Cholesterol is not intrinsically harmful, in fact, your body needs it to build healthy cells. High levels of cholesterol is harmful, however, because it causes fatty deposits to develop in your blood vessels. This increases your risk of heart disease, a major cause of death in the UK and worldwide. Eating more carrots, prunes and avocado, however, could lower your cholesterol.
Published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, research suggests that monounsaturated fat (found in avocados) helps to protect against heart disease.
The NHS recommends four eating habits to help lower cholesterol levels, with the first being to eat oily fish, such as mackerel and salmon.
Moreover, the next step is to choose brown rice, bread and pasta to eat (typically wholemeal).
And to snack on nuts, seeds, fruits – such as avocado – and vegetables.
Dietician Helen Bond said: “Our increasingly unhealthy lifestyles – poor eating habits that include too much saturated fat, a lack of exercise, smoking, high alcohol intakes and expanding waistlines due to a slowing metabolism – mean that as we move through the decades towards retirement age, the more likely we are to have unhealthy cholesterol levels.
“In fact, according to the latest figures from the Health Survey for England, only a third (35 percent) of 25 to 34 year olds have a total cholesterol above the generally accepted healthy target of 5mmol/l, compared with nearly half (48 percent) of 35-44 year olds, 61 percent of 45-54 year olds and 65 percent of 55-64 year olds.
“Don’t forget, all adults aged 40-74 years living in England are eligible for a free NHS Health Check and it should be repeated every five years.”