Cholesterol is a word that we hear an increasing amount as we age, but many people are still unaware of what cholesterol is and the dangers it can pose.

Cholesterol is an essential fatty substance that is carried around the body in your bloodstream. When cholesterol combines with proteins they become lipoproteins. There are two main types, which have very different effects on the body:

  • Low-density lipoprotein is the ‘bad’ cholesterol. They carry cholesterol away from your liver to the cells that need it.
  • High-density lipoprotein is the ‘good’ cholesterol that carries cholesterol away from cells and back to the liver to be broken down.

The problem occurs when too much bad cholesterol builds up, which causes a fatty substance to begin clogging up your arteries. When this happens it can indicate that you have high levels of bad cholesterol and low levels of good cholesterol.

Cholesterol is measured in units of millimoles per litre of blood. Healthcare professionals recommend that you should have a cholesterol level of under 4mmol/l. This is particularly important for people who already have heart or circulatory diseases.

Sometimes you can be genetically predisposed to have cholesterol problems, so it is essential to get tested and speak to your doctor about the possible causes.

Causes of high cholesterol

Despite the research that’s gone into the cholesterol, there isn’t any one single cause. However there are a number of smaller issues which can all contribute to or exacerbate high cholesterol, so be aware of the following:

  • Smoking
  • Diet high in saturated fat
  • Not enough exercise
  • Kidney or liver disease

Reduce your cholesterol

For the most part your cholesterol will be lower if you lead a healthy lifestyle. It’s advice we give out a lot to people who read the Oakhouse Blog, but there’s not much that the following can’t improve:

  • Engage in regular exercise
  • Don’t smoke
  • Don’t drink excessively
  • Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and fibre
  • Don’t eat a lot of saturated fat

Luckily the healthy ready meals at Oakhouse Foods are made by a team of talented chefs and frozen for freshness, meaning you can easily cook meals that are full of goodness. Many of our meals, when taken with regular exercise and the other tips described above, could help you to maintain a healthy level of cholesterol.

If you have any questions about the frozen food delivery service that Oakhouse Foods offers across the UK, then please get in touch. We can also provide nutritional information on a range of mains, desserts and sides, as well as foods suitable for special diets.