Very often we hear our patients come in with fresh blood test results from their doctor who have been told their cholesterol is high and when we ask them what level it was they either can’t remember or they throw out a random number without knowing anything about what that number means.
Cholesterol has got a bad rep for a long time, and although yes it is dangerous having high cholesterol especially if you have other risk factors such as high blood pressure or a history of family heart problems, it is not ALL bad and you need to understand what your results mean and what they indicate.
When you get a Cholesterol test done, you are given a total Cholesterol figure. This figure is a measure of total cholesterol, good and bad and it’s not the total figure you need to worry about despite popular belief, it is the RATIO between the good and bad cholesterol that you need to be concerned with.
Cholesterol is broken down into the following;
Good Cholesterol: HDL
Bad Cholesterol: LDL and Triglycerides
HDL comes from good fats that we eat that are full of Omegas which are highly beneficial to our body and are needed for many bodily functions. They come from olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, fish etc.
LDL and Triglycerides come from bad sources of fats in our diet and is dangerous to have too much of in our system. Sources include butter, fried foods, cakes, pastries, take away foods and foods containing saturated fats.
Total cholesterol levels should ideally be less than 5 however, it is the ratio between them that matters most.
To calculate your cholesterol ratio, divide your HDL cholesterol number into your total cholesterol number. An optimal ratio is less than 3.5 : 1. A higher ratio means a higher risk of heart disease. (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/expert-answers/cholesterol-ratio/faq-20058006)
If you wish to measure your cholesterol, or discuss your results further please contact Ola or Sally at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01-6896819.