According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the best way to maintain normal cholesterol levels is to eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight, get adequate exercise and quit smoking. Adopting a healthy lifestyle not only helps to maintain normal cholesterol levels, but it also reduces instances of high cholesterol.
Too much cholesterol in the blood causes a buildup of plaque on artery walls, which increases a person's risk of heart disease and stroke. Foods high in saturated fats and trans fats, such as fried foods and prepared baked goods, can raise cholesterol levels so avoiding such foods is essential when it comes to keeping cholesterol levels normal. MedlinePlus notes that egg yolks, hard cheeses, whole milk, ice cream and butter can also raise cholesterol levels and should be eaten sparingly.
Being overweight or obese also increases a person's chance of developing high cholesterol so maintaining a healthy weight is also important. The best way to maintain a normal weight is to exercise regularly and eat a healthy, low-fat diet that includes lots of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. According to the Surgeon General, adults should get two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week, notes the CDC. It is also essential to quit smoking since the activity not only raises cholesterol levels, but it also raises blood pressure and greatly increases a person's risk of heart disease and stroke. Those who do not smoke should not start, and those who smoke can speak to a doctor for suggestions on smoking-cessation programs or strategies.