First things first, there are no cholesterol symptoms whatsoever. While cholesterol levels are important when it comes to heart health – elevated cholesterol being one of the risk factors of heart disease* – there are no high cholesterol symptoms.
How do you know if you have high cholesterol?
As there are no physical signs of high cholesterol, the only way to know your numbers is to get tested regularly by a healthcare professional. The procedure is very simple and just requires a blood sample – which is usually taken with either a needle and syringe, or with a quick prick of a finger. Once you know your level, you can take steps to lower your cholesterol if necessary. Many people find that knowing their cholesterol level actually helps to motivate them to make healthy diet and lifestyle choices.
Heart UK advises that people aged 40-75 take the test every 5 years, or every 12 months if they are on cholesterol-lowering medication. This infographic is a complete guide on cholesterol testing – check it to find how to test your levels and read the results.
Signs of high cholesterol: unhealthy habits can affect your levels
While there are no physical signs and symptoms of high cholesterol, a simple external factor can get in the way of your cholesterol numbers: unhealthy habits and lifestyle!
To keep your cholesterol within the recommended limits, it’s very important to get tested regularly and understand how your diet and lifestyle could affect your level. Factors you can change are:
- A diet high in saturated fat. ‘Bad’ saturated fat is found in most meat and meat products, full fat dairy products, and processed or baked foods like cake or biscuits. To lower cholesterol, try replacing foods high in saturated fat with those containing ‘good’ unsaturated fat – find out more in our guide to saturated and unsaturated fat*.
- An unhealthy diet overall, lacking in variety – a balanced diet is important for maintaining desirable cholesterol levels. Find out more about the different food groups and check out our balanced diet chart here.
- Being overweight or obese. An active lifestyle, as well as a balanced diet, can help maintain a healthy weight. You can find plenty of workout guides in our healthy lifestyle section.
Find out more about cholesterol
We have plenty of resources on the Flora ProActiv site to help you:
- What is cholesterol? Find a clear explanation of cholesterol and the part it has to play in the body in this helpful section. For information on the different types of cholesterol (‘good’ and ‘bad’). You might also find our articles on LDL and HDL-cholesterol
- How to lower cholesterol. If your test results reveal signs of high cholesterol levels above the recommended limit, there are plenty of simple diet and lifestyle changes you can make to help lower it. Find practical advice in this comprehensive article.
- Your cholesterol-lowering diet plan. Download our free Starter Kit or find information on eating healthily in our guide to a balanced diet.
- Keep up to date with the latest information. Join us on Facebook.
* Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats in the diet has been shown to lower blood cholesterol. High cholesterol is a risk factor of heart disease. There are many risk factors for coronary heart disease, and it is important to take care of all of them to reduce the overall risk of it.
This information has been included in good faith, but is for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as a guarantee. The nutritional facts and statements on this site are designed for educational and resource purpose sonly, not being substitutes for professional advice. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always check with your GP or healthcare professional.