Here at Men’s Health, you’re just as likely to overhear
coworkers talking about their blood work as their workload. That’s because
we’re lucky enough to be employed by one of the leading health and fitness companies
in the world, one that cultivates the health and happiness of its employees
with routine—and free!—health screenings.
Do you know your blood pressure? Glucose level? HDL (good)
and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels? All of us should, but few of us do.
Another thing you probably don't know: Managing these numbers
doesn’t have to be a full-time job—you can do it simply by making smart
lifestyle choices every day. Take cholesterol. You're probably aware of the
cholesterol-busting powers of oatmeal, beans, fish, and olive oil, but do you realize that some of your favorite foods can do the same? Here are four surprising foods that’ll lower your
levels. And for more genius nutrition tips—along with quick, healthy, delicious recipes—sign up for our all-new
Guy Gourmet newsletter!
Just make sure to pile on the anchovies and garlic. The
small fish is packed with the powerful minerals zinc, copper, iron, iodine, and
selenium, which work alongside fish oils to more effectively lower cholesterol.
And garlic’s antioxidant powers could help fight cholesterol by preventing free
radicals from oxidizing LDLs.
Cook up a grass-fed burger,
which has a balanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, and you could be
lowering your LDL levels one bite at a time. Why? Conventionally farmed beef is
about 1:20 in its ratio of omega-3 to omega-6. Grass-fed? Around 1:3, which is
the ratio found in most fish. Plus, grass-fed beef has twice the vitamin E and
only 15 percent as much fat as the regular stuff. And whatever you do, avoid the 15 Worst Burgers in America!
The antioxidants in pasta help control inflammation and
insulin, which in turn helps reduce levels of harmful LDL cholesterol and
triglycerides. When Harvard University researchers analyzed the diets of more
than 27,000 people over 8 years, they discovered that those who ate whole
grains daily weighed 2.5 pounds less than those who ate refined grains.
Barilla, a major manufacturer of pasta products, recently released a line of
whole-grain pastas that are almost identical to the average supermarket brand,
and you can buy them in bulk at discount stores!
4. Scrambled Eggs
Most people associate eggs (with yolk) with high
cholesterol. But according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition, this
breakfast favorite actually increases good (HDL) cholesterol, not bad (LDL)
Plus, another study found that overweight people who ate a breakfast
of two eggs with yolk instead of a bagel 5 days a week for 8 weeks reported
higher energy levels and lost 65 percent more weight. That's right: That innocent-looking bagel is actually sabotaging your health! Here are 11 more shocking ways you're hurting your body and longevity: Simple Health Habits You're Doing All Wrong.