A Dummies Guide To Cholesterol

I am the oldest team member at FFE - This year I will be 50 and so have been invited in to my GP for a complete MOT. My Cholesterol was not in danger zone but higher than I thought, This got me talking with some of my clients who are as young as me. There was some confusion regarding Cholesterol so decided to do a little blog about it. I had to dust off my old cardiac rehab and clinical practitioner memories, but they are still in there!

We produce cholesterol ourselves, in our liver which makes all the cholesterol we need.

We do need it, but not too much – it is found in animal sources, such as meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products. Your liver produces more cholesterol when you eat a diet high in saturated and trans fat. Also it is annoyingly found in crustacean’s, yep prawns and other shellfish.

We have 2 types; Good which is HDL and bad which is LDL.

If we have too much LDL then we need to promote HDL this can be done through diet and you guessed it exercise! As LDL is a waxy substance if you do not get rid of it then this substance builds up in your arteries, the more you have it then clogs up the arteries which can lead to occlusion of the arteries. What happens if this occlusion builds up too much? Then this can lead to heart disease such as angina, heart attack and stroke.

How can we reduce LDL/bad cholesterol? Up our intake on;

Olive oil and other good fats – Bad fats are animal based fats.

Beans, legumes & pulses

Fatty fish – salmon, mackerel, sardines & trout

Flaxseeds and other seeds – omega 3 is very important


Whole foods – fruit and veg including avocado a good fat.

Cutting out or down on alcohol will have a major positive impact on decreasing bad cholesterol.

Exercise! Moving to get breathless at least 30 minutes 3 times per week. (This can be broken down into smaller segments).

Taking the stress out of your life – this is a major contributor to heart disease. People underestimate Stress and how it can impact ones health. Doing activities that make you smile with people who up lift you will have a positive effect on combating stress. Don't feel guilty of you have some down time, just chilling with family or friends, its good for you!

I hope this clears up some grey areas for you, do email me if you have any questions. on fitnessforeverybody@live.co.uk

I worked with cardiac patients for many years before opening the studio, they were some of my favourite clients, as when they arrived with me they had suffered such a major life changing event that they had taken advice from the surgeons and the rehab physios that they grasped life with both hands and wanted to keep up their new healthy lifestyle.

So if you take just 1 thing away from reading this today; Prevention is better than cure! So cut down on your red meat, move more and do things that de-stress you!

Happy February all!

Jane xxSchedule

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