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Understanding cholesterol

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol deposits

Cholesterol is a waxy substance found naturally in the blood. It is mainly produced in the liver however we also absorb cholesterol from foods such as red meat, high fat cheese, butter, and eggs. Cholesterol is essential for good health and only becomes a problem when the level in your blood is too high - a high cholesterol level increases the risk of heart disease. Following a healthy diet and lifestyle can help to lower blood cholesterol which is a risk factor in the development of heart disease.

If you’ve discovered your cholesterol is higher than it should be, your doctor will advise you on how best to tackle it. If you're looking to lower cholesterol through a healthy diet then you’ve come to the right place to do something about it.

Raised cholesterol is a common problem, but there are a lot of things you can do to  help lower your cholesterol. Find out more by checking out our handy tips.

Together, we’ll help you make lowering your cholesterol as easy, effective and enjoyable as possible.

The good and the bad

Cholesterol is transported around the blood in 'vehicles' called lipoproteins. There are two main types of lipoproteins:

  • LDL (low density lipoprotein) is the 'bad' type of cholesterol. If there is too much LDL cholesterol in the blood, it can slowly build up in the arteries, making them narrower, which increases the risk of heart disease. You should aim to lower your levels of LDL. You can do this by eating healthily and introducing Benecol® foods into your daily diet.
  • HDL (high density lipoprotein) is the 'good' type of cholesterol. It helps to remove excess cholesterol from the bloodstream and returns it to the liver where it is broken down and passed out of the body.

HDL should be High, LDL should be LowHDL should be High, LDL should be Low