Roughly half of all adults in the United States are at risk for developing cardiovascular disease because of high or borderline cholesterol levels. As a result, statin drugs are widely prescribed both here in America and abroad.
A Little TLC Goes a Long Way
But drugs aren’t the only answer, stress promoters of the National Cholesterol Education Program. A healthy lifestyle which includes healthy eating and exercise (which they call Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes or TLC) can also keep cholesterol levels in check and avoid potential side effects that statin medications can cause.
Here are some ways you can lower your cholesterol levels through healthy lifestyle change.
- Reduce saturated fat to no more than 7 percent of total calories, and cholesterol to no more than 200 milligrams per day
- Tip: read food labels and track your daily saturated fat grams
- Strive for or maintain a healthy weight
- Tip: just losing 10 percent of overall body weight can substantially improve your health.
- Add soluble fiber to your healthy eating plan
- Tip: choose foods like oats, beans, fruits and veggies
- Add 2 grams of plant stanols and sterols a day to reduce absorption of cholesterol
- Tip: For best results, eat foods containing plant stanols and sterols with meals twice a day.
- Practice therapeutic lifestyle changes
- Tip: read more of our blog posts under Lifestyle to learn ways to change your habits