Having high cholesterol can be a frightening experience. Particularly if you find out and it was not something you realised you had. Doctors can usually find out your cholesterol levels by taking blood and sending it off for testing. You can also test your cholesterol levels at home by taking a small finger prick test.
Let’s have a look at what high cholesterol is and what causes it.
What is high cholesterol and what does it mean?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance in the blood. Having too much of it causes the arteries to block up. The arteries are the main network of blood that carries oxygen and nutrients away from the heart to your body’s tissues. If your arteries become clogged up with cholesterol, then your heart has to work harder to pump blood away, but this causes immense strain on your heart and increases your blood pressure making you at high risk for having a heart attack. If you have high cholesterol then you need to address this immediately. Your doctor will probably ask about genetics, as some people who suffer from high cholesterol have family members who have a condition called Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH for short). It is these people who will most likely need lifelong treatment.
How can high cholesterol be treated?
If you have high cholesterol, then you need to see your GP immediately. You will most likely be prescribed statins. Statins are an interim solution and they are never the cure. It is likely your GP will also recommend lifestyle changes such as improving your diet and exercising more. Some people are afraid of exercising, but doing small amounts of exercise that you can manage daily is a critical part of your life change. It is advisable to work with an exercise physiologist this or a qualified personal trainer who can help you, but even a short 10 minute around block will slowly help to improve the efficiency of your heart and begin to lower your cholesterol levels by increasing your high-density lipoprotein (HDL – the good cholesterol).  Exercise is something you can build up over time, but it is a very important part of your treatment. Even eventually doing weight training is an important part of your life change, because weight training builds muscle, making you strong.
The next biggest part of your treatment is diet!
Most people have high cholesterol levels because of inactivity and a poor diet. Contrary to belief eating fats does not make you fat or increase your cholesterol, but choosing good fats over harmful ones is the key. Foods that can cause high cholesterol are too many processed foods such as cakes, sugar, and biscuits these foods contain fats called trans fats. Trans fats are usually found in vegetable oils and margarine that have been genetically modified to give them a longer shelf life.  In turn, these are used to bake these foods. Saturated fats also cause high cholesterol. Saturated fats are found in red meat, poultry, and dairy products. Now, it’s important to remember that moderation is the key. If you are having more of these foods and less of anything else, then that puts you in a high-risk category of high cholesterol, but balance is always the key.
What should I eat if I have high cholesterol?
Having a balanced diet is the key to long-term health. Ensuring that you focus on live foods as opposed to processed foods. Live foods are foods that are alive, such as plant-based foods and fermented foods. It’s still important to include meat and meat-based foods, but cutting back to about 20% of your diet is important particularly because of high cholesterol. You would also do well to start including broth in your diet. Bone broth helps to improve digestion and lower any inflammation in the gut, and by having lots of plant foods and fermented foods you are naturally helping to improve your gut flora.
If you are looking for a structured diet program, then you should consider the 30-day gut boost program. This is a structured program and you will receive products, and supplements.