The All Saints Echo

The Facts About Cholesterol!

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat like substance that occurs naturally in your body. It plays a vital role in how every cell works throughout the body. But having too much cholesterol in your blood increases your risk of heart disease.

High cholesterol can be caused by having a diet with too much saturated fat. This is found in foods such as butter and fatty meat. There are two types of cholesterol, one good and one bad.

Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL)

Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) is the 'bad' cholesterol that can cause deposits to build in the arteries. This makes it harder for the blood to circulate and can lead to heart disease. What are the worst foods for (LDL)? What should you stay away from? Chips, crisps, bacon, fast food burgers, most chocolate cereal, doughnuts, and cheese. You can still have some of these foods, just not in large amounts.

High Density Lipoprotein (HDL)

High density lipoprotein (HDL) is the 'good' cholesterol that can take away cholesterol to be broken down. High density lipoprotein (HDL) contains more protein than fat and is referred to as good cholesterol because it carries cholesterol way from the arteries and to the liver which removes it from the body. Food rich in (HDL) are vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes (peas and beans). This is one reason to include 5 portions fruit and vegetables in a day in your diet.
Understanding Cholesterol (Cholesterol #1)
The video above gives a visual image about (LDL) & (HDL) Lipoproteins.

What are the long term benefits of regular exercise?

  • Lower resting blood pressure
  • Lower cholesterol levels
These benefits will mean there is a reduced likelihood of a stroke or coronary heart disease.

A typical GCSE question on cholesterol!

If an individual had high levels of (LDL) 'bad cholesterol', which of the following should he/she avoid in order to improve his/her health?

A) Food high in unsaturated fats (e.g sunflower oil, nuts)

B) Foods high in soluble fibre

C) Foods high in saturated fat (e.g butter, crisps)

D) Moderate exercise

Even if you are unsure in the exam you should be able to work out the answer by looking at the food examples.