What are healthy cholesterol levels?
|Type of Cholesterol||Measurement||Advice|
|Total Cholesterol||Less than 5.0mmol/L||If your total cholesterol is higher than 5.0 then you need to reduce it – don’t put it off!|
|LDL Cholesterol||Less than 3.0mmol/L||This type of cholesterol is often called ‘bad’ cholesterol as it is the type that blocks arteries.|
|HDL Cholesterol||More than 1.0mmol/L for men and more than 1.2mmol/L for women||HDL is called ‘good’ cholesterol as it helps to remove LDL cholesterol from your blood.|
|Triglycerides||Less than 1.8mmol/L||This is another type of fat found in your blood and high levels are linked with an increased risk of heart disease.|
If your triglycerides are high, start by following the advice for lowering cholesterol.
However, there are a few extra things that you will need to do:
- Reduce sugar:
Sugar and sugary foods increase triglycerides so reducing these foods will help. Cut back on sugar-sweetened drinks like soft drinks and limit fruit juice to one glass a day or less. Also stop adding sugar to food – stop adding sugar to tea and coffee as well as cereal. Cut back on sweet foods like cakes, biscuits, sweets and chocolate.
- Reduce alcohol:
Alcohol increases triglycerides. If you have high triglycerides, have no more than one alcoholic drink per day and try to have at least 3 alcohol-free days every week.
- Eat oil-rich fish:
Aim to have oil-rich fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, herring or sardines once or twice a week.
This information is reproduced with the permission of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute. Please visit www.indi.ie for further information.