Cholesterol is a natural wax like substance found in human blood and food such as butter, eggs and red meat. Cholesterol is essential for the body, but excess levels may cause health hazards like CHD or coronary heart disease. Certain lifestyle changes and diet modifications can prevent high level of bad cholesterol thereby reducing cardiac related risks.
Cholesterol helps in digestion of food, vitamins and enables hormone production. There are 2 types of cholesterol, the first is LDL or low-density lipoprotein, also known as bad cholesterol or an unhealthy form. The second type is HDL or high-density cholesterol, also known as good cholesterol, that is protective in nature.
High cholesterol may be due to certain factors like old age, genetics or family history, being obese, poor lifestyle habits and is also common in certain races. High cholesterol may cause heart attack, stroke, angina, peripheral and carotid artery disease and other cardiovascular problems.
Weight management, eating healthy, regular exercise and cholesterol lowering supplements and medications help to control high level of blood cholesterol.
- Limit the intake of fat
- Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables
- Increase fibre intake and manage weight
- Eat foods rich in soluble fibre and omega-3 fatty acids
- Don’t over eat refined foods and sugar especially those rich in saturated fats
- Avoid red meat and oily food
- Avoid a sedentary lifestyle
- Do not smoke
- Reduce stress