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Cholesterol is an essential type of fat that is carried in our blood. All cells in our body require cholesterol for many processes, such as hormone production and helping our body use Vitamin D. Our body generally makes all the cholesterol we need, thus there’s no need to eat foods high in cholesterol. In fact, having too much cholesterol in our blood stream puts us at higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
LDLs are known as ‘bad’ cholesterol. LDLs carry cholesterol to body tissues that require it. High levels of LDLs in our body could result in cholesterol building up in our blood vessels and thus blocking blood flow. The Heart Foundation recommends LDL levels should be less than2.5mmol/L.
HDLs are known as ‘good’ cholesterol. HDLs carry cholesterol from our body tissues to the liver, where cholesterol can be removed from our blood. The Heart Foundation recommends HDL levels should be greater than 1.0 mmol/L.
Triglycerides are a type of fat found in our blood which gets carried to our body tissues and gets stored for energy. Excess triglycerides (fat) in our body can lead to problems such as blocked blood vessels, diabetes and weight gain. The Heart Foundation recommends Triglyceride levels should be less than 1.5mmol/L.
High cholesterol and triglyceride levels can be lowered with healthy eating, lifestyle changes and medications.