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Cholesterol is a type of fat required for good health. It is a normal component of most body tissues, yet high blood levels can increase the risk of developing health issues (e.g. heart disease).


High cholesterol levels are asymptomatic, and in many cases the first sign of any problem is a serious health issue. To help reduce the risk of this occurring, cholesterol levels are measured by a simple blood test. Your healthcare professional can organise this for you, along with other measurements of your cardiovascular health, such as blood pressure testing.

Cholesterol is transported through the blood stream in particles known as lipoproteins . The two most important varieties of lipoproteins to be aware of are low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL).

High levels of LDL-cholesterol can lead to fatty deposits in the artery walls referred to as atherosclerosis, or "hardening of the arteries". Atherosclerosis makes the blood vessels narrower and stiffer, and consequently increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. This form of cholesterol is sometimes referred to as "bad" cholesterol.    

High-density lipoproteins (HDL-cholesterol) help to reduce the risk of heart disease  as they have the ability to help remove excess cholesterol from the arteries and other parts of the body. For this reason they are sometimes referred to as "good" cholesterol.

The narrowing of the arteries associated with high cholesterol levels can sometimes cause symptoms of chest pain (angina)  or leg pain intermittent claudication, especially with exercise.

High production of cholesterol by the liver may contribute to the development of gallstones, symptoms of which include episodic abdominal and back pain, especially after consumption of fatty foods.


Cholesterol levels in the blood depend on both dietary factors and the amount of cholesterol manufactured by the body. High consumption of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol in foods may make your total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels rise.

Genetics also play a role in some people with high cholesterol. Your genes will partly determine how much cholesterol you naturally produce. Familial hypercholesterolaemia is more likely to be present in people who experience a heart attack at an early age or who have a family member who had a heart attack at an early age.

Being overweight contributes to increased LDL-cholesterol.

Other blood markers that may be associated with high cholesterol levels and are also risk factors for cardiovascular disease include high levels of a compound called homocysteine and high blood levels of triglycerides (fats).

Free radical damage to cholesterol molecules is believed to increase their ability to damage blood vessels.

Diet and lifestyle

  • Remember that cholesterol is not a disease in itself, but an indicator of the risk of developing heart disease. Your healthcare professional will consider your cholesterol level in the context of other risk factors such as your family history, blood pressure, level of physical activity and whether you are diabetic or smoke cigarettes.
  • To help maintain healthy cholesterol levels, reduce the quantity of cholesterol and saturated and trans fats in your diet. This involves avoiding animal fats (meat and full-fat dairy products) and sources of hidden fat such as pastries and pies.  
  • At the same time, increase the amount of fish in your diet (but not deep fried fish), and eat more fruit, vegetables and whole grains. 
  • A diet high in soluble fibre is highly recommended in order to promote the excretion of cholesterol. Good sources include legumes, oats and psyllium.
  • Eating moderate amounts of foods that contain monounsaturated fats may support the management of healthy normal cholesterol levels. Important foods to include in your diet include nuts (especially walnuts), seeds and olive oil.   
  • Garlic and onion have cholesterol-lowering properties and are valuable additions to your diet.   
  • Limit your alcohol consumption to 1-2 standard drinks per day, and avoid binge drinking. 
  • Quit smoking. Cigarette smoking significantly increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and other health problems, and can exacerbate the negative effects of high cholesterol levels.   
  • Regular aerobic exercise can be of benefit to those with high cholesterol levels.  Aim for at least 30 minutes of brisk walking per day. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional before commencing an exercise programme.
  • If you are overweight, talk to your healthcare professional about ways to address this, as being overweight may contribute to raised LDL and triglyceride levels.

Important notes

  • Your cholesterol level is only one aspect of your cardiovascular health profile and should be addressed in conjunction with other risk factors. Talk to your healthcare professional for more information.

Get free personalised advice from our team of qualified naturopaths here

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My chol. Is 7 i walk 3k each day, what less can I do or take please
what NUMBER is considered high cholesterol ?
Anonymous 08 Oct 2014
Hi Pam, Blackmores do not have a cook book or recipes as such however the National Osteoporosis Foundation of America has recipes you may like to have a look at, via the following link A google search also revealed quite a few other osteoporosis cook books available unfortunately I am not familiar with them to be able to recommend a particular title. Hope this helps, please contact Blackmores Naturopathic Advisory if you would like to discuss this further, thanks Danielle
Anonymous 06 Aug 2014
Hi Hooi, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Blackmores always plan to look ahead for products which are natural and efficacious. We always strive to provide options which suit our customers with best results. Thanks again for your ideas. Jen (Blackmores naturopath)
I am looking for one single Blackmores product that can "melt away" the plaque in the arteries.

Please make one? Coz I can't find one.
Anonymous 04 Mar 2014
The Statement that 30 minutes of excersise per day is OK for those of us Who can Walk,Jog,Run etc
I have a crook Knee that will not allow this part of my past Life to happen. The subsequent result of this Injury (now been Arthroscoped and on the never never for Replacement) has been that my Body weight has increased to 115Kg with height of 180cm
from 87 Kg. I have tried about 250 different ways to lose weight that is adding to my problem but been totally unsuccessful. My question is there any other means by which HDL can be raised ?

As a pensioner The cost of such Items as Fish are just unavailable

Any Suggestions Please
Hi Cathy, Blackmores Policosanol was discontinued some time ago and has been replaced with Cholesterol Health™. Cholesterol Health™ contains a relevant dose of plant sterols and complements diet and lifestyle measures to support healthy cholesterol levels. You can find out more about the product here:

In terms of dietary advice, it would be great if you could increase fish consumption as it contains anti-inflammatory omega-3s. Reduce processed grains and sugar as much as you can along with saturated and trans fats and refined vegetable oils- switch to olive oil for cooking. For some more personalised advice you may like to contact our naturopaths on 1800 803 760 or email
Blackmores 13 Jun 2013
I have high cholesterol and my father was taking blackmores policosinal - do you still produce this as it is difficult to buy from health stores and chemists ?
Anonymous 11 Jun 2013