Cholesterol

Overview

Cholesterol and triglycerides are both types of fat found in the blood.  High levels of cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease. Cholesterol is made my the liver and is present in some types of food.  When too much cholesterol is present in the blood, the excess is deposited in arteries, especially the coronary arteries.  Coronary arteries supply the heart muscle with oxygen.  Over time the arteries can become blocked by cholesterol.  This can cause a heart attack or stroke.

Two types of cholesterol

There are two main types of cholesterol in your blood:

  • HDL or ‘GOOD cholesterol helps clear the blood vessels
  • LDL or ‘BAD’ cholesterol can block the blood vessels

Saturated fat in food can cause greater increase in ‘BAD’ cholesterol.

Lowering cholesterol

You can lower your cholesterol by making changes in your diet by adopting a healthy eating plan:

  • Eat less saturated fat
  • Choose polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats
  • Include Omega-3 fats in your diet at least twice a week
  • Increase your soluble fibre intake

A cholesterol medication will be prescribed if your cholesterol levels remain high.

The Heart Foundation has many examples and resources on healthy eating and information about cholesterol in food