Your cholesterol is high; now what?
There are two components to cholesterol: HDL and LDL. Your HDL is what is considered "good" cholesterol. Your LDL is sometimes referred to "bad" cholesterol. High levels of LDL can increase your risk for heart disease, while high levels of HDL can lower that risk. Your doctor has informed you that your most recent labs indicate that your cholesterol was high. So how do you bring it down?
One way to manage high cholesterol is through diet. A healthy, low-cholesterol diet consists of whole grains such as whole wheat bread and oatmeal, healthy fats like olive oil, and limiting intake of red meats. Increasing vegetable intake is also a great way to help lower cholesterol. Lean meats such as chicken, turkey, and fish can be added to the diet and red meat should be limited to once or twice a week, choosing lower fat ground beef and steaks. Your doctor can help change your dietary habits by providing a list of healthy alternatives.
Another way to control cholesterol is to manage your weight. Exercise is a great way to keep your weight at healthy levels and keep cholesterol down. Some patients can bring their cholesterol into healthy levels with diet and exercise alone, but other
patients may require a drug called a statin. Statins help lower cholesterol when diet and exercise aren't enough.
Talk to your physician today about your cholesterol levels to help prevent heart disease and stroke.