CORPORATE HEALTH LOWERING YOUR CHOLESTEROL & BLOOD PRESSURE

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1 CORPORATE HEALTH LOWERING YOUR CHOLESTEROL & BLOOD PRESSURE

2 What is Cholesterol? What s wrong with having high cholesterol? Major risk factor for cardiovascular disease Higher the cholesterol higher the risk Clogs the arteries and therefore reduces blood flow to the heart, brain and other tissues Bigger concern in the presence of other risk factors (obesity, inactivity, diabetes, hypertension, smoking)

3 What is Cholesterol? It is a type of fat that is part of all animal cells and is essential for life The body uses it to: Build the structure of cell membranes Make hormones like oestrogen, testosterone and adrenaline Help the metabolism work efficiently; for example, cholesterol is essential for the body to produce vitamin D Produce bile acids, which help the body digest fat and absorb important nutrients

4 Cholesterol Transportation The body transports cholesterol to the cells via two main methods: 1. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) often called the bad cholesterol because it transports cholesterol to the heart and major arteries 2. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) often called the good cholesterol as it takes the surplus cholesterol away from the tissues and transports it for disposal. The body produces it s own cholesterol so there is no need to consume it in our diet.

5 Effects of High Cholesterol! The liver is the main processing centre for cholesterol When we eat animal fats, the liver returns the excess cholesterol back into our bloodstream When there is too much cholesterol circulating in our bloodstream, it can build up into fatty deposits These deposits cause the arteries to narrow and can eventually block the arteries completely, leading to heart disease and stroke.

6 Avoiding High Cholesterol! Cholesterol in food is only found in animal products. Limit foods high in saturated fats including: Fatty meats Full fat dairy products Processed meats like salami and sausages Snack foods like chips Most takeaway foods, especially deep fried foods Cakes, biscuits and pastries Saturated fat increase your body s production of LDL cholesterol.

7 Reduce High Cholesterol Through Your Diet! Increase your intake of fresh fruit, vegetables, soluble fibre and wholegrain foods you have each day. They should make up the main component of your meals. Choose low or reduced fat milk, yoghurt and other dairy products or have 'added calcium' soy drinks. Choose lean meat limiting fatty meats (remove the skin from chicken and trim any visible fat) Have fish (fresh or canned) at least twice a week. Replace butter and dairy blends with polyunsaturated margarines Use a variety of oils for cooking eg sunflower, canola and soybean oils

8 Reduce High Cholesterol Through Your Diet! Include nuts (unsalted), legumes and seeds. Limit cheese and ice-cream to twice a week. Limit take-away foods to once a week Limit snack foods like potato and corn chips to once per week Reduce cholesterol rich foods such as egg yolks, liver, kidney and brains!!! Limit cakes, pastries and chocolate to once per week

9 Reduce Cholesterol Via Lifestyle! Reduce your alcohol intake to no more than one or two drinks per day, and avoid binge drinking Be smoke free Exercise regularly Lose any excess body fat and maintain a healthy body weight Control your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes Manage your blood pressure

10 Increase your Exercise Exercise assists in the production of HDL cholesterol and therefore reduces LDL levels. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise on most days of the week Combine cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise with resistance (weight training, bodyweight exercises) exercise. Moderate Intensity = 60% - 80% max HR

11 Medications Your GP can recommend if a cholesterol lowering medication is necessary to assist in the management of high cholesterol. These medications are very effective at lowering cholesterol and therefore lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.

12 Blood Pressure What is Blood Pressure? It is the pressure of the blood in the arteries as the heart pumps it around the body Systolic blood pressure - the pressure in the arteries as the heart squeezes out blood during each beat Diastolic blood pressure - the pressure as the heart relaxes before the next beat

13 Blood Pressure What are the norms? Normal blood pressure: less than 120/80 High normal: between 120/80 and 140/90. High: 140/90 or above. Very high: 180/110 or above. Important to remember that blood pressure is always changing to meet your body s needs

14 Blood Pressure What causes high blood pressure? Smoking Being overweight Being physically inactive Having diabetes High blood cholesterol

15 Blood Pressure Effects of High Blood Pressure Heart attack Stroke Heart failure Kidney disease High blood pressure usually does not give warning signs

16 Blood Pressure Avoiding High Blood Pressure! Have your blood pressure checked regularly Be active every day Eat a wide variety of foods - reducing salt intake Limit intake of alcohol to two drinks or less per day (men) or one drink or less per day (women). Be a non-smoker. Achieve and maintain a healthy weight

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