This Morning's Dr Chris discusses the signs of high cholesterol
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Indeed, Harvard Health notes there are a number of foods which are “notorious” for raising levels of LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol. It says red meat such as beef, pork, and lamb “are generally high in saturated fat” and although you don’t have to avoid meat entirely, “eat it only on occasion”. The Cleveland Clinic suggests that people focus on lower-fat sources of animal protein, such as baked skinless or lean ground poultry.
The American Heart Association recommends choosing healthy sources of proteins, mostly from plant sources; regularly eating fish and seafood.
It recommends substituting nonfat and low-fat dairy products in place of full-fat versions and for people who eat meat or poultry, picture of oxycodone 30 mg prescription choosing those that are lean and unprocessed.
It says eating a lot of meat is not a healthy way to lose weight, especially if you have or are at risk for heart disease.
The organisation says that in general, red meats have more saturated fat than skinless chicken, fish and plant proteins. Saturated fats can raise your blood cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease.
Heart UK notes liver is a lean meat which is high in cholesterol. Nonetheless, it’s low in saturated fat and high in vitamins and minerals such as iron, copper, zinc, and vitamins A, B and D.
The organisation says: “It’s generally a very healthy food to eat, but it’s so high in vitamin A that it’s best not to eat too much of it. For some people, eating liver often could mean that vitamin A builds up in the body, causing health problems.”
The government recommends eating no more than one portion per week of liver or liver pate and if you do eat liver, avoid any supplements that also contain vitamin A in the form of retinol.
It adds: “If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, avoid liver, liver pate and supplements which contain retinol completely.
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. The NHS says most people in the UK eat too much saturated fat.
Heart UK says: “Cholesterol is only found in foods that come from animals, there is no cholesterol in foods that come from plants. So, there is no cholesterol in fruit, vegetables, grains, seeds, nuts, beans, peas and lentils.”
The NHS outlines a number of other lifestyle changes you may be able to make to lower your cholesterol.
A key one is to cut down on alcohol. You should try to avoid drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week, and avoid binge drinking. You can ask your GP for help if you are struggling to cut down.
Eating plenty of fibre helps lower your risk of heart disease, and some high-fibre foods can help lower your cholesterol.
You might need medicine to lower your cholesterol if your cholesterol level has not gone down after changing your diet and lifestyle.
You may also need medicine if you’re at a high risk of having a heart attack or stroke, according to the NHS.
Statins work by reducing the amount of cholesterol your body makes. The NHS says: “Like all medicines, statins can cause side effects. But most people tolerate them well and do not have any problems.”
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.
Your total cholesterol should be 5mmol/L or less for healthy adults or 4mmol/L or less for those at high risk.
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