There are two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is bad for you, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is helpful. There are steps you can take to decrease your LDL levels and raise the level of HDL in your blood. Controlling your cholesterol in this way can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and disease of the arteries, which can cause heart attack and stroke.
By Hilary Pereira
Watch your fats
Eating a diet high in saturated fats (animal fats which become solid at room temperature, such as lard and butter) will increase your levels of LDL (‘
Cook in fat-free ways
Instead of frying foods, experiment with different ways of cooking, including steaming, microwaving, baking, grilling, boiling and poaching.
Eat more soluble fibre
Good sources of soluble fibre are oats and pulses, fruits and vegetables, and some fibres bind with cholesterol in the gut so that it gets excreted r
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Increase your intake of sterols and stanols
It might sound complicated, but you can buy products that contain sterols and stanols, which occur naturally in a range of plant
Increase your activity levels
Exercise has been found to help reduce cholesterol levels, athough it’s not completely clear yet how.
Reduce your coffee intake
High levels of caffeine in the diet is linked with an increase in LDL(‘bad’) cholesterol levels and a decrease in HDL(‘good&rsqu
Eat more oily fish
Oily fish such as sardines, tuna, mackerel and salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids which can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels while raising HDL levels.<
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Smoking releases a chemical found in cigarettes called acrolein into the bloodstream, and this stops HDL from transporting LDLcholesterol to the liver.
Maintaining a healthy weight helps regulate your cholesterol levels, because being overweight increases your risk of having high levels of LDL cholesterol, and
Act on your GP’s advice
Some cases of high cholesterol are ‘familial’, meaning they are down to family genes more than lifestyle.