1. Eat a high fibre, low G.I breakfast
This can help with weight loss and reduce high cholesterol levels. Try porridge with chopped banana, chia seeds and soy milk, wholegrain toast with avocado and baked beans or a green smoothie (oat milk, banana, berries and quinoa flakes).
2. Avoid/limit saturated fats
These are the types of fats that increase your risk for cardiovascular disease via increasing your bad cholesterol levels. Saturated fats are found in full cream milk, cheese, cream, butter, sausages, chops, rissoles, chicken skin, bakery goods and deep fried foods.
3. Choose healthy fats instead (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated)
Healthy fats support heart health, reduce cholesterol levels and deliver anti-inflammatory properties. They are found in olive oil, nuts and seeds, avocado, olives and oily fish like salmon and sardines. Try using avocado instead of butter, olive oil as a salad dressing, snack on nuts, add flax and chia seeds to smoothies, and eat oily fish a few times per week.
4. Go meat free on Monday’s (or even better... most days)
This is a great way to reduce the saturated fat in your diet, as well as increase your vegetable and fibre intake; all of which support a healthy heart. Instead of meat, chicken, pork or fish on Monday’s, aim to have beans, tofu or nuts in your meal instead. For example, try bean burritos, chickpea curries, tofu stir-frys or simply baked beans and greens on wholegrain toast.
5. Snack on nuts each day
A small handful of unsalted nuts each day has been shown to reduce your risk for heart disease. If you find nuts a bit hard to chew, aim for an unsalted peanutbutter or almond butter on wholegrain biscuits (e.g. ryvitas), grainy toast or sliced apple.
6. Eat more legumes
Legumes are super high in fibre, low in fat and full of protein, plus they are cheap as. Aim to have at least 3 serves of legumes each week. Some different legumes include chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, 4bean mix and baked beans. The easiest way to eat them is by buying canned legumes and adding them to your meals. For example, add chickpeas to your curries, kidney beans to your mexican dishes, 4 bean mix to salads and lentils to stir-fries.