There are two key transport systems of cholesterol in our blood.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol carries most of the cholesterol that is delivered to cells. It is often referred to as your ‘bad’ cholesterol because when the levels are high it can clog up your arteries.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is often referred to as your ‘good’ cholesterol because it helps to remove excess cholesterol out of the cells including the arteries.
Too much cholesterol (particularly LDL) circulating in your system leads to fatty deposits developing in the arteries. This causes the vessels to narrow and they can eventually become blocked, which can lead to heart disease and stroke.
Dietary strategies to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol include limiting saturated fat, increasing fresh fruit and vegetables, using moderate amounts of unsaturated fats and consuming foods high in soluble fibre. Avoiding foods high in cholesterol all together is often not required. A lack of exercise, excessive alcohol consumption and smoking can also contribute to unhealthy levels of cholesterol. Some people may require medication to lower their levels of cholesterol.
How We Can Help
Our dietitians can provide dietary suggestions that will increase the ‘heart health’ of your diet.