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High Cholesterol (cont.)

Prevention

Adoption of a healthier lifestyle, including aerobic exercise and a low-fat diet should reduce the prevalence of obesity, high cholesterol, and, ultimately, the risk of coronary heart disease.

  • Knowing your cholesterol number is the first step in controlling your levels.
  • Set dietary goals based on the guidelines from the National Cholesterol Education Program.
    • Strive for daily intake of less than 7% of your calories from saturated fat and less than 200 mg of cholesterol from the food you eat.
    • You may eat up to 30% of your calories from total fat, but most should be from unsaturated fat, which doesn't raise cholesterol levels.
    • Add more soluble fiber (found in cereal grains, beans, peas, and many fruits and vegetables) and foods that contain plant stanols and sterols (included in certain margarines and salad dressings) to boost your LDL-lowering power. The best way to know what's in the foods you eat is to read the nutrition label.
    • Lower cholesterol levels start at the grocery store. Read food labels, and buy foods low in saturated fat and low in cholesterol.
    • Work with your health care practitioner to determine whether medication is needed to control high cholesterol.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/4/2014

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