Recent research has revealed that Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) – considered “bad” cholesterol because it contributes to cholesterol build-up and blockage in the arteries – spikes by 20% in the days after Christmas. That’s due to the amount of rich foods that we eat over the holiday.
Dr Avinash Hari Narayanan (MBChB), Clinical Lead at London Medical Laboratory, says: ‘Researchers at Copenhagen University Hospital and the University of Copenhagen detected this post-Christmas spike in a recent study of 2,500 people. The paper revealed that the risk of having elevated cholesterol is six times higher after the Christmas break.
‘The good news is that our top four New Year’s Resolutions can help people not only to undo the damage but actually improve their health. That’s especially true if done in conjunction with simple finger-prick blood tests, which can track and monitor progress by checking essential biomarkers.
1. Lose weight – and keep it off!
‘Losing just 5% of our body weight can help lower the risk of chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. There’s even a free NHS Weight Loss Plan App available to help Brits start healthier eating habits, be more active and lose weight.
In conjunction with a sensible diet plan, people wanting to improve their fitness levels may want to consider a heart health profile test. Such checks have been shown to indicate risks to the heart’s health. They should include tests for inflammation and diabetes, revealing how well the body controls blood sugar.
2. Return to healthier foods
‘Good health is not just about eating less, it’s also about eating the right things. January is the time to return to more healthy foods. Fruit and veg, in particular, are low in calories and fat, high in fibre and provide rich sources of vitamins and minerals.
3. Get off the sofa and exercise
Simple steps include parking further away from the entrance to the supermarket and even revisiting those Covid lockdown “stairobics”. Recent research from the University of Sydney shows even three 20-second fast stair climbs a day can improve fitness in only six weeks.
4. Keep on track
‘Tracking our success keeps us informed and motivated. If our goal is to be more active, a wearable fitness tracker can help. It can be supplemented by the regular use of blood tests to monitor fitness and general health.
London Medical Laboratory’s own General Health Profile blood test can be taken at home through the post, or at one of the many drop-in clinics that offer these tests across London and nationwide in over 120 selected pharmacies and health stores. For full details, see: https://www.londonmedicallaboratory.com/product/general-health