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High Cholesterol (cont.)

How Can High Cholesterol be Prevented?

Adoption of a healthier lifestyle, including aerobic exercise and a low-fat diet should reduce the risk 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 margarine 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 professional to determine whether medication is needed to control high cholesterol.

What Is the Outlook for a Person with High Cholesterol?

  • Controlling high cholesterol levels is a life-long challenge. Regardless of the method of treatment, routine blood tests may be required to monitor cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglyceride levels.
  • Cholesterol control is useful in reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease. It is one part of the risk reduction strategy that includes smoking cessation, weight control, blood pressure control, and exercise


Lloyd-Jones DM, et al. "2016 ACC Expert Consensus Decision Pathway on the Role of Non-Statin Therapies for LDL-Cholesterol Lowering in the Management of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Risk." Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 68:1. July 2016

Stone NJ, et al. "2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults. A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines." Circulation 2014.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/16/2016

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