High cholesterol: The best milk to help lower high cholesterol – and other ‘small swaps’

Dr Chris reveals how eyes can indicate high cholesterol levels

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To help prevent the onset of a heart attack or stroke, it is key to improve cholesterol levels – and simple dietary tweaks can be the resolution. For instance, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) recommends switching from whole milk to skimmed milk to “make a big difference to your cholesterol level”. This means swapping from a blue top milk to a red top milk, but that’s not all.

Other simple dietary tweaks can all add up to help improve cholesterol levels.

The charity also advises swapping butter for vegetable oils, such as sunflower, olive or rapeseed oil spreads.

As for sour cream or double cream, the use of yoghurt is a healthier alternative.

If you are a fan of eating red meat, for example, opt for “leaner, lower fat options”.

Even better yet, swap any red or processed meat for fish, turkey, or chicken without the skin.

Plant-based proteins are also good alternatives for red and processed meats; examples include lentils, soya, or Quorn.

When it comes to snacks, instead of reaching for a bag of crisps, take a handful of unsalted nuts. 

“Eating high-fibre food can also help to lower your cholesterol,” the BHF added.

“Fibre helps reduce the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed into the bloodstream from your intestine.

“Fibre-rich foods include: fruits, vegetables, pulses, oats, and seeds.

Also opt for wholegrain foods, such as brown or granary bread over white bread, as the former contain more fibre.

Aside from dietary tweaks, another key way to lower cholesterol levels is to exercise regularly.

“Getting your blood pumping by doing exercise will reduce your cholesterol,” the BHF confirmed.

“Being active helps your body move the bad cholesterol to your liver where it can be removed out of your system.”

The NHS recommends everybody to complete at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week.

In order for the exercise to count towards this goal, you need to have an elevated heart rate.

ubtle swaps, such as replacing a leisurely stroll for a brisk walk, can make all the difference to cholesterol levels.

For everybody who has high cholesterol, the BHF recommends having your cholesterol levels checked annually to keep on top of your progress.

People can also help to lower their cholesterol by making sure they are a non-smoker and that they drink moderately, or less.

In the UK (while there is no safe level of alcohol consumption), people are advised to drink no more than 14 units in one week.

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