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Easy ways to lower your cholesterol

Did you know that being overweight or obese can raise your levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol? No matter your age, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can lower your cholesterol levels.

Here is what you can do to prevent and manage high cholesterol:

  • Limit foods high in saturated fat. Eating foods high in saturated fat and trans fat can contribute to high cholesterol and related conditions, such as heart disease. Saturated fats come from animal products (such as cheese, fatty meats and dairy desserts) and tropical oils (such as palm oil). Foods that are higher in saturated fat may be high in cholesterol.
  • Choose foods that are low in saturated fat, trans fat, sodium (salt) and added sugars. These foods include lean meats; seafood; fat-free or low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt; whole grains; and fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat foods naturally high in fiber, such as oatmeal and beans (black, pinto, kidney or lima) and unsaturated fats, which can be found in avocado, vegetable oils like olive oil, and nuts). These foods may help prevent and manage high levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol levels.
  • Make physical activity a part of each day. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator, park a little farther away and walk to your destination, bike to work, or do jumping jacks or march in place during commercials or work breaks.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol. Men should have no more than two drinks per day, and women should have no more than one drink per day.