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Stroke Rehabilitation Unit
Baggot Street Community Hospital

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  • Cholesterol is important
  • It produces some hormones that the body needs
  • BUT TOO MUCH cholesterol is not good
  • Too much cholesterol makes your arteries narrow and hard
  • High cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease AND stroke
  • Cholesterol levels are measured by a blood test
  • You have to fast overnight before you have this blood test
  • Normal cholesterol is 5.2 or lower
  • Cholesterol between 5.2 and 6.2 puts you at some risk for heart disease and stroke
  • Cholesterol over 6.2 puts you at high risk for heart disease and stroke
  • The body makes a healthy amount of cholesterol
  • Most of our cholesterol is made by the liver
  • We also get cholesterol from food
  • BUT if you eat too much fat, it can increase your cholesterol
  • There are 2 types of fat

1. Saturated Fat

2. Unsaturated Fat

  • Saturated fat is in butter, hard margarine, lard, cheese, meat fat, chicken skin, processed meat, black & white pudding, cakes, biscuits, crisps, deep fried foods
  • Saturated fat is BAD for cholesterol
  • Unsaturated fat is in olive oil, vegetable oil, avocados, seeds, cashew nuts, almonds, peanuts, oily fish
  • Unsaturated fat can lower your cholesterol
  • Unsaturated fat can improve your circulation and stop your blood getting sticky and forming clots

Tips for healthy cholesterol


  • Change your diet
  • Exercise more
  • Stop smoking
  • Reduce fat in your diet, especially saturated fat
  • Choose low-fat dairy options
  • Skip butter on bread, toast and potatoes
  • Switch to low fat spreads
  • Avoid foods cooked in fat or oil, e.g. chips and takeaways
  • Grill, bake, boil or steam food
  • Do not fry food
  • Eat 4 or more portions of fruit and vegetables every day
  • Eat wholemeal bread, pasta and rice
  • Try having porridge for breakfast
  • Eat oily fish once or twice a week, e.g. salmon, mackerel, trout
  • If you eat tinned fish, choose fish in brine or water NOT oil
  • Choose lean red meat, cut off the fat
  • Eat chicken without the skin
  • Choose tomato-based sauces avoid creamy sauces
  • Cut down on chocolate, biscuits and crisps

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