Cholesterol is a fatty substance that moves around your body in the blood. Your body produces cholesterol naturally, and it is also found in some foods. Cholesterol is essential for the normal functioning of your body. There are two main types of cholesterol: 1. High-Density Lipoprotein: HDL or ‘good cholesterol’. 2. Low-Density Lipoprotein: LDL or ‘bad cholesterol’. ‘Bad cholesterol’ can stick to the walls of your arteries, causing a build-up of cholesterol, known as plaques. This build-up can create blockages in your arteries and contribute to increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Get to know your dietary fats Eating too much saturated and trans fat can elevate blood cholesterol levels. Saturated and trans fats can be found in foods like pizza, cakes, biscuits, pastries and deep-fried foods.
Eat a heart healthy diet Fresh foods should make up the main part of your diet. Choose a wide variety of fruit and vegetables and a variety of healthy protein sources including fish and seafood, lean meat, poultry, legumes, nuts and seeds. Get to know your levels A key step in controlling your cholesterol is finding out what your blood cholesterol levels are. If you’re 45 years or older (30 years or older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples) you should see your doctor for a Heart Health Check.