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Making Your New Year’s Resolution to Keep Your Cholesterol Levels Healthy

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Updated December 19, 2012

Making Your New Year’s Resolution to Keep Your Cholesterol Levels Healthy

Make a New Years resolution to keep your heart healthy.

Tatiana Popova, istockphoto

The beginning of the year is an important time to make resolutions to improve your life for the upcoming year, including getting better control of your cholesterol levels. Whether it is keeping your cholesterol levels in check, or other resolutions such as being more organized, losing weight, or quitting a bad habit (such as smoking) -- resolutions can help make positive adjustments in your life... if they are kept.

Unfortunately, resolutions made at the beginning of the year are sometimes neglected by the second or third month. However, it doesn’t have to be difficult to make adjustments to your lifestyle to keep your cholesterol levels -– and your heart -– healthy. Even better, the lifestyle changes you make to help control your cholesterol can also be helpful if you are trying to lose weight or manage other chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure or metabolic syndrome. Here are some fool-proof ways to start your heart-healthy lifestyle changes -– and make them stick:

Take an inventory of your kitchen.

The pantry and cabinets in your kitchen can be a source of healthy, nutritious foods. Unfortunately, depending upon what you have stocked in your kitchen, these foods can also contribute to high cholesterol. The beginning of the year is a good time to take an inventory of foods and other ingredients you are keeping on hand. There are many healthy staple foods to have in your kitchen. While you’re cleaning your kitchen out, you should ditch any high-sugar and/or high-fat foods that could derail your efforts to stay on track in making positive changes in your eating habits, such as:

  • Potato chips
  • Any pre-packaged cookies, cakes, or pastries
  • Candy bars

There are many helpful tips that can assist you in deciding what to keep in your kitchen -– and what should be tossed –- in staying on your cholesterol-lowering diet.

Learn how to cook.

Cooking isn’t as hard as you think it is –- especially with the vast array of cooking tips, recipes, and other resources on the internet. Not only can you introduce healthy, low-fat ingredients into your diet, cooking your own meals takes the guesswork out of determining the amount of sugar, fat, and salt that has been added to pre-packaged foods and meals prepared in restaurants.

Are you a cooking novice? Try practicing your cooking skills with heart-healthy recipes or a low cholesterol cookbook.

Increase the amount of exercise you get every day.

Exercise plays an important role in any healthy lifestyle. It does not matter which exercises you select in your everyday life. Yoga, cycling, walking -– as long as you're moving, you are helping keep your heart, and the rest of your body, healthy. Additionally, exercise can play a part in keeping your cholesterol levels within a healthy range. If you aren’t sure where to start, designing your own exercise plan can help you figure out which exercises are best for you, and help you to make it a part of your daily schedule.

Address bad habits.

Eating the wrong foods and not getting enough exercise are not the only lifestyle factors that can contribute to high cholesterol levels. There are also certain habits we participate in that could place us at risk for being diagnosed with high cholesterol or other heath conditions. Do you smoke? Do you experience stress in your daily life? Are you not getting enough sleep each night? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may need to adjust your lifestyle in these areas. Some studies have shown that lack of sleep, chronic stress, and smoking can place you at risk for high cholesterol and heart disease if not addressed long-term.

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Cholesterol
  4. Diet & Meal Plans
  5. Holiday Meal Tips
  6. Making a Low Cholesterol New Years Resolution for a Healthy Lifestyle

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