I had high cholesterol. A bit odd to admit since I am passionate about healthy eating. Familial hypercholesterolemia is a rare (treatable) condition with a statin, or lipid-lowering agent. However, high cholesterol is quite common amongst men and women.
I was taken by surprise when my lipid specialist asked me to become a vegan. It turns out that, in general, vegans tend to have the lowest cholesterol. I said no because chicken was an integral part of our weekly meals and I felt overwhelmed at the idea of such a major change. The specialist then asked me to consider being a pescatarian (a vegetarian who eats fish). I said I’d give it a go because I really love fish and had heard that it’s rich in healthy fats.
Why is this relevant to you? The World Health Organization listed two of the leading risks of heart and stroke disease as: high cholesterol and low intake of vegetables and fruit. 
Think about this for a moment.
Two of the top three risks of heart and stroke disease in North America are from eating too few vegetables and too many animal products (saturated fat and cholesterol found in meat and full-fat dairy products). I was horrified by this!
So many of my clients worry about their risk of heart attack and yet they are able to have a signifiant and positive impact just by choosing what to eat. Adding more vegetables to each meal is completely within your control.
The Standard American Diet (SAD) is too much animal, not enough plant.
How many vegetables to do you eat in a day? For this week, grab a piece of paper and write down which vegetables you ate each day and how much (½ cup, 1 cup)? Is there one thing you can think of to easily increase that amount today?
Spring is the perfect time to start some seeds with tips from The Snarky Gardener to grow your own herbs and vegetables this summer. Stay tuned for more ideas and suggestions!