10 Tips To Reduce Cholesterol

by Aaron Pressley Galvin on 16th January,2019

10 Tips To Reduce Cholesterol

In Ireland approximately 10,000 people die each year from cardiovascular disease (CVD) including coronary heart disease, stroke and other circulatory diseases. CVD is the most common cause of death in Ireland, accounting for 36% of all deaths, half of which are caused by heart attacks. 22% of premature deaths under the age of 65, are from CVD which is linked to a high cholesterol diet amongst other unhealthy lifestyle factors such as smoking, excess drinking, bad diet and lack of exercise.

If you were thinking that a lot of this is down to congenital or inherited issues then think again. Its believed that inherited factors amount to approx 30% of overall issues so it looks like modifiable lifestyle factors are still by far the most effective way to decrease risk of CVD.


There are 2 types of cholesterol, HDL which are the good ones (Poly & Mono-unsaturated fats help these) and LDL are the bad ones (saturated & trans fats effect these). Too much LDL cholesterol in the blood will increase the risk of CVD. HDL is the good stuff which an help to gobble up the bad LDL cholesterol. For the average person a heathy range of cholesterol levels in the blood should no be more than 5mmol/l in total with HDL no less than 1mmol/l and LDL no more than 3mmol/l.


Below are some simple tips which you can incorporate into your lifestyle to reduce LDL cholesterol or bad fat intake on a daily basis...

1. Reduce Red Meat Intake

Reduce or eliminate pork/lamb/duck from your diet as they are very high in saturated fat. Stick to small portions of lean, low fat red meat like steak or steak minced meat 2-3 times per week max. Introduce more Chicken & Turkey into your diet which are naturally low in saturated fat.

2. Give Up Smoking

Smoking causes hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis) and will increase the risk of blockages of the arteries leading to heart attack and stroke. There is no such thing as smoking in moderation, every cigarette causes damage.

3. Less Eggs

Egg yolks contain cholesterol so try have 2 whites to 1 yolk in omelettes or scrambled eggs. Don't eat eggs everyday, limit egg intake to 2-3 times per week max.

4. Eat More Fish

Salmon has plenty of good omega fats while whiting is very lean with barely any fat. As a bonus, both are packed with protein. Try include Salmon & white fish (non battered of course) in your diet 3-4 times per week.

5. Reduce Dairy intake

Full fat milk, cream, butter, cheese and yogurts are very high in saturated fats. Replace with low fat vegetable spreads, soya & almond milk products.

6. Cook Right

Reduce or eliminate all cooking oils including olive/sunflower/rapeseed/coconut etc. The problem is you can start out with lean meat or fish but fry it in a load of oil and your back to square one! Grill, steam, oven bake your food instead of frying with oils in a pan.

7. Exercise more

Do more cardio and daily exercise, like brisk walking, hiking, biking and jogging which will help to reduce your cholesterol, body weight & body fat.

8. Make Healthier Options

When dining out, choose more veg & salad, lean protein sources, brown rice, pasta and sweet potato. Healthy starters are fine but skip the dessert.

9. Reduce Your Alcohol Intake

If you drink, make sure that you stick to the weekly recommended guidelines. The recommended limit of alcohol consumption for men is twenty one standard drinks and for women fourteen standard drinks per week. Always avoid binge drinking.

10. Increase Healthy Fat Intake

Foods like avocados, olives, nuts and seeds contain lots of healthy fats. Your body needs a certain amount of these fats to increase HDL levels in the blood. Just be careful on nut butters as they are dense in fats and even though it's good fat, it's still possible to have too much of a good thing so use moderation.


Last Modified: Wednesday 16th January 2019