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How To Lower My Cholesterol Uk

How Long Does It Take Cholesterol To Go Down

My Cholesterol Test Results and How to Improve HDL and Lower LDL

People who need to use medications such as statins to lower their cholesterol should see their cholesterol levels fall quickly. These medications may work in a matter of weeks, and they generally work to a larger degree than lifestyle changes.

However, because diet affects the levels of cholesterol in the body, doctors commonly recommend that people make changes to their diet and lifestyle in addition to taking medications.

Making simple changes to the diet and lifestyle can help reduce cholesterol. These changes vary depending on how strictly a person adheres to their diet. Other factors, such as exercise and reaching a moderate body weight, also play a role.

Some dietary changes may cause minor reductions in cholesterol in as little as

Cholesterol is a waxy, fatty substance that the liver produces. In the body, cholesterol plays a roll in cell function and the breakdown of some types of fatty acids. The body can create all the cholesterol it needs.

Dietary cholesterol is the other source of cholesterol, coming from the foods a person eats. Cholesterol appears in animal foods, such as meat, egg yolk, and full fat dairy products.

Regularly eating these foods adds more cholesterol to the body and raises the levels of cholesterol in the blood.

Additionally, some fats and oils may stimulate the liver to make more cholesterol, potentially increasing the levels even more.

Dietary and lifestyle changes and medications can all help lower blood cholesterol levels.

High Cholesterol: Nutritionist Reveals Top Prevention Tips

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High cholesterol means you have too much cholesterol in your blood. Cholesterol is a waxy substance produced by the liver. It performs many important roles in the body, such as helping your body make cell membranes, many hormones, and vitamin D. An unusual and unsightly skin symptom could be indicative of high cholesterol levels.

Best Cholesterol Lowering Foods How To Lower Your

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Foods Rich In Unsaturated Fats

Cutting down on saturated fat and replace some of it with unsaturated fats is great way to lower your cholesterol. Foods which contain unsaturated fats include:

  • vegetable oils such as olive, sunflower, corn, rapeseed, nut and seed oils
  • avocado, nuts and seeds
  • fat spreads made from vegetable oils, such as sunflower and olive oil
  • oily fish

Oily fish are a good source of healthy unsaturated fats, specifically a type called omega-3 fats. Aim to eat two portions of fish per week, at least one of which should be oily. A portion is 140g, but you could have two or three smaller portions throughout the week. Tinned, frozen or fresh all count e.g. salmon, sardines, pilchards, trout, herring and mackerel.

Avoid coconut and palm oil as, unlike other vegetable oils, they are high in saturated fat.

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Hdlcholesterollevels What Is The Correct Cholesterol Level ...

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Health experts have agreed that milder exercises, spread out over longer time periods, may be better for your heart and cholesterol than intense exercise for short periods of time.

Sports coach Arj Thruchelvam has more than 16 years experience in the field of sports, nutrition and health.

He said: High intensity offers little advantage over moderate intensity exercise, but usually results in lower volume.

This would suggest that moderate intensity exercise is the most preferential.

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Include A Couple Of Serves Of Oily Fish During The Week

Eating a serve of oily fish two to three times per week is a long-standing recommendation to promote overall cardiovascular health. Oily fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels. Examples of oily fish include salmon, tuna, trout, herring, sardines and mackerel. Our bodies cannot synthesise omega-3s, meaning they must be obtained from our diet. Easy ways to include a serve of oily fish in your week are to:

  • Add a can of tuna to salads, sandwiches or wraps
  • Replace grilled chicken with grilled salmon
  • Try an oven tuna pasta bake with vegetables.

Can High Cholesterol Be Prevented Or Avoided

Making healthy food choices and exercising are two ways to reduce your risk of developing high cholesterol.

Eat fewer foods with saturated fats . Choose healthier fats. This includes lean meats, avocados, nuts, and low-fat dairy items. Avoid foods that contain trans fat . Look for foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These foods include salmon, herring, walnuts, and almonds. Some egg brands contain omega-3.

Exercise can be simple. Go for a walk. Take a yoga class. Ride your bike to work. You could even participate in a team sport. Aim to get 30 minutes of activity every day.

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What If I Am At Low Risk

Even if you have a low risk of cardiovascular disease it is still very important to follow the healthy lifestyle advice. This advice, including healthy eating, regular exercise, not smoking and drinking alcohol only in moderation if at all, will help to keep your risk of cardiovascular disease as low as possible.

Quick Tips For Getting Started

Cholesterol | How To Lower Cholesterol | How To Reduce Cholesterol

1. Keep a food diary. Write down what you eat for a few days to get to know what your diet really looks like and where you can make changes.

2. Start small. Start with some simple swaps rather than trying to change everything all at once.

3. Try a diet plan. If you’re looking for a more detailed plan, try the Ultimate Cholesterol Lowering Plan.

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How Is High Cholesterol Diagnosed

You cant tell if you have high cholesterol without having it checked. A simple blood test will reveal your cholesterol level.

Men 35 years of age and older and women 45 years of age and older should have their cholesterol checked. Men and women 20 years of age and older who have risk factors for heart disease should have their cholesterol checked. Teens may need to be checked if they are taking certain medicines or have a strong family history of high cholesterol. Ask your doctor how often you should have your cholesterol checked.

Risk factors for heart disease include:

  • Cigarette smoking.
  • Having an immediate family member who has had heart disease.
  • Being overweight or obese.
  • Inactivity.

What Is The Difference Between Good Cholesterol And Bad Cholesterol

Good cholesterol is known as high-density lipoprotein . It removes cholesterol from the bloodstream. Low-density lipoprotein is the bad cholesterol.

If your total cholesterol level is high because of a high LDL level, you may be at higher risk of heart disease or stroke. But, if your total cholesterol level is high only because of a high HDL level, youre probably not at higher risk.

Triglycerides are another type of fat in your blood. When you eat more calories than your body can use, it turns the extra calories into triglycerides.

Changing your lifestyle can improve your cholesterol levels, lower LDL and triglycerides, and raise HDL.

Your ideal cholesterol level will depend on your risk for heart disease.

  • Total cholesterol level less than 200 is best, but it depends on your HDL and LDL levels.
  • LDL cholesterol levels less than 130 is best, but this depends on your risk for heart disease.
  • HDL cholesterol levels 60 or higher reduces your risk for heart disease.
  • Triglycerides less than 150 milligrams per deciliter is best.

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Ways To Reduce Cholesterol Through Healthier Eating

  • Replace butter on bread with sunflower or olive oil spreads.
  • Reduce cooking with high level fats such as butter, lard, ghee, and goose fat. Use minimal amount of vegetable oils and spreads when cooking instead.
  • Replace fatty meats, such as sausages and burgers, with lean meats, such as chicken and all kinds of fish .
  • Avoid snacks such as cakes, biscuits, chocolate and pastries, and replace with nuts , dried and fresh fruit, or hummus.
  • Cut out full fat milk or cream in yoghurt, tea and coffee, soups and sauces. Replace with a lower fat option, such as skimmed milk.
  • Try to cut out cheese altogether. If you must eat cheese, ensure it’s low fat or stick to much smaller portion sizes, less often.
  • Eat soups that are low in salt and made with vegetable stock and choose tomato-based sauces over creamy ones. However, also be aware of the sugar in some tomato-based sauces. High sugar content food is not good for someone with raised cholesterol.
  • Avoid frying foods. Use alternative cooking methods such as grilling, slow cooking and poaching. If roasting something, ensure you use a small amount of vegetable oil, such as olive, sunflower or rapeseed oil.

Take a look at our article on the best cholesterol-lowering foods for more information, or visit our diet and nutrition centre for lots of dietary tips, inspiration and healthy and delicious recipesto help get you started.

Lifestyle Changes To Reduce Cholesterol

Pin on Bad Cholesterol
  • Increase your activity levels…
  • Try using the stairs instead of lifts or escalators
  • Park away from the shops or your worklplace and walk the rest of the way
  • Go for a walk during your lunch break
  • Team up with a friend and get an allotment
  • Get more active as a family – try cycling, swimming, park rambles or taking the dog for a walk.
  • Stop smoking. Enquire at your local GP surgery about any stop smoking support groups or NHS supported programmes.
  • Reduce alcohol intake. Drink no more than 14 units per week. Ensure you spread your units over the course of a week and do not save them up and drink them all on one day/evening.
  • Lose weight – particularly if your carry weight around your waist. In European people, a waist line of 80cm carries an increased risk and 88cm carries a high risk of increased cholesterol and heart disease.
  • Take a look at our wellbeing hub for inspiration, motivation and expert tips to help you eat, move and live your way to better health.

    Or visit our heart centre for more information about heart related conditions and simple steps you can take to stay heart healthy.

    Answered by the Health at Hand team.

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    What Causes High Cholesterol

    Many factors can increase your chances of having heart problems or a stroke if you have high cholesterol.

    These include:

    • an unhealthy diet in particular, eating high levels of saturated fat
    • smoking a chemical called acrolin, found in cigarettes, stops HDL transporting cholesterol from fatty deposits to the liver, leading to narrowing of the arteries
    • having diabetes or high blood pressure
    • having a family history of stroke or heart disease

    There’s also an inherited condition called familial hypercholesterolaemia. This can cause high cholesterol even in someone who eats healthily.

    Read more about the causes of high cholesterol

    What Makes Up A Heart

    • Eat lots of fruits, vegetables and plant-based foods

    Vegetables, pulses , fruits, nuts, seeds and wholegrains are full of nutrients and good for your cholesterol and your heart. Go for at least five portions of fruit and veg a day to stay healthy and help you eat less high-calorie foods. Fresh, frozen, canned and dried all count.

    • Eat a variety of healthy sources of protein such as peas, beans, lentils, fish, nuts, chicken and lean red meat.

    These foods are high in protein and nutrients but low in saturated fat. If you eat red meat, make sure it’s lean and watch the quantity. Eat less meat and more plant foods by swapping some meat-based meals for vegetarian options.

    • Eat some low-fat dairy products or fortified dairy alternatives

    Dairy foods contain calcium which is essential for good health. Choose low fat options to avoid the saturated fat. When choosing dairy alternatives, go for unsweetened, calcium-fortified varieties.

    • Swap saturated fats for heart-healthy fats

    Choose vegetable-based spreads and oils instead of butter, lard, ghee, coconut and palm oil to cut down on saturated fat.

    • Include starchy foods which are high in fibre

    Choose wholegrain options such as wholemeal bread and chapatti, brown rice, wholemeal pasta or wholegrain breakfast cereals. They contain lots of nutrients, as well as fibre which helps with digestion and keeps you feeling full so you dont snack. Choose these instead of white rice, white bread and white pasta.

    • Cut down on sugary foods and drinks

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    Who Should Have A Cholesterol Test

    When you reach 40, your GP may offer you a cholesterol test. This will be part of a health check that you have every five years to work out your risk of developing heart disease and stroke.

    Your GP may also offer you a cholesterol test if you:

    • have a family history of high cholesterol
    • have heart disease
    • are unable to get or maintain an erection

    Foods With Added Sterols And Stanols

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    Sterols and stanols are plant chemicals which are a similar size and shape to cholesterol. They are absorbed from the intestines into the blood stream and block some cholesterol from being absorbed, lowering the cholesterol in your blood.

    We get a small amount of sterols from plant-based foods such as vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, but its not enough to lower cholesterol. So, food companies have developed foods with plant sterols or stanols added to them, such as mini yogurt drinks, fat spreads, milk and yogurts.

    These fortified foods lower your cholesterol gradually, over a few weeks, and how much depends on the amount you eat. Some experts believe they are the most effective single food for lowering cholesterol.

    Who should eat foods with sterols and stanols added?

    Sterols and stanols have been thoroughly researched, so they can be added to foods and are safe to eat.

    They are suitable for:

    • People with high cholesterol theres no real benefit if you dont have high cholesterol.
    • Children with inherited high cholesterol such as familial hypercholesterolaemia with support from a doctor or dietitian.
    • People taking statins sterols and stanols will help to lower your cholesterol further because they work in a different way to the statin.

    They are not suitable for:

    Aim for: one to three servings of fortified foods a day. This will give you 1.5 to 3g of stanols and sterols.

    Three servings of: OR

    • 1 glass of milk

    One product a day:

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    What Is ‘bad’ Cholesterol

    Whilst cholesterol is seen as the enemy of a healthy diet, we actually need the fatty substance to stay healthy. “It’s needed to make cell membranes, various hormones, certain vitamins and bile salts which are important for the digestion of fat,” explains Garton.

    The problem comes when there are high levels of cholesterol in the blood, increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke and vascular dementia. The risk increases the longer the higher cholesterol is left untreated.

    There are actually two main types of cholesterol involved: low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein .

    “LDL is the main carrier of cholesterol in the blood and is often called ‘bad’ cholesterol because too much LDL cholesterol can build up in your arteries and cause narrowing,” says Garton. “HDL is often called ‘good’ as it picks up excess cholesterol from the arteries and takes it back to the liver where it can be removed from the circulation. As well as LDL cholesterol, other non-HDL cholesterol is considered ‘bad’ as it can also contribute to fatty build-up in the arteries.

    “The ideal situation is to have low non-HDL cholesterol. It’s also important that your HDL cholesterol does not drop too low.”

    How Can I Lower My Cholesterol Level

    The first step in reducing your cholesterol is to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. It’s important to keep your diet low in fatty food.

    You can swap food containing saturated fat for fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals. This will also help prevent high cholesterol returning.

    Other lifestyle changes, such as taking regular exercise and giving up smoking, can also make a big difference in helping to lower your cholesterol.

    If these measures don’t reduce your cholesterol and you continue to have a high risk of developing heart disease, your GP may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering medication, such as statins.

    Your GP will take into account the risk of any side effects from statins. The benefit of lowering your cholesterol must outweigh any risks.

    Read more about how high cholesterol is treated

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    Dietary Tips To Avoid Cholesterol

    The most important thing you can do to reduce your cholesterol level is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You should try to:

    • Increase the amount and variety of fresh fruit, vegetables and wholegrain foods you have each day.
    • Choose low or reduced-fat milk, yoghurt and other dairy products or have added calcium soy drinks.
    • Choose lean meat .
    • Limit fatty meats, including sausages and salami, and choose leaner sandwich meats like turkey breast or cooked lean chicken.
    • Have fish at least twice a week.
    • Replace butter and dairy blends with polyunsaturated margarines.
    • Include foods in your diet that are rich in soluble fibre and healthy fats, such as nuts, legumes and seeds.
    • Limit cheese and ice cream to twice a week.

    Other storage fats that are transported in blood lipoproteins include triglycerides. When present in high concentrations in the blood, this fat is also a risk for heart attack. Some foods will affect the cholesterol level or the triglyceride level and some will affect both.

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