Richmond Practice - High colesterol

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High colesterol
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What is high cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is made in the liver from the food we eat. It is an essential compound in our body that is present in cell membranes, hormones, the insulation of nerve fibres and the bile acids that assist in digestion. But, too much cholesterol can be harmful to our health as it tends to deposit in the blood vessels and narrow them. This could lead to cardiovascular disease such as angina, heart attacks, strokes or peripheral arterial disease.

We differentiate two types of cholesterol:
  • HDL: High density lipoprotein is often called "good cholesterol" as a raised HDL level reflects a good lifestyle.
  • LDL: Low density lipoprotein is often called "bad cholesterol" as a raised LDL level increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Usually high cholesterol is a consequence of a diet rich in saturated fat. However, some people have high blood cholesterol even though they eat a healthy diet. For example, they may have inherited a condition called familial hyperlipidaemia.

To have good cholesterol levels you should reduce the amount of fat you eat. Cut down on saturated fats (present in cakes, biscuits, cheese, butter, cream, meat.) Choose unsaturated fats whenever possible (present in vegetable oils, sunflower oil, nuts, avocado) and eat oily fish regularly. Physical activity tends to increase your good cholesterol level, which is a protective factor, so take plenty of exercise as well.

Consult your doctor if you:
  • are worried about your cholesterol level and want it assessed
  • don't have a balanced diet and want advice on how to improve it
  • have any questions regarding your lifestyle
  • are worried about developing cardiovascular disease.
At Richmond Practice we offer essential and comprehensive health checks to assess your cholesterol levels, your cardiovascular risks and all other health concerns to guide you to a healthier lifestyle.

 

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