Heart Health
March 18, 2022

Standard cholesterol levels in Australia and a guide to manage your high cholesterol level.

Cholesterol plays various important functions in the body, but still, it can become harmful if your body has too much of it. High cholesterol levels not only increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases but also put your life in danger.

Around 1.5 million Australians have high cholesterol. [1] But the good thing is, it is an issue they can control. They can either take medications or make a few lifestyle changes to bring their cholesterol levels back to normal.Keep reading the article to find ways to manage cholesterol and standard cholesterol levels Australia.

Ways to manage high cholesterol levels

Skip trans fats

Trans fats are the modified form of unsaturated fats. They are used in bakery items and many other food products because they add texture to them and increase their shelf life.

Trans fats are treated differently in your body and produce many adverse effects, including a reduction in the HDL (good cholesterol) levels and an increase in the LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. Due to these reasons, FDA has banned their use as of January 1, 2020. [2]

When buying food items, make sure you check the list of ingredients and avoid food products that have trans fats. They are often written as “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” on the packaging of food products.

Reduce the intake of saturated fats

Saturated fats are commonly found in dairy products and red meat. They increase your overall cholesterol levels. You should restrict the intake of food products rich in saturated fats to control your cholesterol levels Australia.

Take soluble fibres

Humans cannot digest soluble fibres on their own and depend on bacteria present in their gut to digest them. These bacteria need soluble fibres for their healthy growth and reproduction. Research indicates that gut bacteria lower LDL levels which can help you manage your total cholesterol. So you should take soluble fibres to support your gut bacteria.

Good sources of soluble fats include fruits, peas, oat cereals, flaxseeds, beans, and lentils. Add these food items to your diet and let the soluble fibres help you restore your cholesterol levels Australia.

Maintain a healthy weight

Obesity increases the risk of high cholesterol levels. If your body has 10 pounds of excess fats, it will generate around 10 mg of cholesterol every day. However, losing weight can help you reduce your LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels Australia.

Losing 5 to 10% of your total weight can reduce a significant amount of cholesterol. Using weight loss medications and inefficient diet plans only lower the weight temporarily. Therefore, you should use a sustainable weight loss plan to shed the extra pounds and maintain your weight.

Make exercise a part of your lifestyle

Exercise has innumerable benefits. Not only does it improve your muscle strength, but it also increases your HDL levels and lowers LDL levels.

You should exercise for roughly 90 minutes every week. If you have not exercised for a long time, start slowly. Walk for 10 minutes every day. Choose exercises that you like. Increase your pace gradually without putting an extra burden on yourself.

Quit smoking

Smokers are at a higher risk of developing heart diseases than non-smokers. Their fat cells do not return to the liver and instead stick to blood vessels. As a result, their total cholesterol levels and the risk of clogged arteries increase.

Acrolein, a chemical present in cigarettes, is also known to raise LDL levels. Quitting or reducing smoking can help you reverse these effects.

Standard cholesterol levels in Australia

People over the age of 20 should have their cholesterol levels checked every 5 years at least, while people over the age of 65 should receive a cholesterol test every year. A complete cholesterol test will measure total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglyceride levels in your blood.

According to the guidelines provided by healthcare experts, normal total cholesterol levels in Australia for individuals at high risk is 4.0 mmol/L, and 5.5 mmol/L for the general population. Similarly, the normal LDL level for individuals, who smoke or have high blood pressure, is below 1.8mmol/L. It is below 2.0 mmol/L for the general population. The standard HDL level is above 1.0 mmol/L, and the standard triglyceride level is below 2.0 mmol/L. [3, 4]

Summing it up

If your cholesterol level is imbalanced, you should bring the above-mentioned changes to your lifestyle. Become more active and adopt healthy eating habits. Avoid trans fats and instead take soluble fibres and natural food products. Doing so will not only lower your cholesterol levels but will also improve your overall health in many ways.