This week is National Cholesterol Week. High levels of cholesterol are linked to heart disease and strokes. There are a number of risk factors linked to increased cholesterol levels, poor diet being one.
It is important to note that cholesterol is essential for human function, being vital for cells, hormones and the digestive system. Furthermore, while cholesterol is found in various foods such as eggs, prawns and kidneys, it is not the cholesterol in food that has such an impact on our blood cholesterol; it is the saturated fat from our diets that has the biggest impact.
Foods high in saturated fats include:
- butter, ghee, lard, cream
- cakes, biscuits and pastries
- coconut or palm oil
- fatty meats, including sausages.
Fibre (soluble) can help to lower cholesterol. Good sources include:
- fruit and vegetables (check out http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/5ADAY/Pages/Whatcounts.aspx)
Exercise can also play an important role in keeping cholesterol levels in check.
For further details about National Cholesterol Week and to find out more information about this area visit: http://heartuk.org.uk/