Cholesterol is a natural substance produced in the liver. A certain amount of cholesterol is required to circulate in the bloodstream for many normal body functions (such as the nervous system, blood vessels, heart function, and hormonal production). However it should not be excessively high, aiming to keep the total amount of cholesterol below < 4.0. The total cholesterol is measured by adding the HDL Cholesterol, plus LDL Cholesterol, plus Triglyceride levels.
Factors affecting cholesterol levels can be many, such as your genetic makeup, your weight, your level of physical activity and the types of food that you eat. If you have been diagnosed as having high cholesterol (hypercholesterolaemia), you should aim to reduce your cholesterol levels by eating a low-fat diet (especially avoiding saturated fats from animal based sources and fried foods) and start a moderate exercise program (based upon your age and other health conditions that may affect the type of exercise you can do). Medications may also be required to reduce your cholesterol to acceptable levels, and thus lower your cardiovascular and diabetes risk (both of which are linked to blood fat disorders). Seek information and guidance from your doctor and other healthcare provider about an exercise and diet program specific to your individual health and personal needs.