First things first – there are no symptoms of cholesterol whatsoever. While cholesterol levels are important when it comes to heart health – elevated cholesterol being one of the risk factors of heart disease* – there are no cholesterol symptoms, and the only way to know for certain if your cholesterol level is above the recommended limit is to be tested by a healthcare professional.
Getting your cholesterol level checked
Even though there are no symptoms of cholesterol, you can still ask your GP or another qualified healthcare professional to check your level – it’s a very simple test. The procedure just requires a blood sample, which is usually taken with either a needle and syringe, or with a quick prick of a finger. Heart UK advises that people aged 40-75 take the test every 5 years, or every 12 months if they are on cholesterol-lowering medication.
Once you know your level, you can take steps to lower your cholesterol if necessary – many people find that knowing their cholesterol level actually helps to motivate them to make healthy diet and lifestyle choices.
Unhealthy habits affecting cholesterol: signs that you might need to make changes!
While there are no cholesterol symptoms, it’s still important to keep your cholesterol within the recommended limits. Getting tested regularly, and understanding how your diet or lifestyle could affect your level can really make a difference.
Factors you can change are:
- A diet high in saturated fat. ‘Bad’ saturated fat is found in most meat and meat products, full fat dairy products, and processed or baked foods like cake or biscuits. To lower cholesterol, try replacing foods high in saturated fat with those containing ‘good’ unsaturated fat – find out more in our guide to saturated and unsaturated fat *.
- An unhealthy diet overall, lacking in variety – a balanced diet is important for maintaining desirable cholesterol levels. Find out more about the different food groups and check out our balanced diet chart here .
- Being overweight or obese. An active lifestyle, as well as a balanced diet, can help maintain a healthy weight. You can find plenty of workout guides in our healthy lifestyle section here .
For information on the unalterable factors affecting cholesterol levels, check out our article on the causes of cholesterol here.
Find out more about cholesterol
We have plenty of resources here on the Flora ProActiv site to help:
What is Cholesterol? Find a clear explanation of cholesterol and the part it has to play in the body in this helpful guide. For information on the different types of cholesterol (“good” and “bad”), you might also find our articles on LDL and HDL-cholesterol useful.
How to Lower Cholesterol. If your test results reveal signs of cholesterol levels above the recommended limit, there are plenty of simple diet and lifestyle changes you can make to help lower it. Find practical advice in this comprehensive overlook.
Your Cholesterol-Lowering Diet Plan. Download a handy diet sheet here, and discover the guidelines that form the basis of a cholesterol-lowering diet. You can also find information on eating healthily in our guides to a balanced diet here , and to saturated and unsaturated fat here .
Finally, keep up to date with the latest information on site by joining us on Facebook, or opting in to our motivational e-newsletter. For a handy cholesterol guide delivered straight to your door, sign up here.
* Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats in the diet has been shown to lower blood cholesterol. High cholesterol is a risk factor of heart disease. There are many risk factors for coronary heart disease, and it is important to take care of all of them to reduce the overall risk of it.