1) Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): LDL, or ‘bad’ cholesterol, will increase the build-up of fats in the arteries, and may cause the arteries to be clogged.
2) High-density lipoprotein (HDL): HDL, or ‘good’ cholesterol, removes cholesterol from the cells before they are deposited as plaque in the arteries, thus preventing the build-up of fats in the arteries.
Eat more foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fibre such as salmon and oatmeal. Reduce consumption of saturated and trans fats, which are often found in red meat, margarine and desserts.
Obesity raises levels of LDL cholesterol, and the excess body fat slows down the body’s ability to remove LDL cholesterol. This combination of factors increases cholesterol levels to unhealthy levels and increases one’s risks of heart disease and stroke. One should achieve and maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI). The healthy BMI range for Asians is between 18.5 and 22.9 kg/m2.
Moderate-intensity exercise raises HDL cholesterol levels, and can help with maintaining a healthy weight. These can be simple exercises incorporated into your daily life, such as walking up the stairs instead of taking the lift. Healthy adults should complete at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (such as brisk walking) in a week. Please seek your doctor’s advice for physical exercises that are suitable for you.
Smoking cessation improves HDL cholesterol levels and lowers LDL cholesterol levels. Non-smokers should also avoid inhaling second-hand smoke as much as possible.
An excessive amount of alcohol increases both triglyceride and total cholesterol levels.