Is YOUR cholesterol too high? Here’s how to get your cholesterol levels checked

This Morning's Dr Chris discusses the signs of high cholesterol

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One in five Brits have been told they have raised cholesterol levels, but only two-thirds of Brits have actually got tested according to Flora ProActiv’s research for National Cholesterol Month. Shockingly, 41 percent of Brits assume they are fine and don’t need a cholesterol test. COVID-19 has had a dire impact, with 22 percent of people cancelling their cholesterol tests or simply not booking one due to the pandemic. reveals how to get YOUR cholesterol levels checked.

If your cholesterol is too high, you are dramatically increasing your risk of heart disease and a number of deadly conditions.

High cholesterol has no symptoms, so checking your cholesterol levels through a test is absolutely essential.

Your GP might suggest you have a test if they think your cholesterol level could be high, but you could also request a blood test to find out your levels.

Whilst Flora ProActiv’s research for National Cholesterol Month reveals a large portion (65 percent) of the UK has been tested, a third of Brits have still never had a cholesterol test.

Alarmingly, this jumps to 46 percent amongst 35 to 44-year-olds and 19 percent of over 55’s.

A spokesperson from the brand said: “It’s worrying, as these are both demographics that should be getting regular screens, as raised cholesterol increases with age and is more common in those over 40.

“Testing is also lower amongst women than men, with only 58 percent of women having been tested, compared to 72 percent of men.

“This is likely due to the false misconception that raised cholesterol only affects men, whereas in reality raised cholesterol can affect all adults and it’s important for us to know our number, especially after the age of 40.”

How to get your cholesterol levels checked

Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of people don’t know where to get their cholesterol tested, but it’s really quite simple.

You can get tested at a pharmacy or your GP and there are two ways of having a cholesterol test.

Firstly, you could have some blood taken from your arm with a needle.

This is then sent to a lab to check your cholesterol level and you should get your results in a few days.

Alternatively, if you’re over 40 you may have a finger-prick test during your NHS Health Check.

The NHS site explains: “This is a check-up that can help spot early signs of problems like heart disease and diabetes.

“The test can be done by pricking your finger. A drop of blood is put on a strip of paper.

“This is put into a machine that checks your cholesterol in a few minutes.”

So how do you manage high cholesterol if you find out your levels are too high?

There is a huge misunderstanding about how to treat high cholesterol, as shown by Flora ProActiv’s research.

Cholesterol levels can be managed, but four in 10 people think it can take a year or more for them to change, and one in 10 think you can’t change cholesterol levels at all.

In reality, cholesterol can be improved in just two to three weeks through changes to diet and lifestyle.

The research also showed that most Brits don’t understand which foods cause high cholesterol.

The experts at Flora ProActiv said: “83 percent of people think it’s a result of a high-fat diet, when in fact, raised cholesterol is linked more closely to a diet high in saturated fats, rather than ‘all’ fats.

“Unsaturated fats are considered good fats that when replacing saturated fats can lower cholesterol.

“Plant sterols added to foods have also been proven to help lower cholesterol when consumed in the right amount.

“Reducing saturated fats in your diet can help to lower cholesterol.

“Despite this, five percent believe you should increase dairy butter consumption – a product high in saturated fats, unlike margarine, and to be avoided if you want to lower your cholesterol.”

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