What is cholesterol ratio?
Your cholesterol ratio is your total cholesterol level divided by your HDL cholesterol. This is used to help calculate your risk of heart disease.
What is its function?
Your total cholesterol/HDL ratio is another tool used to help calculate your risk of heart disease.
What can cause it to change?
An increase in your LDL cholesterol levels and a decrease in your HDL cholesterol levels cause this ratio to change.
Eating too many foods that are high in cholesterol, saturated fats, and trans fats can increase this ratio. This includes:
- butter, ghee, and margarine
- fatty meat and processed meat
- coconut and palm oils
Smoking, lack of exercise, diabetes, and being overweight can also increase it.
Sometimes it could be caused by a genetic disorder called familial hypercholesterolaemia — which prevents your body from removing LDL cholesterol.
What factors within my control could influence it?
There are lots of ways to lower this ratio, including:
- avoiding foods high in cholesterol, saturated fats, and trans fats
- avoiding fast food and fried foods
- eating high-fibre foods, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- eating lean sources of protein, like chicken, fish, and legumes
- eating oily fish, like salmon and mackerel
- exercising regularly — this can help raise your HDL “good” cholesterol
- losing weight if you’re overweight
- avoiding drinking too much alcohol
- not smoking