The Global Diabetes Community Forum
Eating a lot of saturated fat can increase the cholesterol in your blood. High levels of cholesterol can increase your risk of:
• a heart attack,
• stroke, and
• narrowed arteries (atherosclerosis).
Cholesterol is a type of fat that your liver makes from the fatty food that you eat.
Is all fat bad for me ?
Your body needs small amounts of fat to help it work normally. However, some types of fat are healthier than others. There are two main types of fat in food:
• saturated fat, and
• unsaturated fat.
It’s a good idea to eat less saturated fat, to reduce the health risks linked with high cholesterol levels.
The effectiveness of statins in decreasing heart attacks and prolonging life has been shown in research studies. A study was conducted in Scandinavia (known as the 4S study) that involved over 4000 men and women aged 50-70 years who had coronary heart disease (2). People were given either a statin drug or a placebo and the outcome was compared over five years. Results indicated that people receiving the statin notably lived longer and also showed a 37% reduction in their risk of undergoing angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery.
The 4S study has been closely followed by the WOSCOPS, CARE, LIPID and HPS studies that have all demonstrated reduced mortality and morbidity in people taking these drugs after - even before - a coronary event. Statins are now recommended for all patients with established coronary disease. And for those at high risk of developing heart disease (particularly those with diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of premature death from heart disease) whose total cholesterol level exceeds 5 mmol/l and LDL cholesterol level is above 3mmol/l.
The government recommends that cholesterol levels should be less than 5mmol/L.
In the UK, two out of three adults have a total cholesterol level of 5mmol/L or above. On average, men in England have a cholesterol level of 5.5mmol/L and women have a level of 5.6mmol/L.
The UK population has one of the highest average cholesterol concentrations in the world.
High cholesterol levels are as serious as high blood pressure, whether you are diabetic or non-diabetic.
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