL (good cholesterol) levels in blood by 5%, which helps reduce overall cholesterol levels.