Lowering Your Blood Cholesterol: Putting It All Together
More that one-half of all Americans have blood cholesterol levels that are higher than they should be.
High blood cholesterol levels can clog blood vessels, increasing risk for heart disease and stroke.
Many factors contribute to high blood cholesterol levels, including your genetic make-up, eating a high-fat diet, being inactivity, and being overweight. A high intake of saturated fat, or animal fat, is the main cause of high blood cholesterol levels.
Making gradual and permanent changes in diet and lifestyle is the best way to lower cholesterol levels. These changes include following a diet that contains less than 30% of calories from fat and less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol, eating more starches and dietary fiber, being more active, and maintaining a healthy body weight.
Try to make changes in diet and lifestyle gradually and one at a time. Start with whatever is easiest for you to change first.
If diet and exercise changes do not bring your blood cholesterol level down to a healthy level, your physician may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering medication.