High cholesterol: Two Christmas foods to lower your cholesterol – and what to avoid

HIGH cholesterol occurs when you have too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood. Fortunately, there are some Christmas foods which may be good for your cholesterol levels.

Too much cholesterol can block your blood vessels as it makes you more likely to have heart problems or a stroke. Some people may be advised to take medication to lower their cholesterol. Statins are the most common medicine for high cholesterol, as they reduce the amount of cholesterol your body makes. You may be able to lower your cholesterol by eating healthily and getting more exercise.

Moreover, there are some festive foods which may help you with your cholesterol levels.

The NHS says that eating plenty of fibre helps lower your risk of heart disease, and some high-fibre foods can help lower your cholesterol.

It suggests that adults should aim for at least 30g of fibre a day. These can include potatoes with their skins on, which you may want to incorporate into your Christmas meal.

Moreover, a healthy Christmas snack to lower your cholesterol is nuts, according to the health site.

Unfortunately, there are some festive foods which you may need to reduce or cut out.

The NHS says that there are two main types of fat which are saturated and unsaturated. Eating too many foods high in saturated fat can raise the level of cholesterol in your blood.

Foods high in saturated fat include sausages, fatty cuts of meat, cream, hard cheeses or cakes and biscuits.

“Eating foods that contain unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat can actually help reduce cholesterol levels,” it adds.

It is almost important to avoid drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week during the Christmas season.

The NHS suggests that you have several drink-free days each week, and also avoid drinking lots of alcohol in a short time.

High cholesterol does not cause symptoms and you can only find out if you have it from a blood test.

You should ask your GP surgery for a cholesterol test if you have not had a test before and you’re over 40, overweight, or high cholesterol or heart problems run in your family, or you’re more likely to have high cholesterol.

If you’re aged 40 to 74, you can get your cholesterol checked as part of an NHS Health Check.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) recommends all adults have a cholesterol check at any age, even if they feel completely well. It should be repeated every five years – or more often if the test was abnormal.

The cholesterol blood test measures your levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and your total cholesterol to HDL ratio.

“There is no specific target cholesterol level because your doctor is looking at your overall risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases,” according to the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Nonetheless, as a general guide your total cholesterol should be 5mmol/L or less for healthy adults or 4mmol/L or less for those at high risk.

It is not common to have cholesterol levels that are too low, but it can happen.

“Your GP might suggest having a test if they think your cholesterol level could be high,” explains the NHS.

“This may be because of your age, weight or another condition you have (like high blood pressure or diabetes).”

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/1521344/high-cholesterol-nuts-and-potatoes-can-lower-it

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