High cholesterol and high blood pressure are major risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease – coronary heart disease, heart failure and stroke. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Australia and the risk factors can be greatly reduced by following a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
High blood pressure is particularly treatable with just a few small changes to most people’s diets. Although there is a genetic element with someone’s cholesterol level, often a few simple changes to their diet can see dramatic improvements to cholesterol and triglycerides levels.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a liver-produced fat essential to the body (in small quantities). In simple terms, the body has two types of cholesterol – LDL (or bad cholesterol) which can result in fatty deposits in our arteries; and HDL (or good cholesterol) which aids in removing excess cholesterol in our arteries.
High Cholesterol and High Blood Pressure
The build-up of LDL cholesterol in our arteries causes the blood vessels to narrow and often leads to higher blood pressure and if left untreated may lead to a blockage. This can result in a myocardial infarction (heart attack) or a stroke.
What to do
A Healthier You dietitian will:
- measure your body composition and understand your comprehensive diet history to help identify the sources of the high cholesterol.
- identify sources of saturated fat and reduce or replace them with sources of unsaturated fats based on your likes and dislikes
- identify ways to reduce salt in your diet
- identify ways to add fibre to your diet, which can help improve your cholesterol profile
- help you lose abdominal fat, which can reduce your overall cholesterol and the risk of heart disease
- improve other elements of your diet
- make suggestions regarding exercise and physical activity
Visit Healthier You to help reduce your high cholesterol and lead your life as a healthier you.