What is cholesterol?

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Oct 18

Cholesterol is a fatty substance in our blood that’s produced naturally in the liver. Everyone has it and we need it to stay healthy because every single cell in our body uses it.

There are two main types of cholesterol, one is ‘good’ and one is ‘bad’. Having too much ‘bad’ can clog up the arteries that carry the blood around your body and cause problems (heart attack, stroke, heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases) however, there aren’t usually any symptoms of a high cholesterol.

What is a high cholesterol?

Anyone can get a high cholesterol. It’s worked out by measuring your ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol and your triglyceride level via a blood test. A high cholesterol level means you have too much of the ‘bad’ cholesterol in your bloodstream. But a high level of the ‘good’ cholesterol can level it out.

How can I avoid getting a high cholesterol?

A high cholesterol can be caused by lots of different things, some you can control, like lifestyle habits, and some that you can’t like family history. By taking care of those you can control, you can still lower your risk of the possible problems that come with high cholesterol. Some of the things you can control are:

  • The amount of saturated fat you’re eating
  • Not smoking
  • Being active
  • Not having too much body fat
Where can I find out more?

There’s lots more information on the British Heart Foundation website about how to control your cholesterol and what to do if you do have a high cholesterol.

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