High cholesterol is the name given to having too much of a fatty substance in your blood. This substance, known as cholesterol, can lead to blockages in your blood vessels.
Blocked blood vessels raises the risk of heart attacks and strokes, as it limits the blood supply to the heart and the rest of the body.
It’s not always easy to know whether you have high cholesterol, as there aren’t any obvious symptoms.
But, you’re more likely to have high cholesterol if you eat certain foods, it’s been revealed.
You should avoid eating full-fat dairy foods, urged charity Heart UK, including milk, cheese and yoghurt.
These dairy foods contain cholesterol, and are also high in saturated fat.
Cutting back on the amount of animal foods in your diet is an easy way to reduce your cholesterol levels.
But, if you prefer to eat dairy foods, simply swap you full-fat versions to either skimmed, or reduced-fat varieties.
You can still eat these foods if you’re at risk of high cholesterol or cardiovascular disease, but it’s crucial that you regularly monitor your cholesterol levels, it said.
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“Most people don’t need to cut down on the cholesterol that’s found in foods, so you can still enjoy eggs and shellfish,” said the charity.
“It’s much more important to cut down on foods which contain saturated fats. Eating saturated fats can raise your blood cholesterol.
“Try to replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats which are better for your heart.
“All animal foods contain some cholesterol. But by cutting down on the animal foods that contain saturated fats you will be keeping the cholesterol in your diet in check too.”
You could also be raising your cholesterol levels if you regularly eat foods rich in animal fats, it added.
These include butter, margarines, or other spreads made from animal fats.
It’s also important to limit the amount of fatty or processed meats in your diet.
Non-animal foods, including fruit and vegetables, don’t contain any cholesterol, however, and are an ideal choice for a quick snack.
Meanwhile, high cholesterol may be caused by eating lots of fatty foods, or by not doing enough exercise.
Obesity, smoking, and drinking lots of alcohol, all contribute to your cholesterol levels.
Medication can help to keep your cholesterol levels in check, but it’s also important to stick to a healthy diet, and to do regular exercise.
Everyone should aim to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day, as well as 150 minutes of exercise every week.
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