Eating Fresh Food

Cholesterol

Cut Your Cholesterol Level

Eating a low-fat diet reduces cholesterol and the risk of developing heart disease. In particular, reducing your intake of saturated fat (found in high levels in meat and dairy products, cakes, sweets and biscuits), is associated with cutting the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease.

Cholesterol Lowering Drugs

Reducing cholesterol will reduce the risk of another stroke or TIA. If lifestyle changes are not making enough of a difference, medical treatment may be needed, usually with statins.

If you’re offered statins you may be asked to have a blood test to find out how well your liver is working. Sometimes statins affect levels of liver enzymes, and in rare cases this can cause muscle problems. This blood sample will also be used to check for other health problems such as diabetes. If you start on statins, you may also have another blood test at three months and the end of the year. You’ll probably be offered a statin called simvastatin which has been used for about 20 years, and has a good record of reducing LDL-cholesterol and few side effects. If simvastatin is not the right treatment, you’ll probably be offered another type of statin. You may need to use statins long-term, to keep your risk of a future stroke or heart attack low.

Combat the Fat

Whilst the body needs some cholesterol, extra cholesterol may get stored in your arteries (blood vessels) leaving deposits or patches called atheroma. Patches of atheroma, also called plaques, are like small fatty lumps that develop on the linings of arteries causing them to narrow. Large deposits can block an artery, so the blood cannot flow through. This can affect any blood vessel.

What can be done?

AVOID SATURATED FATS

Found in: Fatty meats, cream, butter, whole-fat milk and cheeses, biscuits, hard margarine, coconut and chocolate.

GO FOR UNSATURATED FATS

Found in: Olive oil, sunflower oil, low-fat milk, vegetables, pulses, oats, fruits (not avocados), fish (not prawns and shellfish), chicken, turkey and lean meat.

EAT LOTS OF FIBRE

Found in: Vegetables, pulses, fruit (especially berries, bananas, apples and citrus fruits) and oat cereals (not wheat).

It can help to:

  • Limit eggs to two per week
  • Remove all visible fat from meat and skin from chicken
  • Eat more fish
  • Try to eat at least two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables every day
  • Choose low-fat cooking methods, such as grilling, steaming or microwaving
  • Avoid fried foods
  • Choose wholegrain (rather than white) bread, cereals, pasta and brown rice

Find out how to have a healthier diet and cut down on fat intake.

Go To: www.eatwell.gov.uk

 

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