Reducing cholesterol

Making changes to the food you eat and being more active can help lower your cholesterol to normal levels.

In some cases, particularly if you are older or at greater risk, you may also need to take a cholesterol-lowering medicine like a statin. Statins are very effective, safe and well tolerated and have been shown to reduce heart attacks.

 
Grants
Grants

HEART UK will be providing a number of annual grants. All applicants must be professional members or supporters of the organisation. 

 

Cholesterol - The silent killer

If you have had a cholesterol test and discovered that you have high cholesterol, don't worry HEART UK is here to help. Our website is packed with information, expert advice and helpful tips on your cholesterol levels. We have advice on how to lower cholesterol through diet and exercise plus full information on cholesterol treatments including statins. You can also read the arguments for and against taking a statin here.

What is cholesterol and and where does cholesterol comes from?

Cholesterol is a waxy substance which is made in the body by the liver but is also found in some foods. It plays a vital role in how every cell works and is also needed to make Vitamin D, some hormones and bile for digestion. However, too much cholesterol in the blood can increase your risk of getting heart and circulatory diseases.

Understanding HDL-cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol

Cholesterol is carried in the blood attached to proteins called lipoproteins. There are two main forms, LDL (low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein). LDL cholesterol is often referred to as "bad cholesterol" because too much is unhealthy. HDL is often referred to as “good cholesterol” because it is protective. Knowing your levels of these can help explain your risk of heart disease. Your doctor should be able to tell you your levels of “good” and “bad” cholesterol.  You can find out what to expect from your doctor by checking out our Patient's Charter. 

Cholesterol in our diets

Most of our cholesterol is made by the liver, but we get some from our diet as well. HEART UK has lots of information and resources about diet, foods and cholesterol.  Take a look at our page on Low Cholesterol Diets & High Cholesterol Foods and for ideas for cholesterol-busting foods, then take a look at our Six Super Foods to Help Lower Cholesterol and our Ultimate Cholesterol Lowering Plan (UCLP©).

Who is affected by High Cholesterol

Raised or unhealthy patterns of blood cholesterol affect many people.  Many factors play a part including:

Having unhealthy cholesterol levels alongside other risk factors for heart and circulatory disease such as smoking or high blood pressure can put you at very high risk of early heart disease. 

HEART UK's Cholesterol Helpline

If you looking for free, impartial, friendly and informative advice on cholesterol, then get in touch with our Cholesterol Helpline.    Whether your concern is about yourself or someone you care about, we're here to help you with advice and information from specialist cardiac nurses and dietitians.

Helpline Module

Lines open Mon-Fri 10am-3pm
Punjabi, Urdu & Hindi spoken on Tuesdays

ask@heartuk.org.uk

Calls to our 0345 helpline costs no more than calls to geographic (01 and 02) numbers and must be included in inclusive minutes on mobile phones and discount schemes. Calls from landlines are typically charged between 2p and 10p per minute while calls from mobiles typically cost between 10p and 40p per minute. Calls from landlines and mobiles to 0345 numbers are included in free call packages. 

Fact sheets
Fact sheets

HEART UK has produced a range of diet and medical fact sheets for you to use and refer to.

 
Staying healthy

Eating a healthy diet, not smoking and being physically active are important in helping to keep your cholesterol and other blood fats low.

Clogged artery animation

Excess blood cholesterol becomes stuck in the linings of an artery, eventually the artery narrows.