No one should skip their annual lab tests, because it’s the only way to know if they have any health problems. Many of our values may be high, but they don’t necessarily cause complaints, and for a long time there are no symptoms to indicate that we are ill or have a health problem.
Many people in our country today have high cholesterol. Contrary to misconceptions, it is not without risk to have very high LDL cholesterol levels. For this reason alone, it is worth having a lab test at least once a year to check whether you have a problem with your cholesterol, as high cholesterol levels can be a cause of stroke and heart attack.
Plant sterols can also help lower LDL cholesterol levels. Plant sterols are substances found in small amounts in grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds. The secret of plant sterols lies in their ability to interfere with the absorption of cholesterol and thus reduce so-called bad cholesterol levels.
What else can we do to bring down LDL cholesterol levels? A few lifestyle tips can help lower cholesterol. Cholesterol is mainly found in foods of animal origin. If you want to lower your cholesterol, choose the so-called good fats, i.e. fats rich in unsaturated fatty acids. Good sources of monounsaturated fat include vegetable oils such as olive oil and nuts such as cashews and almonds.
Foods rich in omega-3 fats are also very useful for lowering cholesterol, and include fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna.
It is also very important to increase your intake of fibre-rich foods. Soluble fibre helps to bind bad cholesterol. Grains and pulses are rich in fibre, but fruits and vegetables are also high in fibre. Other good sources of fibre are beans, peas, spinach, bananas and apples.
The plant sterols mentioned above can also help if you have high cholesterol. They lower LDL cholesterol levels by interfering with the absorption of cholesterol in the body. This group includes vegetable oils, grains, pulses, fruits and vegetables.