According to the NHS eating a healthy diet and doing regular exercise can help lower the level of cholesterol in your blood.
Taking up healthy habits like eating a healthy, balanced diet and ensuring you remain active, can also help prevent your cholesterol levels becoming high in the first instance.
If you’re concerned about your cholesterol, talk to your GP and if you or a family member is worried and you're aged 40 to 74, you can get your cholesterol checked as part of an NHS Health Check.
Saturated and unsaturated fat
There are 2 main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Eating too many foods high in saturated fat can raise the level of cholesterol in your blood.
The list of foods high in saturated fat include dairy products such as cream, hard cheeses, meat pies, sausages and fatty cuts of meat, butter, ghee and lard, cakes and biscuits and foods containing coconut or palm oil.
Eating foods that contain unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat can help reduce cholesterol levels. You can try to replace foods containing saturated fats with small amounts of foods high in unsaturated fats, such as oily fish – such as mackerel and salmon, almond and cashew nuts, avocados, pumpkin or sunflower seeds and choosing rapeseed, vegetable, walnut, peanut, corn or olive oils.
Reducing total fat
Reducing the total amount of fat in your diet can also help reduce your risk of heart disease. Instead of roasting or frying, consider grilling, steaming, poaching, boiling or use a microwave if you have one.
Opt for lean cuts of meat and go for lower-fat varieties of dairy products or cholesterol-free and lactose free cheese like Fit Cheese.
Fibre and cholesterol
Eating plenty of fibre helps lower your risk of heart disease, and some high-fibre foods can help lower your cholesterol.
Adults should aim for at least 30g of fibre a day and the NHS advises that our diet should include a mix of sources of fibre, which includes nuts and seeds, fruit and vegetables, wholemeal bread, bran and wholegrain cereals, potatoes with their skins on, oats and barley and pulses, such as beans, peas and lentils.
Foods containing cholesterol
Some foods naturally contain cholesterol, called dietary cholesterol. Foods such as kidneys, eggs and prawns are higher in dietary cholesterol than other foods.
Dietary cholesterol has much less of an effect on the level of cholesterol in your blood than the amount of saturated fat you eat does.
It's also a good idea to up your general intake of fruit, vegetables and fibre.