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What’s All The Fuss About Cholesterol?

  • October 16, 2014
  • By 50 Shades
  • 16 Comments

DoctorPatient_

A lot of people my age (over 50 years) have what doctor’s term high cholesterol. Mine normally sits at around the high 5’s  which is probably a little on the high end. Over the years my doctor has advised me to make dietary changes to try to lower my cholesterol and I normally adhere to his advice. However more often than not it is genetically inherited.

So why the big fuss about cholesterol and what can we do to lower it without the need for medication? Well here are some facts that I found on the Australia Heart Foundation’s website:

What is cholesterol? 

Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced naturally by your body and found in your blood.

What can it do?

Too much cholesterol in the blood causes fatty deposits to gradually build up in blood vessels. This makes it harder for blood to flow through, which can cause a heart attack or stroke.

Types of cholesterol

There are several types of cholesterol found in your body.

Low density lipoprotein (LDL) is also known as ‘bad’ cholesterol because it can add to the build up of plaque in your arteries and increase your risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).

High density lipoprotein (HDL) is also known as ‘good’ cholesterol because it helps to protect you against CHD.

Healthy cholesterol levels 

It is best to aim for low LDL cholesterol and higher HDL cholesterol.

Total blood cholesterol levels above 5.5 mmol/L are an indication of a greatly increased risk of developing coronary heart disease. Levels above 6.5 mmol/L are considered to indicate extremely high risk.

What can I do to lower my cholesterol?

Making lifestyle changes, in particular changing some of the foods you eat, is very important to help to reduce your cholesterol and improve your heart health.

  • A diet high in saturated fat is the main cause of high cholesterol. Simple ways to reduce the amount we eat include switching from butter to margarine like Flora pro-activ, choosing reduced fat dairy, and trimming visible fat from meat.Flora
  • Enjoy healthy eating. Choose mainly plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits and legumes (dried peas, dried beans and lentils), and grain-based foods (preferably wholegrain), such as bread, pasta, noodles and rice.
  • Consume moderate amounts of lean meats, poultry, fish and reduced fat dairy products, and moderate amounts of polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat.healthy-food-pyramid
  • Exercise can help lower cholesterol by helping you lose or maintain weight. Being overweight tends to increase the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in your blood, the kind of lipoprotein that’s been linked to heart disease.

With Cardiovascular disease being the leading cause of death in Australia, it goes without saying that we all should be taking care of our health and ensure that we keep things in check. I for one want to be around for the pitter patter of tiny feet in the form of grandchildren in the years to come!

This was a sponsored post for Flora Pro-activ.

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By 50 Shades, October 16, 2014 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
  • 16

50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

16 Comments
  • Kim Acedo
    October 16, 2014

    It’s pretty simple, huh? Healthy, whole foods, high in fiber, balanced fat intake, and exercise are the answer. I’m glad you’re not suggesting that people go straight to medication, rather they do it the good old fashioned way!

    • Kathy
      October 16, 2014

      You and me both Kim. I would much rather try natural alternatives to medication anyday. But sometimes I can very naughty with what I eat.

  • Johanna
    October 16, 2014

    I’m also at the higher end, so this was a telling reminder to watch what I eat. I’m always trying to say no to red meat and cheese.

    • Kathy
      October 16, 2014

      Yes me too Jo, but sometimes I lapse into some bad eating habits. And I love cheese!

  • Rachel
    October 16, 2014

    I eat healthly but I just cant for the love god cut out my butter. I am in my mid 40’s and have that number 5 hanging around my neck. I have upped the anti on eating the right foods and I dont even eat that beautiful butter much but it still lingers.

    • Kathy
      October 16, 2014

      I think a lot of is in your genes. It certainly runs in my family. Almost everyone, except me, is on cholesterol and hypertension medication. You have to do your best with your diet without obsessing.

  • Lee-Anne
    October 16, 2014

    Mine is a little high too Karhy but it’s because butter and cheese (and cake) are my middle names! Have just bought some of that margarine to please my vigilant doctor…I feel so virtuous I’m insufferable ;)

    • Kathy
      October 16, 2014

      Ha ha, there is a difference between buying the margarine and using the margarine! I pretty much don’t eat butter or cheese at all any more. But I do have lapses. I don’t mind a muffin now again and that is why I have muffin top!

  • Pinky Poinker
    October 16, 2014

    Last time I had it checked mine was 4.2 which I guess is okay. Mum has high cholesterol but Dad is eighty and a vegetarian like me and has never had it. I must ask Mum if she’s using Flora.

    • Rae Hilhorst
      October 16, 2014

      Didn’t know you were a vegetarian Pinky, I learn something new every day x
      I think I should have mine checked out x

      • Kathy
        October 16, 2014

        I get mine checked fairly regularly as it does tend to be a bit on the high side. I am determined to get it back within the healthy range as I do not want to take medication :)

    • Kathy
      October 16, 2014

      4.2 is within the healthy range, so good for you Pinky. I’m making a concerted effort to get mine down this year. I really don’t want to have to take medication.

  • budgettraveltalk
    October 18, 2014

    My and my husband’s cholesterol are around the same as yours. We use a margarine like Pro Activ and are aware of saturated fats. There is currently a backlash about the heart foundation and this theory. Some people are blaming high cholesteral (not the inherited kind) on processed foods and trans fats and recommend eating a broad range of natural foods regardless of their cholesterol. Personally I think that might be the way for those who do not already have high cholesteral but am not so sure that it would work with those like us. Have you heard about this?

    • Rachel
      October 19, 2014

      Its not so much what I have heard but what I feel about processed foods. A tomatoe does not last in the fridge beyond a couple of weeks and even after a week I would want to cook it up. So therefore anything in a can, has to be questioned. And when you look at the words or what they call contents, some of the what is added is beyond what I know.

      So this is how I weigh it up, fruits and vegetables after I have finished a meal; do not make me feel sluggish, or more to the point lazy. However when I feel really full on carbs (bread, pasta, rice – all the white ones) after eating this I feel lazy. I feel the difference between the rights and wrongs of what I am eating. I could go into poo talk; but since I am new to this blog thing, I will keep that out for now.

      So now for my excuse to me, if I am eating what I consider to be good foods then I let myself eat a little butter, its like my treat. And when I do get to heaven, the first thing I am seriously going to talk to the big fella about is the butter issue.

      Mind you in saying all this, I have not had my yearly check up and might go and get that cholestrol (this for me a swear word) checked out.

      • Kathy
        October 20, 2014

        I totally agree Rachel. All we need to do is cut out all the processed food from our diets and if we want a little butter or cheese then we should be able to have it. Thanks for your insightful and interesting comment. :)

    • Kathy
      October 20, 2014

      I have indeed heard all about this and I am inclined to agree with it. Too much processed food surely is just as damaging as too much high fatty foods. I like to think I eat as naturally as possible with the occasional treat.:)

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