Heart Health
March 18, 2022

Standard Cholesterol Levels in Australia and a Guide to Manage your Cholesterol level.

Cholesterol plays various vital functions in the body, but still, it can become harmful if your body has too much of it. High cholesterol levels increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and 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 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 in Australia.

Ways to manage high cholesterol levels

Avoid trans fat Consumption.

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

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

When buying food items, check the list of ingredients and avoid food products with trans fats. They are often written as "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil" on the packaging of food products.

Reduce the intake of saturated fats

Dairy products and red meat commonly contain saturated fats. As a result, they increase your overall cholesterol levels. Therefore, you should restrict the intake of food products rich in saturated fats to control your cholesterol levels.

Take soluble fibers

Humans cannot digest soluble fibers independently and depend on bacteria in their gut to digest them. These bacteria need soluble fibers for their healthy growth and reproduction. In addition, research indicates that gut bacteria lower LDL levels which can help you manage your total cholesterol. So you should take soluble fibers 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 fibers help restore your cholesterol levels to a good level.

Maintain a healthy weight

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

Losing 5 to 10% of your total weight can reduce cholesterol significantly. However, using weight loss medications and inefficient diet plans only lowers the weight temporarily. Therefore, you should use a sustainable weight loss plan to shed extra pounds and maintain 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. For example, 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. This is because 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 cigarette chemical, is also known to raise LDL levels. Quitting or reducing smoking can help you reverse these effects.

Standard cholesterol levels in Australia

People over 20 should have their cholesterol levels checked every five years, while those over 65 should receive a cholesterol test yearly. A complete cholesterol test will measure your blood's total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglyceride levels.

According to the guidelines provided by healthcare experts, normal total cholesterol levels in Australia for individuals at high risk are 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 abovementioned changes to your lifestyle. Become more active and adopt healthy eating habits. Avoid trans fats and take soluble fibers and natural food products. Doing so will lower your cholesterol levels and improve your overall health in many ways.