Quitting smoking and eating heart-healthy foods, such as those high in soluble fiber, are two ways to lower your cholesterol level, according to Mayo Clinic. Getting plenty of exercise is also an effective approach to lowering cholesterol.
To maintain a lower cholesterol level, it is a good idea to avoid foods high in saturated fat, according to Mayo Clinic. Foods high in saturated fat include red meat and dairy products. It is also best to avoid foods containing trans fats, which can increase the risk of a heart attack. To identify foods containing trans fats, it is important to read ingredient labels on packages and avoid those that list partially hydrogenated oils among their ingredients.
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are good for helping keep cholesterol levels in check by reducing triglycerides, says Mayo Clinic. Walnuts, almonds, ground flaxseed and certain types of fish, such as salmon and mackerel, are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Whey protein, a component of many dairy products, also helps lower cholesterol levels. It is also possible to buy whey protein in powder form in health food stores.
Finally, physical activity can help a person lose weight, which in turn often results in lower cholesterol levels, explains Mayo Clinic. Losing as little as 5 percent of one's body weight can have a positive effect on cholesterol.