It’s time to bust one myth that gets far too much traction – cholesterol is not all bad! The truth is the body needs cholesterol to do a whole range of things including making vitamin D, producing sex hormones including testosterone, oestrogen and progesterone as well as being one of the main components of cell membranes, the outer lining that protects internal structures that make body cells work and function properly.
But before you get excited, it’s still true that too much of anything isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Cholesterol is one of those things. Essential – yes. All in moderation – definitely.
The two major forms of cholesterol found in the body are LDL (low-density lipoprotein, or “bad cholesterol”) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein, or “good cholesterol”).
Cholesterol is transported around the body by one of these two lipoproteins.
HDL absorbs other types of cholesterol and carries them away from your arteries and back to your liver, assisting in cholesterol elimination from your body.
LDL on the other hand circulates in the blood, moving cholesterol around the body to where it is needed for cell repair. While this sounds beneficial, when there is excess LDL it begins to accumulate rather than being eliminated.
Ensuring the right balance of HDL to LDL cholesterol is important for supporting cholesterol health. Good cholesterol health requires lower amounts of LDL cholesterol balanced against higher amounts of HDL cholesterol.
Here’s our top 5 tips for helping to make this happen:
Consume a healthy diet
A cholesterol-friendly diet includes adding in a wide array of fresh fruits, vegetables and fish. Balancing good and bad fats is also important. Limit saturated fats commonly found in red meat and full-fat dairy, and avoid trans-fats, commonly associated with fried food.
Don’t forget soluble fibre
Fibre, specifically soluble fibre, is your cholesterol friend. In the gut, soluble fibre can bind to bile (which is made up of cholesterol) and remove it. Soluble fibre is found in oats, oat bran, ground flaxseed, psyllium, barley, dried beans and legumes, fruits and wholegrains.
Adding in physical activity, even in short intervals several times a day, not only helps to maintain a healthy weight it’s also a great way to increase HDL, the body’s good cholesterol.
Maintain a healthy weight
Going in hand in hand with a heart healthy diet and regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important ways to keep cholesterol in a healthy range.
Herbs for Cholesterol health
Herbs of Gold Bergamot Cholesterol Care may also be beneficial. Bergamot Cholesterol Care has been formulated with Bergamot, which contains a unique composition of citrus flavonoids to help support healthy cholesterol and cardiovascular system health.
 Palazon-Bru, A., Hernandez-Lozano, D., & Gil-Guillen, V. F. (2021). Which physical exercise interventions increase HDL-cholesterol levels? A systematic review of meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials. Sports Medicine, 51(2), 243-253.