If you can pinch an inch at your waist, you probably need to lose some weight. Being overweight or obese raises your chances of having high cholesterol, putting you at a higher risk of heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 33 percent of adults are obese, with one in every six adults having high cholesterol.Maintaining a healthy weight can help lower your cholesterol. You can find out if you have a healthy weight by having a doctor calculate your body mass index (BMI). Doctors also sometimes measure the excess fat located at the weight to calculate BMI.Eating a balanced diet can help keep bad cholesterol levels down. Choose foods that are low in saturated and trans fats, try to eliminate dietary cholesterol and reduce carbohydrates. Additionally, limit your alcohol intake, as this can increase blood pressure. Fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated are safe and can often lower blood cholesterol levels, and eating fiber can help to lower cholesterol.Implementing your weekly routine with exercise can help lower bad cholesterol. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention adults should perform 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week to lower cholesterol and help maintain a healthy weight.
Stopping smoking is another way to help lower your cholesterol. The chemicals in cigarette smoke injure blood vessels, hardening the arteries and increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Even breathing secondhand smoke is dangerous for the arteries and lungs.
Women traditionally have higher good cholesterol levels than men, due to the female hormone estrogen. However, this begins to lower as women reach menopause, increasing a womans risk of having high cholesterol. Having a simple blood test performed by a doctor will let you know what your cholesterol is.