Frequently Asked Questions About Cholesterol
4) How Much Cholesterol Is Too Much? continued...
Your doctor will first work with you to determine your current level of risk, considering such things as your age, whether or not you smoke, and your blood pressure. Then based on your risk, the doctor will recommend healthy lifestyle changes and possibly medications to reduce your cholesterol level. But rather than giving you a target number to shoot for, your doctor will recommend a certain percentage you should use as a guide for lowering cholesterol. Then together, the two of you will consider the options you have for achieving that percentage
Triglyceride levels that are borderline high (150-199) or high (200 or more) may require treatment in some people.
5) Can I Lower My Risk for Heart Disease If I Lower My Cholesterol?
Your risk for heart disease is lower when you have low total cholesterol and low LDL. Remember, a higher HDL number is better, however.
6) What Makes My Cholesterol Levels Go Up?
Eating foods such as red meat, whole milk dairy products, egg yolks, and some kinds of fish can make your cholesterol levels go up. Being overweight can make your bad cholesterol go up and your good cholesterol go down. Also, after women go through menopause, their bad cholesterol levels tend to increase.
7) What Can I Do To Lower My Cholesterol Levels?
You can lower your cholesterol levels by making changes to your lifestyle. Here are some tips.
- Eat foods with less fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.
- Take off the skin and fat from meat, poultry, and fish.
- Eat food that has been broiled, baked, roasted, or poached instead of fried.
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables everyday.
- Eat cereals, breads, rice, and pasta made from whole grains, such as whole wheat bread or spaghetti.
- Get at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise everyday. Talk to your doctor about the safest and best ways for you to exercise.
- Lose weight if you are overweight.
- Stop smoking.
- Take your cholesterol medication as prescribed by your doctor.