Non-fasting lipid profile
Hypercholesterolemia: Causes, Symptoms and Risks
Environment, Age and Lifestyle
Screening and Prevention
High cholesterol screening is recommended for men over 40 and women over 50 or menopausal. It is also recommended for individuals with risk factors, including:
- History of smoking
- Excess abdominal fat
- Family history of early heart attack or stroke
- Physical signs of high cholesterol (such as fat deposits under the skin)
- Evidence of vascular disease or coronary artery disease, with or without symptoms (aneurysms, kidney disease, peripheral artery disease)
- Inflammatory disease
Various public health agencies have issued dietary recommendations for the prevention and treatment of hypercholesterolemia (e.g., the American Heart Association, the working group on hypercholesterolemia and other dyslipidemias, the author of the Canadian guidelines). Here are some of the highlights:
- Reduce your consumption of total fat to a maximum of 35% of total daily calories
- Read labels on foods and avoid foods made with trans, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats (fries, chips, donuts, crackers, hard margarines and bakery products)
- Increase your consumption of foods that contain unsaturated fats (canola or olive oil, avocado, salmon and trout, unsalted nuts and seeds)
- Make sure you consume enough soluble fibre, 10 to 25 g per day (wholegrain breads and cereals, oats, oat bran, psyllium, beans, peas, lentils, eggplant)
- Include soy protein in your diet. Try to consume at least 20 grams per day (soy beverage, tofu and tempeh).
- Eat a handful (1/4 cup) of unsalted nuts and seeds at least five times per week.
- Choose foods that contain vegetable sterols such as whole grains, nuts, vegetables and fruits.
- Manage your weight by losing any excess weight, especially around your waist (helps increase your HDL cholesterol and reduce your LDL cholesterol).
- Be physically active. Exercising regularly improves HDL cholesterol. Any additional activity is beneficial.
- Stop smoking. Studies show that avoiding tobacco can increase HDL cholesterol.