Cholesterol is a type of fat found in your blood. You need a certain amount of cholesterol for all your body cells and to produce important hormones. However, if there is too much cholesterol in your blood, it sticks to the inner lining of your artery or blood vessels to form atheroma.
Your cholesterol can be measured by your doctor, who knows your family history. If a family member has high cholesterol, heart disease or has had a stroke, it’s really important you ask your doctor to do this test. You can do this on any visit. If your results show a blood cholesterol level greater than five mmol/l (the measurement used for cholesterol levels) or your doctor is concerned about your HDL or LDL cholesterol, he or she will arrange for another test. You will need to fast for 12 hours to get more information on your HDL and LDL cholesterol. If you already have had a heart attack, bypass surgery or angioplasty, it is very important that you keep your LDL below 2.6 mmol/l. As well as HDL and LDL levels, the more detailed test will show triglyceride levels - another type of fat.
You can reduce the cholestrol from the following features:
Cut down on saturated fats: To help reduce your cholesterol level, you need to cut down on saturated fats and instead use unsaturated fats such as olive, rapeseed or sunflower oilds and spreads. You should also reduce the total amount of fat you eat.
Eat oily fish regularly: Oily fish provides the richest source of a particular type of polyunsaturated fat known as omega-3. Omega-3 from oily fish can help to lower blood triglyceride levels, helps prevent the blood from clotting, and can also help to regulate the heart rhythm.
Eat a high-fibre diet: Foods that are high in soluble fibre such as oats, beans, pulses, lentils, nuts, fruits and vegetables, can help lower cholesterol.