High cholesterol: Seven ways to prevent it - they are not all diet or exercise

Asia's Tech News Daily

High cholesterol has no overt symptoms, and a blood test is the only way to detect if you have it. Therefore, it is often dubbed the “silent killer” as leaving it unmanaged can lead to a stroke or heart attack. You might need medicine to lower your cholesterol if your cholesterol level has not gone down after changing your diet and lifestyle, according to the NHS.

The Mayo Clinic has outlined seven ways you may be able to prevent high cholesterol.

It says to help prevent high cholesterol, you can make dietary changes. These include eating a low-salt diet “that emphasises fruits, vegetables and whole grains,” and limiting the amount of animal fats in your diet.

Similarly, it suggests that those who carry extra weight should try to lose extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight.

The health site also advises that those who smoke quit the habit, and that you should drink any alcohol in moderation.

© Getty Woman with lower cholesterol levels

It also says you should exercise on most days of the week for at least 30 minutes.

Interestingly, the Mayo Clinic also suggests to prevent high cholesterol, it is important that you “manage stress”.

High cholesterol is when you have too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood, and although it can be impacted by lifestyle factors, it can also run in families.

The NHS says your GP might suggest having a test if they think your cholesterol level could be high, which may be because of risk factors such as your age, weight or another condition you have.

The health body says that you should ask your GP for a cholesterol test if you have not had a test before and you’re over 40, overweight, or heart problems run in your family.

If you’re over 40, you may have a test during your NHS Health Check.

This is a check-up that can help spot early signs of problems like heart disease and diabetes.

“If you have high cholesterol, a doctor or nurse will talk to you about how you can lower it,” assures the NHS site.

© Getty Man holding plastic heart

Statins are the most common medicine for high cholesterol, according to the health service.

Statins work by reducing the amount of cholesterol your body makes.

You usually have to continue taking statins for life because if you stop taking them, your cholesterol will return to a high level within a few weeks.

Many people who take statins experience no or very few side effects. Nonetheless, the NHS warns others experience some “troublesome” side effects, “such as diarrhoea, a headache or feeling sick”.

© Express Newspaper high cholesterol factsheet

Around seven to eight million adults take statins to manage their condition, which works by disturbing cholesterol production in the liver.

As a general guide, the NHS recommends that total cholesterol levels should be 5mmol/L or less for healthy adults.

In the UK, three out of five adults have total cholesterol levels of 5mmol/L.

The British Heart Foundation warns anyone can get high cholesterol and while sometimes it is uncontrollable, sometimes you can control it.

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