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Party talk may lower cholesterol

Getting people to talk about low cholesterol recipes at tea parties this week may be one way to tackle heart disease by making people aware of what they need to do to lower their cholesterol levels says Heart UK.

Posted: 17 September 2012

It has just launched National Cholesterol Week which comes at a time when heart disease is still the biggest killer in the UK said Jules Payne, Chief Executive of HEART UK. A survey conducted by HEART UK shows more needs to be done to alert people that they may be at risk from raised cholesterol.

The survey found nearly a third of people questioned did not know high cholesterol can be inherited, with the most common form being Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH). Only 38% of those questioned were aware of how common high cholesterol is and the damage that it can do to people's health. The survey findings show two-thirds of the population have cholesterol levels that are above the recommended level of 5mmol/L.

"More must be done to ensure that everyone in the UK is aware of the risks associated with raised cholesterol. Heart disease is still the biggest killer in the UK and unhealthy cholesterol the greatest modifiable contributor to heart disease," said Payne.

Starting today people across the country will be hosting "Hearty Tea Parties." Celebrity chefs – Aldo Zilli (pictured), the Hairy Bikers, Phil Vickery, Gino D’Acampo, Jean Christophe Novelli, Anthony Worrall-Thompson, Rachel Allen and Cyrus Todiwala – have all donated recipes to help promote healthy eating. People hosting the parties can download the recipes from http://heartuk.org.uk/healthy-living/tasty-recipes/celebrity-chefs-recipes-Tea-Party-recipes

Many people are still unsure of the types of foods that can help them to reduce their cholesterol levels and decrease their risk of complications from conditions such as heart disease and other circulatory disorders. Italian chef and HEART UK Ambassador Aldo Zilli, said, “Cholesterol affects everyone, young and old and can be inherited rather than just an effect of a poor lifestyle, so this is a great opportunity to remind everyone that knowing their cholesterol and supporting HEART UK can help to save lives.”

Chef Gino D'Acampo commented: "it's important to be aware of the dangers of cholesterol. So, what better way to raise awareness and funds for heart disease than to enjoy a tea party with tasty food and friends. Teatime recipes don’t have to be full of fat to be full of flavour."

LDL cholesterol, commonly called "bad cholesterol" can cause plaque to build up in arteries, leading to heart disease. HDL "good" cholesterol, helps clear bad cholesterol from the bloodstream. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables can help to promote healthy cholesterol levels. There’s also evidence which is supported by the British Heart Foundation that adding plant stanols and sterols to a healthy diet helps to lower high cholesterol levels.

More than 120,000 people in Britain have inherited high cholesterol which can cause premature death in people as young as 30, with only 15% aware that they have the condition. HEART UK is hoping the tea parties taking place this week will give people the perfect opportunity to talk about high cholesterol and ways of lowering it.

Norma Beavers, Primary Care Today