Cholesterol is a substance that is actually made in your body. It is absolutely vital because without you would be a liquid mess on the floor. Each one of your many billions of cells is made up of cholesterol. Cholesterol provides rigidity to your cells and hence is important to its structure.
Many people will find out they have high cholesterol after having a routine blood test at their GP’s surgery. A combined total cholesterol figure above 5 is considered by the medical profession to be high. Statins will usually be prescribed at this stage. If this happens to you, you need to ask a few more questions………
Firstly you have two types of cholesterol, one is high denisty HDL and one is low density LDL. If you have a combined total cholesterol of over 5 you must first ask what is my ratio of HDL to LDL. HDL cholesterol is good to have whereas LDL cholesterol is not. If your HDL cholesterol is above 1.5mmol/l or 60mg/dl that is great. If your LDL is is below 2.7mmol/l or 100mg/dl then that is also good. The most important is your HDL (good cholesterol) figure and the ratio to LDL (bad cholesterol).
To work out your ratio divide your total cholesterol by your HDL level. You want to have a score below 4 indicating at least a quarter is coming from the good cholesterol.
Statins are the GP’s answer to cholesterol, however these only tend to lower LDL without raising HDL. There’s a lot of debate about statins and in particular how it affects the health of your heart. Personally I wouldn’t want anyone I loved to take these drugs.
So what’s the alternative? Niacin (a B vitamin) has the ability to raise HDL levels. Plant sterold and soluble fibre are great for lowering LDL cholesterol so eat oats, beans and pulses, soya and use brands like Benecol. Essential fats can also raise HDL levels.
If you are really serious about addressing your cholesterol and overall health then a consultation with me can give you a person plan to help you remain drug free and healthy.
For more information go to www.spring-nutrition.co.uk
Wishing you good health as always 🙂