October is National Cholesterol Month. Cholesterol is a fatty substance which is needed in the cells of your body. Too much cholesterol in your blood can lead to a build-up in your arteries and this increases your risk of having a heart attack.
We provide simple dietary tips to help you keep your cholesterol levels in check.
Eat foods that are high in fibre
A diet that is high in fibre will reduce your risk of heart disease and help to keep your cholesterol healthy. Eat a minimum of five portions of fruit and veg each day and choose wholegrain versions of bread, pasta and rice.
Oats for breakfast
Oats contain a type of soluble fibre known as beta-glucan, which can lower your cholesterol. As the weather gets cooler, you could start your day with a bowl of porridge with healthy toppings such as mixed berries, chopped apple or banana and a sprinkling of toasted chopped nuts, seeds or cinnamon.
Eat healthier fats
Saturated fats can contribute to high cholesterol and these fats tend to come from animal sources (e.g. fatty meats, cheeses, cream and butter). Coconut oil is also high in saturated fats. Swapping saturated fats for unsaturated fats, such as oily fish (e.g. salmon and mackerel), extra virgin olive oil, rapeseed oil and avocados, can help to increase your levels of good cholesterol.