15% off €35

000000s
Code:TREAT
 

15% off €35

000000s

Code:TREAT

Buy 1 Get 1 Half PriceSummer ShopOffersOffers HubBuy One Get One 1/2 PriceOnline only 25% off or moreSave up to 1/2 priceGreat SavingsOutletBuy 1 Get 1 FreeBetter than 1/2 priceBuy 2 for €23 Mix & Match3 for 2 Mix & MatchShort Dated1/2 PriceVitamins & SupplementsVitamins & Supplements HubJoints, Aches & PainsGut HealthImmunityEnergyChildren's HealthHealthy HeartWeight ManagementExercise & RecoveryLow Mood & DepressionStress & AnxietyVitamins & Supplements Shop AllCBDCollagen & SilicaHair, Skin & NailsShop all Hair, Skin & NailsHair GrowthFunctional MushroomsVitaminsShop all VitaminsMultivitaminsVitamin AVitamin BVitamin CVitamin DVitamin EVitamin KVitamin DrinksMineralsShop all MineralsMagnesiumIronZincCalciumSeleniumChromiumSupplementsShop all SupplementsFibre SupplementsAcidophilus & Friendly BacteriaPeppermint OilGrapeseed ExtractLecithinCollagen & SilicaOmega & Fish OilsPlant Sourced SupplementsSuperfood SupplementsArnicaApple CiderRaspberry KetonesAloe VeraChondroitin & MSMCo Enzyme Q10Evening Primrose OilGarlicGlucosamineGlucomannanSeaweed, Kelps and AquaceuticalsDigestive EnzymesSaw palmettoCharcoalWomen's HealthShop all Women's HealthMenopauseMenstrual SupportUrinary Tract HealthPregnancy & ConceptionMen's HealthShop all Men's HealthProstate HealthChildren's HealthConditionShop all ConditionCholesterolAllergy & Hay Fever CareAnxiety SupportBone & Muscle HealthMuscle Support & Joint PainBrain & Memory SupportWomen's HealthMen's HealthChildren's HealthCold & Immune SupportFatigueDigestive HealthHair, Skin & NailsHeart & CirculationLiver CareMood SupportSexual HealthSleep & RelaxationStress ReliefVisionHerbal & Licensed RemediesShop all Herbal & Licensed RemediesValerianRescue RemedyAshwagandhaMilk ThistleGinseng & GuaranaHomeopathic & Flower RemediesShop all Homeopathic & Flower RemediesRescue RemedyFlower RemediesVegan Vitamins & SupplementsBuy One Get One 1/2 PriceOnline only 25% off or moreSave up to 1/2 priceHolland & BarrettVitabioticsSolgarNew NordicBetterYouBioglanNatures AidPE NutritionGrass & Co.H&B ExpertDairy FreeGluten FreeSesame Seed FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeLupin FreeNew inFood & DrinkFood & Drink HubImmunityExercise & RecoveryGut HealthEnergyJoints, Aches & PainsDental HealthWeight ManagementFood & Drink Shop AllVegan FoodDried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsShop all Dried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsDried FruitNutsSeedsMixesHoney, Jams & SpreadsShop all Honey, Jams & SpreadsManuka HoneyHoneyJams & ChutneysNut ButtersSpreadsPateSuperfoodsShop all SuperfoodsSuperfood PowdersMoringa PowderSpirulinaGoji BerriesBaobabChia SeedsDrinks & JuicesShop all Drinks & JuicesKombuchaNatural Energy DrinksJuicesSoft DrinksWaterAlcohol Free DrinksTeas, Coffee & Hot BeveragesShop all Teas, Coffee & Hot BeveragesCoffee & Coffee SubstituteMushroom DrinksTeaSuperfood TeaMatcha & Green TeaSleep & Relaxation TeaSnacksShop all SnacksProtein BarsLow Calorie SnacksChocolate, Cakes & BiscuitsSavoury SnacksSweet SnacksSnack BarsCrisps & ChipsFlapjacksPopcornFood CupboardShop all Food CupboardCondiments & SaucesApple Cider VinegarSuperfoodsBreakfast CerealsHoney, Jams & SpreadsTinned FoodsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsBreakfast CerealsShop all Breakfast CerealsCereals, Bran & FlakesGranolaMuesliOats & PorridgeBreakfast BarsCookingShop all CookingCooking IngredientsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesSoya & Meat AlternativeSoup & Ready MealsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsHerbs, Spices & SeasoningGravy & StockHome BakingShop all Home BakingBaking MixesBreadFlourSweeteners & Sugar AlternativesEgg SubstitutesDairy AlternativesShop all Dairy AlternativesOat, Rice & Hemp DrinksSoya DrinksNut DrinksCoconut DrinksNutritionally Complete FoodBuy One Get One 1/2 PriceSave up to 1/2 priceOnline only 25% off or moreHolland & BarrettGrenadeNaturyaPukkaPhDHeath & HeatherHuelMeridianNakdTwiningsGluten FreeDairy FreeWheat FreeEgg FreeSugar FreeMilk FreeSoya FreeSesame Seed FreeCelery FreeFish FreeNew inSports NutritionSports Nutrition HubExercise & RecoveryEnergyWeight ManagementSports Nutrition Shop AllProteinShop all ProteinClear ProteinProtein VeganMeal ReplacementsWhey ProteinMass GainersDiet ProteinCaseinSports SupplementsShop all Sports SupplementsTestosteroneSports CollagenBars, Drinks & SnacksShop all Bars, Drinks & SnacksEnergy BarsProtein BarsProtein ShakesProtein SnacksNutritionally Complete FoodMeal Replacement ShakesPre Workout & EnergyShop all Pre Workout & EnergyPre WorkoutAmino Energy DrinksAmino Energy PowdersIntra WorkoutKetoPost WorkoutAmino AcidsShop all Amino AcidsBCAAL-LysineGlutamineArginineCreatineShop all CreatineCreatine PowderRehydrationShop all RehydrationElectrolytesEnergy GelsVegan Sports NutritionShop all Vegan Sports NutritionVegan ProteinVegan Protein BarsVegan Pre Workout & EnergyVegan Amino AcidsVegan CreatineSports AccessoriesShop all Sports AccessoriesBottles & ShakersFitness GoalShop all Fitness GoalRecoveryMuscle & StrengthLean MuscleEnergy & EnduranceDiet & Weight LossKetoSave up to 1/2 priceGreat SavingsBuy One Get One 1/2 PricePE NutritionOptimum NutritionGrenadeUSNPhDApplied NutritionHuelFoodspringSiSYfoodGluten FreeDairy FreeSugar FreeSoya FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeNew inBeautyBeauty HubSkin Health - by skin concernDental HealthWomen's Health - Cycles & MenstruationSexual HealthWomen's Health - PregnancyChildren's HealthExercise & RecoveryJoints, Aches & PainsHealthy HeartImmunityNatural Beauty Shop AllAromatherapy & HomeShop all Aromatherapy & HomePure Essential OilsBlended Essential OilsBase & Carrier OilsHolisticSkincareShop all SkincarePremium SkincareFace CareBody CareSun CareTanning & BronzingEye CareLip CareFoot CareHand & Nail CareCBD BeautyHair Skin & NailsShop all Hair Skin & NailsNail ConditionsSkin ConditionsCollagenWashing & BathingShop all Washing & BathingShampoo & ConditionerBathing AccessoriesShower Gel & Body WashDeodorantDentalHand WashSoapBath Soak & OilBody ScrubBath Bombs & SaltsFeminine CareIncontinence SupportHair CareShop all Hair CareShampoo & ConditionerHair ColouringHair MasksHair Oil & SerumHair Spray, Gel & MousseHair AccessoriesMother & BabyShop all Mother & BabyBaby Skincare & ToiletriesMakeupElectrical WellnessSexual WellnessBuy One Get One 1/2 PriceOnline only 25% off or moreSave up to 1/2 priceDr OrganicFaith in NatureWeledaNaturtintTisserandMiaromaQ+AEthiqueTrilogyChilds FarmAlcohol FreePalm Oil FreeParfum FreeParaben FreeSLS FreeMicroplastics FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeDairy FreeNew inWeight ManagementWeight Management HubExercise & RecoveryWeight ManagementEnergyHealthy HeartWeight Management Shop AllSlimming TabletsFat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsShop all Fat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsFat BurnersFat BindersAppetite SuppressantsShakes & Weight Management ShotsShop all Shakes & Weight Management ShotsMeal Replacement ShakesWeight Management ShotsDiet Food & DrinkShop all Diet Food & DrinkDiet FoodLow Calorie SnacksSlimming TeaExercise SupportBuy One Get One 1/2 PriceSave up to 1/2 priceGreat SavingsGrenadeOptimum NutritionHolland & BarrettPhDPulsinEat WaterUSNNatures AidSlimExpertApplied NutritionSugar FreeGluten FreeDairy FreeWheat FreeNew inHealth & WellnessShop all Health & WellnessGut HealthSkin Health - by skin concernEnergyWomen's Health - Hormonal HealthJoints, Aches & PainsWomen's Health - Menopause & PerimenopauseExercise & RecoveryImmunitySleep & RelaxationChildren's HealthJoints Bones & MusclesGut HealthShop all Gut HealthGut Health FoodGut Health SkincareHair Skin & NailsShop all Hair Skin & NailsNail ConditionsSkin ConditionsCollagenStress AnxietyShop all Stress AnxietyEnergy SupportSleep & RelaxationShop all Sleep & RelaxationRelaxationFood & DietShop all Food & DietKeto FoodMenopauseBuy One Get One 1/2 PriceOnline only 25% off or moreSave up to 1/2 priceHolland & BarrettNaturtintDr OrganicVitabioticsWeledaSolgarNew NordicEthiqueWildNatures AidDairy FreeGluten FreeSugar FreeAlcohol FreeWheat FreeSesame Seed FreeSoya FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeNew inShop for your WellnessJoints, Bones & MusclesWomen's HealthMenopauseSkincareGut HealthHair, Skin & NailsImmunitySleep & RelaxationFood & DietChildren's HealthStress ReliefHealthy HeartEnergyLow Mood & DepressionEye HealthSexual HealthLearn about WellnessJoints, Bones & MusclesWomen's HealthPeriod & Cycle HealthMenopauseImmunityGut HealthFood & DietSports & FitnessSleep & RelaxationHair Skin & NailsArticlesAll articlesHealthFood & nutritionGut healthImmunityJoints, bones & musclesWomen's healthWellnessHair & skinMental wellbeingSeasonalSleep & relaxationSports nutritionRecipesAll recipesGluten freeLow sugarVeganDairy freePodcast

What causes high cholesterol?

foods that cause high cholesterol
Understanding your blood cholesterol is a great step towards managing your wellness. So, here we delve into what causes high cholesterol and explain some common terminology you may see on the readings from a cholesterol test. Cholesterol is a common indicator of wellness and a term most of us are familiar with. But do you actually understand what is cholesterol? What about LDL and HDL – do you know the difference between good cholesterol and bad cholesterol? And how can you spot if your LDL cholesterol levels are creeping up too high?

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in your blood. Your liver naturally produces it, but it can also be consumed in foods such as red meat, high-fat cheese, butter and eggs. Some cholesterol is healthy. In fact, it’s used all around your body to perform some vital bodily functions.1

What is cholesterol used for?

  • It helps create a healthy outer wall for cells around your body.
  • By contributing to the production of bile acids, it supports digestion and the absorption of fats.
  • It helps with the creation of hormones and vitamin D. So, it has an important role in keeping your bones, teeth and muscles healthy.
To perform these essential functions, the liver produces most of the cholesterol you need. So, what happens if you end up with more of the fatty substance in your bloodstream than you need? This is referred to as high cholesterol and it can in time cause you problems. Excess cholesterol can start to build up and stick to the walls of your arteries. This makes your blood vessels get stiffer and narrower. Because it’s more difficult for blood to flow freely around your body, if cholesterol continues to accumulate, it can increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Good cholesterol v bad cholesterol

As a fat (or lipid), cholesterol can't travel in your bloodstream on its own. Before being released into your bloodstream, the lipids attach to protein. Lipids plus proteins, combine to create ‘lipoproteins’, which are spherical parcels that carry cholesterol in your bloodstream to wherever in your body they’re needed.2 Your body creates many variations of lipoprotein, but there are two main types – HDL and LDL. But which one is good cholesterol?
  1. Low density lipoprotein (non-HDL or LDL cholesterol)
These lipoproteins contain higher volumes of cholesterol. Their function is to transport cholesterol from the liver to cells around your body.3 But if there’s more cholesterol than the body needs, it has the potential to build up and clog arteries. This earns LDLs the label ‘bad’ cholesterol.
  1. High density lipoprotein (or HDL cholesterol)
This lipoprotein contains less cholesterol and more protein. Its role is to return the cholesterol you don’t need back to the liver. Here it can be used to make bile acids which help with digestion. Or, it’s broken down so it can either be absorbed back into the blood and returned to the liver, or excreted as waste. HDLs can prevent disease, so they get the more favourable title of ‘good’ cholesterol.

What causes high cholesterol?

Anyone can get high cholesterol. Even if you’re fit, healthy and slim. However, here are ten risk factors that can make you more susceptible to raised levels of blood cholesterol.4
  1. Diet. Eating too much saturated fat or a high cholesterol diet.
  2. Alcohol. Drinking more than the recommended amount of alcohol.
  3. Smoking
  4. Being inactive
  5. Existing health conditions. For example, an underactive thyroid gland, type 2 diabetes, liver disease or kidney disease.
  6. Being overweight
  7. Genes. Susceptibility can be inherited from your parents.
  8. Age. Raised cholesterol levels are more common as you get older.
  9. Gender. Men are more likely to have high cholesterol levels.
  10. Ethnicity. People from a South Asian background can have a high risk of high cholesterol

There are often no signs of high cholesterol

Public Health England estimate that six out of ten adults in England have high cholesterol.5 But although it’s common, finding out you have high cholesterol often comes as a surprise. There aren’t any physical high cholesterol symptoms or obvious warning signs that your LDL levels are creeping up too high. The only way to find out if you have healthy cholesterol levels is to have a cholesterol test at your doctors (a simple blood test) or to buy a cholesterol test kit.

But what do cholesterol readings mean?

Type of cholesterol Normal cholesterol levels
Total cholesterol. The combined amount of good and bad cholesterol in your blood. 5 or lower
HDL. The amount of good cholesterol in your blood. 1 or lower
LDL. A measure of the bad cholesterol in your blood. 3 or lower
Triglycerides. Another type of fat found in your blood that’s similar to bad cholesterol and can also contribute to the narrowing of arteries. 2.3 or lower
Note: This is general NHS guidance on cholesterol readings.6

Are there natural ways to lower cholesterol?

Healthy levels of blood cholesterol are specific to each person. And what causes high cholesterol also varies between individuals. So, your doctor will interpret your cholesterol chart in the context of your personal circumstances and risk factors. For some people medication (e.g. statins) provides the best answer to how to lower your cholesterol. But by making positive, natural diet and lifestyle changes, many people are able to lower cholesterol naturally. Last updated: 21 July 2020 Sources https://patient.info/heart-health/high-cholesterolhttps://www.heartuk.org.uk/cholesterol/what-is-cholesterolUnderstanding cholesterol brochure by the British Heart Foundationhttps://www.heartuk.org.uk/cholesterol/what-is-high-cholesterolhttps://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2015/10/12/high-cholesterol-beating-the-build-up-during-cholesterol-month/https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/high-cholesterol/cholesterol-levels/

Related Articles

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • AmericanExpress
  • PayPal
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
Copyright © Holland & Barrett Limited, 2024. All rights reserved. hollandandbarrett.ie is a trading name of Holland & Barrett Limited. Registered office: 45 Henry Street, Dublin, Dublin 1, D01 E9X8. Registered in Ireland: Company no. 79819. Registered VAT no. 4682002U.