A recent NHS-backed project study has made headlines after revealing over a quarter of over-20s in the UK have high cholesterol, blamed on the reliance on food delivery apps and the rise of ‘Deliveroo lifestyles’.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is vital for normal functioning of the body. However, too much cholesterol can cause a build-up in the arteries which restricts blood flow to the heart, brain and rest of the body, and raises your risk of heart attacks, stroke, blood clots, and angina.
With the helping hand of Everyone Health’s experts, we’ve gathered the best ways you can lower your cholesterol and risk of heart and circulatory diseases (and they’re all simple!).
Look at the foods you’re eating
Diets high in saturated fat i.e. fatty and processed meat, pies and pastry, butter, cream are linked to high cholesterol levels.
To keep your cholesterol in check, make the switch to foods high in non-saturated fats like:
- Swapping butter to vegetable oil spreads like sunflower or olive spread
- Switching whole to skimmed milk
- Use natural yogurt instead of sour cream or double cream
- Go for leaner, lower-fat protein sources such as chicken, 5% less fat mince, tofu
- Switch your crisps for unsalted nuts (but be careful with portion sizes!)
- Have reduced fat/’lighter’ cheese instead of regular cheese
- Cut down on the takeaways. Instead, have a cosy night in cooking some of our favourite meals at Everyone Health. Click here to flick through our FREE recipe selection.
Exercise can help your body to move the bad cholesterol to your liver where it can then be removed out of your system.
No, you don’t have to join the gym or head out on a run if that’s not something you enjoy. Simple changes like taking the stairs instead of the lift or going for a 30-minute walk every day can help you to move just that little bit more daily.
Remember, some exercise is better than no exercise!
Stub out the smoking habit
Add this to the list of reasons why you shouldn’t start smoking. Smoking can have a significant impact on your cholesterol levels and increases your risk of heart attacks and stroke.
Cut down on your alcohol intake
Although alcohol doesn’t contain any cholesterol, cutting down on it will help your liver to remove some of the ‘bad’ cholesterol from your body.
If you want to reduce how much you’re drinking, try some of these tips:
- Take alcohol-free days each week
- Drink less than 14 units of alcohol per week
- Order a small glass of wine or half a pint of beer to avoid binge-drinking