With the holidays right around the corner, families and friends will congregate to feast on a variety of holiday treats. While over-indulgence may be part of the holiday tradition, those high-fat and sugar-laden dishes also come with additional health hazards, notably high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
According to the Mayo Clinic, cholesterol is found in fats in the blood stream. While the waxy substance is important for maintaining cell structure, it can be a culprit of heart disease. With high levels of cholesterol comes a reduction in blood flow through the arteries due to buildup. Because your heart isn’t getting the proper amount of oxygen-rich blood, you may suffer from a heart attack or even a stroke.
While high cholesterol is partly genetic, it can also result from a diet with lots of saturated fats, which, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are found in butter, cheese, whole milk, cream and meats. To help lower your cholesterol, the University of Maryland (UMD) notes that you should eat a diet rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids. Clinical research suggests that two kinds of omega-3s, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), may help reduce cholesterol as well as high blood pressure.
Another holiday health detriment is the stress involved, whether you’re hosting relatives or shopping for your family. According to the Mayo Clinic, stress may be linked to temporary spikes in high blood pressure and it can also be a catalyst for behaviors that cause high blood pressure, such as overeating, alcohol consumption and sleep deprivation. UMD reports though that omega-3s may also be helpful for reducing blood pressure.
You can get your omega-3 fatty acids with a diet rich in flax seeds, hemp milk and nuts. You may also want to take a daily OmegaKrill supplement from Dr. Newton’s Naturals. You can bolster your healthy diet with frequent exercise in order to keep those blood pressure and cholesterol levels down as well.