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Make a Plan to Manage Your High Cholesterol

When you have high cholesterol, you are at risk of cardiovascular disease. This includes a range of problems that involve the heart or blood vessels.

There are 2 ways to lower your cholesterol:

  1. Lifestyle Changes. Work with your health care provider to change your exercise and diet patterns, which include:
  2. Medicine. You may also need medicine to help lower your cholesterol.

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Always follow your cholesterol treatment plan. Ask your health care provider if you have questions about your treatment plan.

Eating a healthy meal plan that includes fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and meats can help lower cholesterol. A healthy food plan includes:

  • Eating fruits. Fresh fruits include apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, and melons.
  • Eating vegetables. Fresh vegetables include mixed greens, carrots, spinach, broccoli, and tomatoes.
  • Eating less fat. Saturated fats and trans fats raise the amount of cholesterol in your blood. Too much cholesterol in your blood can cause heart disease.
  • Eating foods with less cholesterol. Many foods that have saturated fat also have cholesterol in them. Cholesterol is in foods that come from animals like egg yolks, whole milk, meats, and poultry.
  • Eating foods high in fiber. Foods that are high in fiber include whole-wheat bread, whole-grain cereal, and oatmeal. Legumes also have a lot of fiber in them. Examples of legumes are dry beans and peas. You can also find fiber in fruits like apples, pears, and prunes.  

Physical activity is good for your heart. It can also help you manage your weight. You may feel like you have more energy when you are active.

If you are overweight, you should try to lose weight. Weight loss can help lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol, too.

Your health care provider may give you medicine to help lower your cholesterol. Ask your health care provider to explain how your medicine works. Take your medicine as directed by your health care provider and pharmacy.

While you are on medicine, your health care provider will check your cholesterol levels on a regular basis.

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Ask your health care provider to help you choose healthy foods. Ask for help with an exercise plan, too.

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