PARK YOUR CARCASS WHILE YOU HEED THIS FEED OF THREE SAVING GRACES
Don't get your undies in a swivet about cholesterol numbers. Here are three small steps to help get -- or keep -- your numbers on track.
EAT APPLES: they're a source of soluble fiber, which helps lower absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. Other foods that do this too: oat bran, oatmeal, beans, pears, peas and barley. The adage, "an apple a day" was never truer.
Cholesterol countdown: stay away from foods that harden your arteries. Focus on produce; choose whole grains, lean meats, low-fat, dairy and olive or canola oil, and eat fish at least twice a week.
JUMP YOUR HEART: walk, jog, bike, dance, play basketball or ice skate. Brisk activities increase the heart rate, and doing it regularly helps boost good HDL by about 5% after a few months. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day; five times a week (break into three 10-minute sessions if need be), and know that in addition to lowering cholesterol, you can dramatically cut the risk of premature death.
SLEEP LONGER: research shows a link between lack of sleep and weight gain - and those extra pounds contribute to high cholesterol. Short sleep increased hunger-stimulating hormones in men and reduced satiety hormones in women. Both could lead to eating too much.