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High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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Indeed, we need some cholesterol to stay healthy, though there are some forms which are considered bad for us. The Mayo Clinic explains with high cholesterol, you can develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels. It says: “Eventually, ibuprofen has upset my stomach these deposits grow, making it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries. Sometimes, those deposits can break suddenly and form a clot that causes a heart attack or stroke.”

The organisation explains high cholesterol can cause “a dangerous accumulation of cholesterol and other deposits on the walls of your arteries”.

It says these deposits can reduce blood flow through your arteries, which can cause complications.

A key one of these complications is chest pain. This happens if the arteries that supply your heart with blood are affected.

It says you might have chest pain and other symptoms of coronary artery disease.

Nonetheless, the NHS explains: “High cholesterol does not cause symptoms. You can only find out if you have it from a blood test.”

The health body says your GP might suggest having a test if they think your cholesterol level could be high.

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

It adds: “If you have high cholesterol, a doctor or nurse will talk to you about how you can lower it. This might include things like changing your diet or taking medicine.”

The NHS says: “Lowering your cholesterol can help lower your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.”

The NHS says: “Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best.

“This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.”

It says: “Most people in the UK eat and drink too many calories, too much saturated fat, sugar and salt, and not enough fruit, vegetables, oily fish or fibre.”

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.

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.

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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