Manage your medications and have them delivered for FREE
Hey Pharmacist is here to help.
Register for our service to benefit from online ordering and free home delivery of your NHS prescription.
High cholesterol is when you have too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood. Cholesterol levels increase with age and for women going through the menopause.
Cholesterol is a condition which arises from having too much of a fatty substance (called a lipid) in the blood. High levels of cholesterol blocks arteries, this can cause heart disease as well as an increased risk of having a stroke. It also increases the risk of a blood clot developing somewhere in your body which can travel to your heart or brain.
If you have high cholesterol, you won’t have any obvious symptoms but if you have a family history of heart problems, you’re overweight or over 40, it’s a good idea to get tested. If you're aged 40 to 74, you can get your cholesterol checked as part of an NHS Health Check.
The good news is, there’s a number of ways to lower (or prevent) high levels of cholesterol.
The main causes are:
It can also run in families.
If your GP has advised you to change your diet to reduce your cholesterol or if you’re keen to keep high levels of cholesterol at bay, start by steering clear of food high in saturated fats.
You’ll find this, typically in the following food:
TIP: Foods particularly high in cholesterol include the following:
Swap out the frying pan and instead:
Try to replace foods containing saturated fats with foods high in unsaturated fats, like the following (but bear in mind, large portions of any these foods can be quite high in calories so keep to small portion sizes).
High fibre foods help to lower the risk of heart disease and can even help lower your cholesterol. Aim for 30g of fibre a day plus a colourful mix of at least five portions of fruit and veg. Here’s some high fibre heroes:
There are ranges of food in your local grocery stores which can help lower cholesterol. Look out for products containing sterols and stanols – both of these are plant chemicals and block some cholesterol from being absorbed.
Do anything you can to squeeze in some extra exercise every week. Ideally, 150 minutes (that’s two and half hours) spread over a week is recommended - but not just a gentle stroll! Try to increase your heart rate a little to maximise the positive effects of exercise. Why not take up running or cycle. Even walking more can make a differance.
If you’ve consulted your GP and been unable to lower your levels of cholesterol with a change or diet and an increase in exercise, they may prescribe medication. You can order your repeat prescriptions using Hey Pharmacist either online or via the mobile app.
Make healthy food choices, increase your exercise and you’re heart will thank you for it!
Sources: NHS guide to cholesterol
Order your NHS prescriptions & get them delivered for FREE or collect locally