7 Ways to Lower Cholesterol on a Budget
Are you trying to eat healthier, but you don’t have money to blow?
Making your health a priority doesn’t have to require you to break the bank. It’s true that eating healthy is more expensive than eating unhealthy foods, generally. But there are indeed several different ways that you can actually significantly lower your cholesterol and save money at the same time. This may seem counter intuitive, but if you try to think outside of the box, you might be surprised as to what ideas you can come up with.
We live in a world where we’re constantly surrounded by unhealthy foods. From TV commercials, billboards, and the luring smells that you can’t help but notice every time you drive by a fast food joint, it’s nearly impossible to ignore. Not to mention how inexpensive fast food is. This is more than enough to entice even the most motivated individual to fall into the trap of eating inexpensive, yet artery clogging foods.
If you suffer from high cholesterol levels, then it’s imperative that you clean up your diet to help you reduce your risk for developing cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in America and it appears as though that this trend is not stopping anytime soon. With this being so, as well as looking at how expensive food is in general, especially if you have to provide for a large family, the ability to lower cholesterol on a budget is insurmountably important.
Below, you’ll see 7 ways that can actually lower your cholesterol levels, all without breaking the bank. I realized the importance of such a topic and felt as though I should write about it to raise awareness that you can in fact eat heart healthy foods while on a very tight budget. I should know, I’m a college student.
7 Ways to Lower Cholesterol on a Budget
#1 Buy fish in bulk
Fish, like salmon and herring are extremely healthy for your heart due them being jammed packed with omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats. These are the fats that help you to lower your “bad” LDL cholesterol and help raise your “good” HDL cholesterol. However, most fish that you find at the supermarket are on the expensive side.
This is primarily true except for tuna and tilapia. Most stores sell these two heart healthy fish in bulk for a relatively decent price. You may be wondering, “What can I do with tuna and tilapia?” Well, there are a ton of options for you to get creative with your meals to encourage adherence and overall enjoyment with your new healthy lifestyle changes. You can make tuna fish salad with heart healthy eggs or you can try a seasoning you’ve never had before on your tilapia, as well as adding grilled veggies with it.
#2 Utilize coupons
This may seem like a no-brainer, but most people don’t realize how much money they could actually save it they used coupons. There are usually always some sort of sale going on at grocery stores. So, make sure to utilize any coupons that they have to offer! This will allow you to get the healthy foods you need to improve your cholesterol, as well as saving you money in the process.
If you’d like to optimize your money saving abilities, then you should check out coupon websites like Coupons.com and Groupon.com. Here, you can browse hundreds upon hundreds of different stores for coupons on food, vitamins, and blood cuff monitors, among many other items. Doing this consistently will help you to improve your heart health and the size of your wallet.
#3 Eat smaller meals
Eating smaller meals will not only help you to limit your caloric intake, which can lead to fat loss, but it will also help you save a lot of money in the process. The weight you can expect to lose by simply eating slightly less than usual will result in improved cholesterol levels, as well as lower triglyceride levels.
Eating less means that you’re spending less. However, make sure that you’re cognizant of which foods you’re limiting. You won’t want to limit fruits or veggies for instance. These foods, as well as heart healthy fish are what will actually help you to lower your cholesterol. Doing this will help you save a lot of money. Trust me, daily fast food habits can add up big time.
#4 Exercise at home
You can easily save around $100 a month by ditching the gym and the expensive membership fees that are attributed with it by simply working out at home. You can do home exercises, jump rope, go for a walk around your neighborhood, or take a swim in your community pool. Some exercises that you can do at home are push ups, sit ups, body weight squats, body weight lunges, dips on the couch, and many more.
You can truly have an amazing workout all with the comfort and convenience of your own home. One of the best types of exercise to lower your cholesterol is aerobic exercise. So, this means that any type of walking, jogging, hiking, biking, or swimming would be great for helping you to improve your cholesterol levels. And the beauty is that it won’t cost you a dime.
#5 Cut out chips, cookies, cakes, etc.
Cutting out salty snacks and sweets is another great way to help you improve your cholesterol while on a budget. We typically aren’t cognizant of how much money we spend on snacks, $3 here and $7 there. It all adds up and can be a significant reason as to why you feel as though you don’t have any extra money to buy healthier snacks, like fruit for instance.
Cutting out such a habit will not only allow you to save more money, which you can spend on cholesterol lowering foods, but it will also help you to build new, healthy habits. Breaking habits are very difficult to do, especially if they’ve been practiced for several years. Slowly cutting out chips, cookies, and other foods high in saturated fats will allow you to shift your thinking patterns to more of a health consciousness.
#6 Buy less red meat and pork
Steaks, hamburger meat, pork tenderloin, and other similar products are not only on the expensive side, but they’re also very harmful for your arterial health. Red meat and pork products typically contain large amounts of saturated fats, as well as cholesterol. This is the perfect storm that will help to lower your “good” HDL cholesterol and raise your “bad” LDL cholesterol, which is the opposite of what you want to happen.
Instead of spending your hard earned money on steaks and hams, you should spend it on heart healthy fish like tuna and tilapia. This will allow you to lower your cholesterol and improve the overall status quo of your heart and arteries. Primarily, it’s the increased HDL cholesterol that will help you to remove deposited LDL cholesterol that have “stuck” onto arterial walls.
#7 Eat more peanut butter
Peanut butter is one of the best foods to lower cholesterol. It’s also very inexpensive, especially if you buy it in bulk. There are a ton of ways that you can keep things interesting as well! You can make a peanut butter and honey sandwich, you can put peanut butter on a Ritz cracker as a quick snack, or you can simply indulge straight from the container.
For more of a convenient, on-the-go snack, you can opt for eating peanuts instead. Peanuts, cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts are all great for your heart health. They contain poly- and mono-unsaturated fats. The very fats that will help you to lower your LDL cholesterol and raise your HDL cholesterol. Either way you go, eating more peanuts will help you to improve your heart health, all while increasing your bank account in the process!