What can I do About High Cholesterol?

Cathy Rogers

In addition to prescription medication, many lifestyle changes can lower high cholesterol. Start with your diet, making wise choices and eating smaller portions at more frequent intervals. It may take three months for diet and exercise adjustments to lower high cholesterol.

Eating almonds may help lower cholesterol.
Eating almonds may help lower cholesterol.

By including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dried beans and peas in your diet, you can fight high cholesterol and heart disease. Foods that contain high to moderate amounts of dietary cholesterol include liver, eggs, meats, and regular dairy products, and should be eaten on a very limited basis. Skim and low-fat dairy products are acceptable.

Skipping junk foods may help a person lower his cholesterol.
Skipping junk foods may help a person lower his cholesterol.

Plant foods can lower high cholesterol. Soy products, avocados, almonds, and peanuts have cholesterol lowering benefits, as do garlic, onions, and chili peppers. When choosing foods that contain fat, stick to those that are high in monounsaturated fats, like olive or peanut oil. Eat few foods that contain saturated or trans-fats, like those often found in butter, salad dressings, and packaged desserts or snacks.

Foods like avocados have cholesterol lowering benefits.
Foods like avocados have cholesterol lowering benefits.

To fight high cholesterol, eat lean proteins, such as fish and poultry, more often than beef. When you choose beef, look for cuts that are "round", "lean", "select", or "choice", and avoid "prime." Choose lean ground beef and rinse it with water after cooking, but before adding it to a recipe. With pork, choose cuts identified as "loin" or "leg". If you avoid skipping meals, you will be less likely to binge on foods that might be unhealthy for those with high cholesterol.

To fight high cholesterol and heart disease, fruits and vegetable should be part of a healthy diet.
To fight high cholesterol and heart disease, fruits and vegetable should be part of a healthy diet.

Exercise and activity are also important in fighting high cholesterol. Among other positive benefits, exercise raises the HDL, or "good", cholesterol. Of course, you should always check with your doctor before participating in an exercise program.

Garlic is a cholesterol-lowering food.
Garlic is a cholesterol-lowering food.

Easy ways to incorporate activity into your daily routine include walking, house and yard work, and spending less time watching TV. At work, you can stand instead of sitting while talking on the phone, go to the gym at lunch, or take a break during the day to walk around inside your office or around your building. Active participation in sports or hobbies incorporates physical activity in your free time, as does playing games with the children or bicycling. This increase in activity might cause weight loss, which can also lower your cholesterol.

Bicycling may help lower cholesterol.
Bicycling may help lower cholesterol.

Although lifestyle changes can lower high cholesterol for many, some patients might need to take medication. Such patients include individuals who have inherited high cholesterol, those with a family history of coronary heart disease, and those who have had a previous heart attack or stroke. See your doctor to find out what is best in your particular case.

Limiting foods high in saturated and trans fat is important for people with high cholesterol.
Limiting foods high in saturated and trans fat is important for people with high cholesterol.
Eating a diet that contains monounsaturated fats, like those found in olive oil, may reduce high cholesterol.
Eating a diet that contains monounsaturated fats, like those found in olive oil, may reduce high cholesterol.
Cutting down on butter can help reduce cholesterol.
Cutting down on butter can help reduce cholesterol.
Peas can be included in meals to help lower cholesterol.
Peas can be included in meals to help lower cholesterol.
Widely viewed as one of the healthiest types of cooking oil, canola oil is high in monounsaturated fats.
Widely viewed as one of the healthiest types of cooking oil, canola oil is high in monounsaturated fats.
Peanuts can have cholesterol lowering benefits.
Peanuts can have cholesterol lowering benefits.
A large egg can contain about 225 mg of cholesterol, or most of the average person's daily allowance.
A large egg can contain about 225 mg of cholesterol, or most of the average person's daily allowance.

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Discussion Comments

Moldova

Bhutan- There is also medication for high cholesterol for people that can not get their cholesterol down with diet and exercise.

I think Lipitor is the drug prescribed for high cholesterol. Some people that initially need cholesterol drugs often begin reducing medication and often go off of it after they lose a significant amount of weight and change their eating habits.

Going to a place like Weight Watchers really helps you to learn how to lose weight and eat properly.

Bhutan

SauteePan-Exercise also helps those suffering from high cholesterol triglycerides reduce those numbers.

Exercise gets the blood pumping in the body and not only does it lower your cholesterol over time, but it also helps you sleep better, and allows you to deal with stress better.

If you talk to your doctor and he gives you the okay to exercise, try to build up an exercise routine with increasing intensity.

This will allow you to experience that “Runners high” that people often talk about. It is a euphoric feeling when you have completed a challenging workout.

SauteePan

Sneakers41- I think that in order to learn how to reduce high cholesterol you really have to stay away from atherosclerosis which is a condition that can clog your arteries.

When your arteries become clogged as in the condition, you run the risk of getting a heart attack because the blood can not flow out into the body because it is blocked.

High cholesterol contributes to this condition, so it is important to limit or avoid fried food and foods with hydrogenated oil or Tran’s fats. Also, cheese and ice cream have high levels of cholesterol and should be limited as well.

sneakers41

Anon18318- I don't know the answer. You should probably check with your doctor or pharmacist.

Reducing high cholesterol will strengthen your heart. Limiting foods high in saturated fat will help you learn how to reduce high cholesterol.

A diet for people with high cholesterol should include beans, fruits and vegetables, healthy oils like olive and peanut oils, nuts and foods rich in fiber.

anon18318

reaction to medications? plavix?

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