National Play Day - Raising awareness
July 24 2018Read more
National Cholesterol Month is a month-long awareness campaign organised by Heart Research UK, with the aim of raising awareness of the dangers associated with high cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found naturally in the blood and it’s vital for the normal functioning of the body. Cholesterol is predominantly produced in the liver, but it can also be found in foods such as red meat, dairy products and eggs.
Cholesterol is essential for maintaining a healthy body however when the cholesterol level in your blood becomes too high, it can cause serious and life-threatening problems.
"Bad cholesterol" carries cholesterol from the liver into the cells, where it can build up in the artery walls.
"Good cholesterol" carries the cholesterol in the blood back to the liver, where it is broken down.
Research has strongly indicated that high cholesterol can increase the risk of:
There are numerous ways to reduce the risk of high cholesterol, they include:
There are two types of fats in food; saturated and unsaturated. You should avoid foods containing saturated fats, as they will increase the levels of "bad cholesterol" in your blood.
Foods that are high in unsaturated fat and reduce the risk of high cholesterol include:
Regular physical activity can help raise levels of ‘good cholesterol’ in your blood. Adding exercise to your daily routines, even for short intervals will help make a difference. Good examples include swimming, cycling and walking.
Smoking stops HDL from transporting fatty deposits to the liver, leading to high ‘bad’ cholesterol and narrowing of the arteries. This can increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
The benefits of stopping smoking appear early too. In fact, within a year of quitting, your risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker.
The Great Cholesterol Challenge - Help HEART UK raise money for life-altering research by reaching 100 miles of exercise this October. You can run, swim, walk, cycle or row your way to your target, simply start fundraising here.
Get a cholesterol test - The best way to find out about your cholesterol levels is by routinely booking a test with your GP. That way, you can receive the best proactive advice if your cholesterol levels appear to be rising.
Social media - Follow HEART UK’s Twitter page for the latest updates regarding National Cholesterol Month and share your achievements via the hashtags #NCMHeartUK and #nationalcholesterolmonth.
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¹ Bhf.org.uk. 2021. BHF Statistics Factsheet - UK. [online] Available at: <https://www.bhf.org.uk/-/media/files/research/heart-statistics/bhf-cvd-statistics-uk-factsheet.pdf?la=en&rev=42405b6688534ce2bfd296caaea53b62&hash=87ADB54E506D1A86B819FF34F88584F6AA3BCAE2> [Accessed 20 October 2021].
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