How do you control cholesterol?


Quick Answer

Losing weight, eating heart-healthy foods, getting physical activity on most days of the week, drinking alcohol in moderation and quitting smoking all help control cholesterol levels, according to Mayo Clinic. If these lifestyle changes do not work, there are also medications available to treat high cholesterol.

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Full Answer

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that helps humans produce hormones and vitamin D. It is necessary for survival, but too much cholesterol increases the risk for coronary artery disease, says the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The TLC diet is one way to control the amount of cholesterol in the blood. This diet limits saturated fat intake to no more than 7 percent of the calories consumed each day. It also limits cholesterol intake to no more than 200 milligrams per day and fat intake to 25 to 35 percent of a person's daily calories. People following the TLC diet should eat foods high in soluble fiber to prevent the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract.

The more a person exercises, the more low-density lipoprotein the body expels, reports WebMD. Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, is the type of cholesterol linked to coronary artery disease. Exercise also increases the size of lipoprotein particles, preventing the particles from getting into the lining of the heart and blood vessels.

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