Lifestyle Cholesterol Management (cont.)
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Cholesterol Management Using Diet
Diet and other lifestyle changes affect your blood cholesterol levels. Changing daily habits may prevent the need to take medication to control cholesterol levels. Cholesterol-lowering medications are available, but they should be used in addition to and not as a substitute for exercise and dietary changes. Lifestyle changes should be employed first and continued for a lifetime.
Diets high in saturated fat are linked to high total blood cholesterol levels and pose an increased risk for heart disease and other vascular diseases. Simply put, reduce all fats in your diet, paying particular attention to saturated fats.
The American Heart Association suggests that fats should represent no more than 30% of total calories you consume in a day, but 25% or 20% is even better. Most of the fats in the diet should be unsaturated.
Certain foods really do have health benefits for controlling cholesterol and overall heart health beyond providing basic nutrition. The Department of Health and Human Services identifies these food choices.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/3/2016
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