HIGH cholesterol is often caused by eating fatty food or being overweight. It occurs when you have too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood. Fortunately, many people can lower their cholesterol by eating healthily, and making lifestyle changes.
High cholesterol does not tend to cause symptoms, so you can only find out if you have it from a blood test. If you have been advised to make dietary changes, there are a number of things to consider. We need some cholesterol to stay healthy, though there are some forms which are considered bad for us.
Changing what you eat, being more active, and stopping smoking can help get your cholesterol back to a healthy level.
The NHS says: “To reduce your cholesterol, try to cut down on fatty food, especially food that contains a type of fat called saturated fat.
“You can still have foods that contain a healthier type of fat called unsaturated fat.”
Indeed, the British Dietetic Association has outlined “a few small changes to your diet” which it says “can make a big difference to your cholesterol level”.
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First, it emphasises the importance of choosing healthier fats.
It says: “To help lower your cholesterol you don’t need to avoid fats altogether. You should cut down on foods high in saturated fat and replace them with food high in unsaturated”.
These foods high in unsaturated fat include things such as nuts, seeds, avocado and oily fish.
There are also two other key changes you may need to make.
The British Dietetic Association says: “Compare labels and choose foods with green or amber labels for ‘saturates’.”
Foods are high, red, in saturated fat if they contain more than 5g of saturated fat per 100g.
Foods containing 1.5g or less per 100g are low, green, in saturated fat.
Nonetheless, the site notes: “Some healthy foods that are high in fat like oily fish, nuts and oils, may be red for saturated fat. This is okay, as they contain more of the healthy unsaturated fat.”
Lastly, the organisation advises eating plenty of fibre. This helps lower your risk of heart disease and some high fibre foods can help lower your cholesterol.
To make sure you get enough fibre, it says you should aim for five portions of fruit and. “Brinkwire Summary News”.