Having high cholesterol can be dangerous, but the good news is that there are a lot of ways to lower cholesterol on your own. Many people look to medication to control their cholesterol, but changing your eating habits combined with lifestyle modifications and exercise are all effective ways of treating your high cholesterol.Taking medication is one way to lower cholesterol, and there are a myriad of choices when it comes to drugs. The American Heart Association recommends diet and lifestyle changes first, but notes that, Depending on your LDL [low-density lipoprotein, or bad cholesterol] level and your other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, your doctor may decide that you need to start drug therapy right away. Discussing your treatment with your doctor and familiarizing yourself with your cholesterol level will help optimize your results.Lifestyle changes to improve your cholesterol can be some of the hardest changes to make, yet with some of the biggest rewards. If you dont have an exercise regimen, its time to start one. Even a brisk walk, when done on a regular basis, can help increase your HDL (high-density lipoprotein, or good cholesterol) levels. If youre a smoker, quitting smoking will also help raise your good cholesterol levels. These are no easy feats; dont be afraid to ask your spouse for support.
Changing eating habits is one of the best ways to lower cholesterol. The worst offenders in the food category are animal products, which include meat as well as dairy, and any other food that contains saturated or trans-fats. According to The American Heart Associations website, the recommended intake of fat should be limited as follows: Total fat to between 25 percent and 35 percent, your saturated fat consumption to less than 7 percent, and your intake of trans fat to less than 1 percent of your total daily calories. The Association also recommends eating a diet high in fiber, which you can get from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. When eating dairy, try to consume only low-fat or fat-free products.
Lowering cholesterol lowers your chance of heart disease and can lead to a longer, healthier life. There is no magic bullet to help youthough medication is useful, making significant changes to your lifestyle, including regular exercise and a lower fat intake, is the best medicine when it comes to lowering cholesterol.