Lifestyle Cholesterol Management (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Lower cholesterol levels should start at the grocery store. Read food labels and buy foods low in saturated fat and low in cholesterol (cholesterol itself is found in some foods, and this type of cholesterol is different from blood cholesterol).
To help you know what to look for when grocery shopping, use this shopping list from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute:
Cholesterol Management Using Exercise
Regular aerobic exercise helps lower cholesterol levels as well as control high blood pressure, diabetes, and body weight. While most health organizations recommend 30 minutes a day of some type of exercise, the bottom line is that more is probably better, but some is still better than none.
How much exercise is enough?
Walking 2 miles in 30 minutes 3 times a week constitutes a moderate level of aerobic exercise. That may be enough to raise your HDL cholesterol by 1 to 3 points (higher is better) and lower your LDL cholesterol (lower is better).
If you can't get in a 30-minute block of exercise all at once, do a few minutes of exercise here and there throughout the day (climb the stairs at work, walk around the block on your lunch break, park and walk). Researchers have demonstrated that exercise even without weight loss can have a positive impact on improving cholesterol levels. It is the amount of activity, and not necessarily any changes in fitness or intensity of exercise that is important for cholesterol improvement and decreasing the risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
Medically reviewed by Robert J. Bryg, MD; Board Certified Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Cardiovascular Disease
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/3/2016
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High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is positively associated with a decreased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).