Cholesterol, a waxy substance found in the fats in the blood, is needed for building healthy blood cells. However, high levels of cholesterol in the body can also put one at risk for other serious health conditions, including heart disease.
A simple blood test can be made to check for high cholesterol. Taking a complete lipid profile, measuring LDL, total cholesterol, HDL (the good cholesterol) and triglycerides, at least once every 5 years is recommended for people above 20 years old. Overnight fasting may be required before undergoing blood tests to check high cholesterol.
Low density lipoproteins or LDL, often referred to as bad cholesterol, should be kept below a score of 100. People with heart concerns should aim lower than 100. An LDL score above 190 is considered very high and dangerous. High density lipoproteins or HDL, often referred to as good cholesterol, must be maintained at a score above 60. An HDL score below 40 is considered low for men, while below 50 is low for women.
To keep cholesterol levels within the healthy range, you should consider adding the following foods in your diet: rice, whole wheat bread, rye bread, cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables, fruit juices without added sugar, low-fat dairy products, lean meat, white meat of chicken or turkey without skin, tuna, reduced fat peanut butter, eggs, vegetable oil, and tea.