Cholesterol is an important building block in cell formation and hormones as well as for metabolism.
Cholesterol's bodily function
Cholesterol is transported by the blood and is necessary for a great number of functions.
You will receive one figure with total value when you have your cholesterol measured. This covers the two general cholesterol types:
The "good" cholesterol that helps transport cholesterol from the cells to the liver from where it is expelled.
The "bad" cholesterol that behaves in the exact opposite manner. LDL supplies the cells with cholesterol where it is stored in vascular walls, leading to arteriosclerosis. This can quickly lead to blood clots and other cardiovascular diseases.
Elevated cholesterol levels
Cholesterol levels and the proportion of LDL and HDL are determined by both heredity and environmental factors. Therefore, it may be possible to improve your overall level by, for example, lifestyle changes such as healthy diet, exercise and perhaps weight loss.
The most common hereditary form of raised cholesterol levels is called familial hypercholesterolemia.
Your doctor will be able to determine if there is a question of genetics or environment and whether you need cholesterol lowering medication.
Raised cholesterol levels often appear in conjunction with other risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, for example:
- Raised blood pressure
- Lack of Exercise
- Ideal: < 5.0 mmol/L
- Slightly elevated: 5.0 - 6.4 mmol/L
- Moderately elevated: 6.5 - 7.9 mmol/L
- Extremely elevated: 7.9 mmol/l
Live an active and healthy life
You can do a lot to avoid getting high cholesterol:
- Quit smoking.
- Lose excess weight.
- Keep your waist measurements within the recommended limits (women, below 80 cm, men, below 90 cm).
- Avoid animal fats such as butter, fat rich cheese, crackling, fatty meat, chips, sweets, cakes etc.
- Eat healthier fats, for example, olive oil, rapeseed oil, avocado, nuts etc.
- Eat fish two to three times a week.
- Exercise 30 to 60 minutes daily.
- Eat 600 grams of fruit and veg daily.
- Eat fibre rich foods – 75 grams wholegrain per day.
- Cut down on alcohol.
- Have your cholesterol checked regularly.