High cholesterol affects 60% of the British population, Heart UK statistics reveal.
This is a major concern, as the prevalent problem increases heart attack and stroke risk.
Before doctors prescribe patients with medication, they often advise them to re-vamp their diets.
So what should you be eating to lower your cholesterol?
In order to reduce your “bad cholesterol”, it’s important to monitor which foods you are putting into your body.
While the NHS advises patients to reduce the amount of saturated products they consume, they shouldn’t shun all fats.
The website explains: “It’s not healthy to completely cut all types of fat from your diet.
“It’s important to replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats.
“They have been shown to increase levels of ‘good cholesterol’ (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL) and reduce any blockages in your arteries.”
The Heart Foundation also urges people to ditch saturated fats for healthier alternatives.
It adds: “These fats help the cholesterol balance in your blood by decreasing the bad (LDL) cholesterol and increase the good (HDL) cholesterol.
“Replacing saturated and trans fats with healthier ones helps to lower your risk of heart disease.
“A healthy eating pattern will provide a balance of fats – by including healthier unsaturated fats and limiting unhealthy saturated and trans fats.”
Processed foods, such as sausages and baked goods, should be eaten in moderation.
Opting for plant-based products and omega-3 rich fish instead should help to lower your cholesterol.
The NHS recommends eating the following foods to boost your unsaturated fat intake:
– oily fish – such as mackerel, salmon and sardines
– nuts and seeds
– sunflower, rapeseed and olive oil
Unlike other health concerns, high cholesterol tends not to cause any warning symptoms.
To establish whether or not your lipid levels are stable, a doctor many recommend a blood test.
If you are overweight, smoke and have high blood pressure, you may be more at risk.
Those with a family history of high cholesterol are also warned to be cautious about their lifestyles.
- High cholesterol
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