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Cholesterol & Shopping

The place and the manner of shopping can have a huge impact on your cholesterol levels. If you do most of your food shopping at the supermarket, do you find yourself often tempted by the food you see on sale in the aisles? Food like potato crisps and frozen chicken dinners? Do you leave the shop with high-fat items that were not originally on your list? You aren’t the only one.

The many foods and choices which are available to us should make it easier to choose healthy items, but often the opposite is also true. When faced with too many food choices, many of us find it difficult to resist the food we know is bad for us. Luckily, re-learning how to shop can go far towards lowering your cholesterol over the next 30 days.

From Now Onwards, Consider Where You Shop For Food:

1. Greengrocers, Farmer’s Markets, and Farmer’s Stands

These are all excellent places to shop from. And if you want to lower your cholesterol, you may want to make it a priority to shop at these places for your groceries. Shopping at farmer’s markets, farmer’s stands, and greengrocers has so many advantages:

You will get a wider range of the freshest food than you would find at your normal grocery store.

You will be supporting local farmers whilst probably enjoying lower prices.

These places are also more environmentally friendly and give you better and healthier choices.

These places feature fewer advertisements and convenience foods which are high in fat.

If you would like to lower your cholesterol and enjoy a lower-fat diet, shopping at your local farmer’s market, greengrocer or farmer’s stand is an excellent way to get the food you need to stay healthy.

2. Farms and Organic Farms

Pick-your-own farms, organic farms, and farms that sell directly to customers offer great value and fresh in-season healthy foods, often at great prices. A few hours at one of these farms can give you some fresh air, exercise, and all the food you need to stay healthy. Visiting these sorts of farms for your food is a great way to eat more heart-healthy products.

3. Health Food Shops

Health food shops often have a wide variety of products that are low-fat and animal-protein-free. Their products are sometimes called vegan. These shops can be great places to buy vegetables such as dried peas and lentils, also herbs, natural products and a wide variety of items that are not available at your grocery store but which are great for your heart’s health.

4. Grocery Shops

Many grocery shops offer a section for fresh products as well as meat and deli sections which feature low-fat products. However, most grocery stores are also filled with high-fat convenience food. If you must shop at a grocery shop for all or most of your food, make conscious choices to pick the healthiest products possible and avoid the aisles or sections of the shops that have high-fat food.

Tip: When shopping in your grocery shop, do your shopping around the perimeter of the shop. This is usually where the fresh products, milk, and meat sections are. Avoid the centre aisles where crisps, soda, biscuits, and other high-fat foods generally tend to be.

5. Convenience Shops

You should avoid shopping in these types of shops unless it’s a real emergency. Most convenience shops have higher prices and lots of high-fat and processed foods that are prominently put forward. Healthy food is often in small quantities, at the back and fresh products tend to be rather stale. Since these shops are small and specialize in convenience food, there is usually very little variety of healthy options available. If you want to lower your cholesterol over the next month, try to avoid shopping at convenience shops.

6. Cafeterias, Cafes and Restaurants

Since cafeterias, cafes, and restaurants are businesses they try hard to make money by hoping you will enjoy their food enough to want more of it. That is why these places worry more about flavour than about heart-health. High-fat and high-sodium food are on too many restaurant and cafeteria menus, and if you want to lower your cholesterol, you need to try to stay away from these places.

If you want to lower your cholesterol over the next thirty days, avoid buying ready made or pre-packaged food, whether from grocery shops or restaurants. Brown-bag your lunch and arrange to meet your friends somewhere else besides a restaurant.

If you need to eat out at a restaurant, choose the smallest portions of the plainest foods available. This is better than ordering the salad, assuming that it will be more healthy - a salad packed with bits of bacon and cheese can sometimes be among the highest-fat items on a menu!

Instead, choose dishes that have low-fat elements, such as skinless chicken or fruit. Ask for dressing on the side and eat around any high-fat items such as cheese. Avoid cream sauces.

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