When you have high cholesterol, you are at risk of heart disease. Heart disease includes a range of problems that involve the heart or blood vessels.
There are 2 ways to lower your cholesterol:
- Lifestyle changes: Work with your doctor to change your exercise and diet patterns, which include:
- Eating healthy
- Being more active
- Controlling your weight
- Medicine: You may also need medicine to help lower your cholesterol.
Following a healthy meal plan or eating healthy meals that include 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
- Vegetables: Fresh vegetables include mixed greens, carrots, spinach, broccoli, and tomatoes
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Fish: Some dietary recommendations call for eating 2 servings of fish per week. Fish can be high in omega-3 fats. While this does not affect your LDL levels, there is some evidence that omega-3 fats might reduce the risk of heart disease. Fish high in omega-3 include salmon, tuna, and mackerel. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid fish that is high in mercury content
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.