What is Cholesterol and what is meant by high Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that occurs naturally in the body and whilst it plays a vital role, having too much cholesterol in your blood can increase your risk of heart disease.
There are two main types of cholesterol:1- High-density lipoprotein (HDL)2 – low-density lipoprotein (LDL).Lipoprotein is the name for cholesterol combined with the proteins that carry it around your body.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) takes cholesterol from the liver to the body tissues. If there is too much of it in the blood it can build up in the walls of the blood vessels and cause them to narrow. This is why LDL cholesterol is sometimes called ‘bad’ cholesterol.
What are healthy cholesterol levels ? Guidelines from the Joint British Societies suggest that you should also aim for a total cholesterol level of less than 5 and this is easily tested by your Doctor.
Causes of high cholesterol Eating too much saturated fat is one of the main causes of high cholesterol.
However there are other factors that can also affect cholesterol levels. These include diabetes, growing older, menopause, family history, ethnicity and family history and surprise surprise – smoking.
Diabetes substantially increases the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). It also increases the effect of other risk factors for heart disease, such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity.
Men over 45, and women over 55, should have their cholesterol checked every 2–3 years.The menopause can trigger higher cholesterol levels.
Flora has an amazing website full of hints and tips for reducing your cholesterol levels and maintaining a healthy heart.