Swapping out saturated fats for healthy fats, eating plenty of fiber, starting an exercise regimen and taking prescribed medicines all help drop cholesterol totals, according to WebMD. Using multiple strategies at the same time leads to a more significant overall impact.
Bile acid resins, fibrates, niacin and statins are medications used to lower cholesterol, although statins are the most popular. Studies show that statins reduce LDL cholesterol levels by as much as half, notes WebMD.
Regular physical activity, even just taking a brisk walk, elevates the beneficial HDL cholesterol levels by as much as 10 percent by reducing LDL levels. Consistency is most important when it comes to exercising for reduction of cholesterol, reports WebMD.
Swapping out saturated fats for healthy ones begins with substituting olive oil or canola oil for butter, lard, shortening or stick margarine when cooking. Substituting fish for other protein sources two or three times a week contributes omega-3 fatty acids that are heart healthy. Whole grains, vegetables and fruits are valuable sources of soluble fiber, which soaks up cholesterol in the digestive tract and carries it out of the body. Taken together, these changes result in a significant reduction in unhealthy cholesterol levels, according to WebMD.