5 Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fatty substance crucial for the body’s normal functioning, but it can pose serious health risks when levels become elevated.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in the cells of the body. It is essential for building cell membranes, producing hormones, and aiding in digestion. There are two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL cholesterol is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol as high levels can contribute to plaque buildup in arteries, while HDL cholesterol is considered “good” as it helps remove LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream.

How to Lower Your Cholesterol:

Healthy Diet:

Adopting a heart-healthy diet is crucial for managing cholesterol levels. Focus on consuming more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins while limiting saturated and trans fats found in processed foods, fried items, and certain oils.

Regular Exercise:

Engaging in regular physical activity can help raise HDL cholesterol levels and lower LDL cholesterol. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, such as brisk walking or cycling.

Maintain a Healthy Weight:

Losing excess weight, especially around the abdominal area, can positively impact cholesterol levels. Even a modest weight loss can lead to improvements in overall cardiovascular health.

Quit Smoking:

Smoking damages blood vessels and lowers HDL cholesterol. Quitting smoking not only improves cholesterol levels but also reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Limit Alcohol Intake:

Excessive alcohol intake can lead to higher cholesterol levels. Limit alcohol consumption to moderate levels, which is generally defined as one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.

How often should I get my cholesterol checked?

Your provider will tell you how often you need your cholesterol checked. It depends on your:

Age: The older you get, the more often you need to have your numbers checked.

Family history: If you have a close biological family member with a history of heart disease, you face a higher risk of heart problems, too. You may need cholesterol tests more often if your family member has high cholesterol or a history of heart attack or stroke.

Risk factors for heart disease: If you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease or have risk factors, you’ll need cholesterol tests more often.

Sex assigned at birth: People assigned male at birth need more frequent tests starting at a younger age compared with people assigned female at birth.

How Can Cholesterol Be Tested For?

Blood Tests:

Lipid panels, commonly done after fasting for at least 9-12 hours, measure total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. These tests provide a comprehensive picture of an individual’s cholesterol profile.

Non-Invasive Imaging Tests:

Advanced imaging tests like CT scans and MRIs can visualize the buildup of plaque in the arteries, providing additional information about cardiovascular health.

Genetic Testing:

In some cases, genetic testing may be recommended for individuals with a family history of high cholesterol. This can identify genetic factors contributing to elevated cholesterol levels.

Understanding cholesterol, its impact on health, and methods for managing and testing levels is crucial for maintaining cardiovascular well-being. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, making dietary changes, and undergoing regular cholesterol screenings are essential steps toward preventing heart disease and promoting overall health. Always consult with healthcare professionals for personalized advice and treatment options.

If you’re concerned about your cholesterol levels, visit one of our centers for a checkup and blood test.

Even if you have no real cause for concern, a cholesterol check is recommended every four to six years.


CDC.gov, Mayoclinic.org. Mayoclinic.org, American Heart Association, Clevelandclinic.org,

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