That’s Cholesterol to you and me
In recent years cholesterol has become a subject that most people have heard about and have some knowledge of. It is sometimes referred to as the silent killer because of the lack of symptoms associated with it, but make no mistake elevated cholesterol levels pose a real risk to an individual’s health.
Good, bad, normal or none?
During the many employee health checks that Healthy Performance carries out on the nation’s work forces, our consultants come across many differing questions and ideas about cholesterol. We are often asked if we need it at all. What are the different types and how much is too much. Oh and always ‘can I eat eggs’? We offer a range of different screening options and can take up to 5 measurements of a person’s blood lipid profile. So let’s put a bit of clarity on the cholesterol subject.
We need Cholesterol! There are two main types of Cholesterol HDL (high density lipoprotein) and LDL (low density lipoprotein) and these are both vital to the body for healthy cells, vitamin D formation and transportation of fats in the blood. HDL cholesterol is often termed ‘good cholesterol’ and the LDL cholesterol as ‘bad cholesterol’ these names broadly represent the effects of high levels in the body. The only way to know what your cholesterol levels are is to have a simple blood test.
Know the numbers
The government recommends that total cholesterol levels should be:
5 mmol/L or less for healthy adults
4 mmol/L or less for those at high risk
The government recommends that levels of LDL should be:
3 mmol/L or less for healthy adults
2 mmol/L or less for those at high risk
The ideal level of HDL is above 1 mmol/L in Men and 1.2 mmol/L in Women
We also calculate the ratio of the total cholesterol to the HDL cholesterol in our employee health checks.
Why do we care about the amount?
High levels of LDL cholesterol can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, coronary heart disease and the narrowing of the arteries due to a build-up of cholesterol on the artery walls. There are a few causes of high cholesterol levels and most of them are lifestyle related. We know that being overweight, smoking, having a diet high in saturated fats and not getting enough exercise all make higher cholesterol levels likely.
In 2015, Healthy Performance referred over 335 employees to get help with their cholesterol levels through our GP referral system and advised countless more on how they can improve and maintain their cholesterol levels through lifestyle changes.
By the way, yes you can eat eggs! But frying is not recommended.
For further information about our employee health checks including the test for a full cholesterol breakdown please contact the HP Team on 01295 230120.