Ways You Can Lower Your High Cholesterol

Making Changes to Your Lifestyle Is the Key To Lower High Cholesterol Levels

If you have high cholesterol, keeping your cholesterol levels within a normal range is especially important to your heart. You can lower your cholesterol in many ways. Many of these ways are relatively cheap and involve making just a few simple changes to your lifestyle. These are especially important if you do not get a lot of exercise, smoke, or consume a poor diet. On the other hand, if your cholesterol levels are not budging despite leading a healthy lifestyle, you need medication. Although they can be expensive, cholesterol-lowering medications can prevent heart disease and even save your life.

Exercise Regularly

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Exercise for lower cholesterol.. Paul Bradbury / Getty Images

Exercise is an important ingredient to your lifestyle. It strengthens bones and muscles, aids in weight loss, and can even give you a sense of well-being. Additionally, exercise is also important in keeping your heart healthy. Exercise has also been proven to modestly lower LDL cholesterol, as well as boost your "good" cholesterol, or HDL. No matter your age or your current athletic status, exercise can benefit you. And, an exercise regimen out there can suit your needs.

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Consume a Healthy Diet

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Healthy diet for lowering cholesterol.. Denise Taylor / Getty Images

A poor diet, especially one that is high in saturated fat and refined sugar, can be a recipe for a health disaster. Diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity -- and even high cholesterol -- can be influenced by the foods you eat. By selecting healthy foods -- preferably ones low in saturated and trans fats and high in fiber and other nutrients -- you can help keep your cholesterol levels within a healthy range and prevent other health complications.

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Get Your Diabetes - and Other Conditions - Under Control

Studies have linked high cholesterol and triglyceride levels with other health conditions, such as thyroid disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. When these conditions are not properly addressed -- or completely ignored -- your cholesterol levels, as well as other aspects of that particular condition, become out of control. By treating these health conditions, you can also help keep your cholesterol levels within a normal range.

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Stop Smoking

Smoking is a habit that cannot only cause lung disease but can also affect your heart. Smoking has also been linked to raising cholesterol levels and promoting the formation of a particularly damaging form of LDL, referred to as oxidized LDL. This form of LDL can contribute to the formation of atherosclerosis, which can eventually occlude vessels in the body. By making a plan to quit smoking today, you can decrease your chances of having cancer and other conditions, such as heart disease.

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Take Medication - If You Need It

Many medications on the market have been proven to help lower your cholesterol levels as well as prevent heart disease and death. Ideally, these medications should be used when you have attempted to modify your lifestyle and have stuck to those changes. In some cases, however, your cholesterol levels may not budge and you might require medications. Depending on what your lipid panel reveals, your healthcare provider will select a cholesterol-lowering medication that will help you get your lipids back into an ideal range.

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Investigate the Possibility of Using Supplements

Additionally, supplements are available that can also modestly help lower your cholesterol. There isn't a lot of research available regarding these supplements, but the studies performed so far appear to favor their use if your cholesterol needs an extra push. However, before you venture out to the herbal aisle of your favorite store, be sure and discuss your plans with your healthcare provider. Some supplements can interact with other medications you may already be taking. Additionally, some of these supplements do not work for everyone. More popular supplements include:

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