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What puts me at risk for high cholesterol?

December 13, 2019 3 min read

Whilst your body needs a certain amount of cholesterol to work normally, past a certain point it starts to become unhealthy, increasing your risks of long term health problems like heart disease.

There are multiple things that can contribute to high cholesterol, which can be broadly divided into two categories, whether they're controlled by you or not

Factors that lead to high cholesterol you can control

Your diet

In the same way that a controlled, heart healthy diet can lower your levels of cholesterol, a bad diet can cause a huge increase in your cholesterol levels.

Foods to avoid include:


  • Red meat, and other food high in saturated fat
  • Food and drink high in sugar
  • Trans fats, including in baked goods and margarine


Your weight

When you are overweight it is more difficult for your body to regulate its cholesterol levels

Being overweight increases your chances of having high levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and decreases your ability to produce HDL (good) cholesterol.

Losing weight will lead to better cholesterol levels, as well as increased levels of general health.


Physical fitness and exercise

Leading a sedentary lifestyle without regular exercise can contribute to high cholesterol.

By regularly participating in moderate exercise can help you manage your cholesterol levels. For example 20 minutes of brisk walking five or six times per week can reduce cholesterol as well as increasing general health and making you lose weight.

Factors that lead to high cholesterol you can't control

Your age

The older you get, the higher your risk of high cholesterol, as well as risks related to having high cholesterol.

Men aged over 45, and women aged over 55 are at an increased risk of issues related to high cholesterol, so may require more regular testing and mitigation.


Your family history

If your family has a history of heart disease or other heart issues, you may need your cholesterol levels to be more closely monitored.


Your sex

Women have a further consideration when it comes to cholesterol. The menopause.

After the menopause, women are at a significantly higher risk for both high levels of LDL cholesterol, as well as heart disease, in part due to the hormonal changes.

However, because these issues are caused mainly be the menopause, supplements like HerHealth are designed to counteract the downsides, and can significantly reduce the negative effects you may experience.


Final thoughts

The factors that lower cholesterol also contribute to good general health.

Whilst there are some factors that you can't control, it's far better to focus on what you can control.

By trying to live a healthier life in the short and long term, as well as having regular cholesterol test screenings, you can manage your cholesterol levels and live a long, healthy and happy life.


Important information: The information provided on this website is of a general nature and information purposes only. It does not take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. It is not personalised health advice and must not be relied upon as such. Before making any decisions about your health or changes to medication, diet and exercise routines you should determine whether the information is appropriate in terms of your particular circumstances and seek advice from a medical professional.