He high cholesterol it is one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease, a problem suffered by more than half of the adult population in Spain, almost 55% of Spaniards. Now, in times of quarantine for coronavirusControlling and keeping cholesterol levels at bay is essential so that there are no consequences afterwards.
Even more care should be taken by those with heart problems or cardiovascular risk factors who must never neglect their medication. It is important that you keep your usual treatment to the letter And if you have any questions, it is best to consult your doctor. But how do we all protect and control our cholesterol in these 15 days or more of confinement?
The most important thing in this quarantine is to eat as healthy as possible and low in calories (since we move less) and do all the physical exercise we can indoors.
A healthy and low calorie diet
“In these days of confinement that we have to live due to the coronavirus crisis, we do not have the mobility that we had before in our daily routine and this can have consequences on the cardiovascular system and metabolic level. It is important for it follow a stricter diet than usual and to practice at home all the physical exercise that is possible “, the cardiologist tells EL ESPAÑOLlogo Josis Luis Palma, vice president of the Spanish Heart Federation (FEC).
Before explaining what our diet should be like to try to protect our cholesterol, it is important to take into account two things: on the one hand, avoid consuming saturated fats as much as possible since they increase cholesterol levels and cardiovascular risk, and another decrease in the diet the consumption of carbohydrates, especially those of slow absorption. According to the recommendations, saturated fat should not exceed 8-10% of total calories that we take daily.
“The dietary measures in quarantine must be the same as always, that is, a healthy, varied and balanced diet; but if you are going to do less physical exercise and our activity is being reduced, therefore much less calories will have to be consumed“recommends the expert. A practical and simple advice: reduce the amounts in each and every meal.
The usual diet that is recommended to control cholesterol levels is a diet based primarily on the pattern of Mediterranean diet which has been shown to be a cardioprotective diet, that is, a diet that protects us against cardiovascular disease, which are currently the leading cause of death in Spain. In this diet, fruits, vegetables and vegetables, fish (especially blue fish), legumes, nuts (raw or roasted) and olive oil.
In this way and according to this diet, you must consume more fish weekly (4 times a week) than meat (2-3 times a week, and preferably white meats such as chicken, rabbit and turkey, -red meats, better to leave them for a more occasional consumption-) and a weekly intake of 3 servings of pulses, in the form of stews or salads. On the other hand, consumption of eggs is also essential, dairy, (better skimmed and without sugar) and whole grains. Equally, it is important the shape In which we prepare meals, it is best to steam, grill and stew and avoid as much as possible the fried and battered.
It is also important to reduce the consumption of salt and sugar. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), do not exceed 5 grams a day of salt and the 25 grams of sugar daily, which in Spain we do not meet. In this article from EL ESPAÑOL We told you how we can substitute the salt of the dishes with spices.
Practice physical exercise
“In addition, it is important to move and practice some physical exercise every day, “Palma insists. For example, going up and down stairs (if we have at home), taking walks in the hallways, doing weights, sit-ups, stretching, squats, or any exercise chart that we know of. We can even do household chores or activities to try to move even more.
Any physical activity is valid as long as they are adapted to the physical characteristics of each one. Therefore, you should do and practice as much physical exercise as possible, according to the age and conditions of each person. “Cardiac patients have to take these recommendations even more into account”, concludes the expert.