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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What causes high cholesterol?

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  • 9

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    Nicole Senior

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    I'm an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist, consultant, author, speaker and food and health enthusiast. I love talking and writing about food and health.(please note, … View Profile

    A combination of factors can cause high cholesterol. A family history of high cholesterol increases the chances, however diet and lifestyle are highly inlfuential and most likely the main reason why 50% of Australian adults have high cholesterol (over 5.5mmol/L). Being overweight increases cholesterol, as does a diet with more saturated fats than unsaturated ones (too much butter, fatty meat, cakes, pastries and take-away food and not enough oils, nuts and seeds) and a lack of cholesterol-busting foods such as vegetables, legumes, nuts, fruits and wholegrains. No matter how you get high cholesterol, a cholesterol-lowering diet is an effective way to get it down. For more information on how to do it in the most healthy (and enjoyable) way possible, check out my book Eat to Beat Cholesterol available at http://www.greatideas.net.au/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=Eat+to+beat+cholesterol&osCsid=ab8db71a77a0a2050e23b6b83aef0b15

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    Dr Alistair Begg

    Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

    Dr Alistair Begg is a Cardiologist with 15 years experience in private practice.He is actively involved in Cardiac Rehabilitation and patient education including a number … View Profile

    High cholesterol is caused by a combination of the genes we inherit from our parents,the food we eat,and various medical conditions that can affect cholesterol such as an underactive thyroid,obesity,certain forms of kidney disease,and poorly controlled diabetes.
    Australian Guidelines released in 2012 aim for a total cholesterol below 4.0 mmol/litre for everyone,an HDL greater than 1.0 mmol/l,an LDL under 2.0 mmol/l for everyone except those with coronary heart disease,where a lower goal of less than 1.8 mmol/l is targeted,and a triglyceride level of less than 2.0 mmol/l. 

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