health

You Need To Know This: Good Cholesterol vs Bad Cholesterol

By Rebecca O'Malley December 1, 2018

In partnership with Blooms The Chemist, we’re giving you the 411 on good health. This month, we’re delving into cholesterol – both the good and the bad. 

Cholesterol. Is it a dirty word?

Your body needs cholesterol to build cells. It’s actually essential for many of the metabolic processes in our body. 

Cholesterol is a type of fat and it is made up of “good” and “bad” fats.

HDL is the good fat. HDL picks up excess cholesterol in your blood and takes it back to your liver where it's broken down and removed from your body. LDL is the bad fat.

Our body gets LDL from the meat, poultry and full-fat dairy we consume. These foods contain saturated and trans fats, both of which cause our liver to produce more cholesterol than it normally would. This increase in cholesterol can bring the total amount to an unhealthy level. 

When levels of cholesterol are too high, your heart is at risk. Cholesterol is deposited in the walls of your arteries making it harder for blood to flow through. This can put you at an increased risk of heart disease or stroke.

If you’re concerned about your cholesterol levels, it’s important to speak to your doctor or a medical professional. Remember, high cholesterol may not show symptoms. You’ll need to take a ‘total cholesterol test’ to gain an insight into your levels of ‘total cholesterol’.

The test is usually performed as a fasting test and a small drop of blood will be taken from your fingertip. 

Here are some tips to help reduce levels of cholesterol.

  • Reduce your intake of saturated fat and salt
  • Take regular exercise
  • Stop smoking
  • If your blood pressure is elevated, take steps to reduce it
  • Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fibre

If you or someone you know has high cholesterol, pop into your local Blooms The Chemist and chat to your pharmacist. They’ll talk to you about taking a total cholesterol test and ways to manage cholesterol levels. 

Visit your local Blooms The Chemist for more information on good and bad cholesterol.

Presented in partnership with Blooms The Chemist.