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What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a kind of fatty substance found in our blood. We all naturally have in our bodies; it is made by our liver, Our bodies need this to work it is used by every cell in our body. It helps to make vitamin D (which helps to maintain the health of bones and teeth) and some hormones. Too much cholesterol in your blood can cause fatty material to build up in your artery walls. If a piece of fatty material breaks off this can lead to a heart attack if the artery leads to the heart. If a piece of fatty material breaks off in the artery suppling the brain this can cause a stroke. You will need to have a blood test to advise you of your levels. A heathy level of cholesterol is 5 or below.

What is High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol?

The Good Cholesterol HDL= this carries cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver to be broken down.

What is Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol?

The Bad cholesterol LDL= carries cholesterol from the liver to the cells that need it. But too much fatty material in your blood can cause the fatty material to build up in the artery walls.

What are Non-HDL cholesterol?

These are other types of bad cholesterol in the blood.

What are Triglycerides?

These are another kind of fat which is found in your blood system this is produced naturally in your body by your liver. These fats are also found in our foods such as meat, dairy produce, and cooking oils.

So, what can we do to naturally reduce your cholesterol?

Get Active

Exercise for 20 minutes 3 times a week, start small maybe walking for 20 minutes and build up.

Stop Smoking

This can help to lower you HDL levels, even second hand smoke can be bad for your cholesterol levels.

Diet

  • Eat lots of fruit and vegetables.
  • Whole Grains, oats, beans, and lentils.
  • Losing weight, losing as little as 10 pounds can improve your cholesterol levels.
  • Go- Low fat, in your diet.
  • Stay away from saturated fats, such as are red meats.
  • Trans fats, Hydrogenated vegetable oils. found in margarine and baked goods.
  • High fat dairy food, such as who milk, butter, cheese, sour cream, and ice cream.

For more information visit HeartUK