Health professionals recommend diet changes including eating 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber a day to help decrease both total and LDL cholesterol. Exercise goals are also important, and losing as little as 5 to 10 pounds can decrease cholesterol levels, according to Mayo Clinic.
Snacking on nuts rather than foods high in cholesterol also helps. Eating an average of about 2.4 ounces of nuts per day can lower LDL cholesterol by 7.4 percent, according to an analysis published by the Archives of Internal Medicine. Walnuts have the most beneficial effects, according to Dr. Harvey Kramer, a cardiologist and assistant professor at Yale University School of Medicine.
Eating beans instead of meat can also lower cholesterol. Bean consumption can lower a person's total cholesterol score by 12 points, based on an analysis published by Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease. Salmon is also a good substitute for meat that is high in cholesterol, and salmon also offers omega-3 fats, which lower triglycerides, Kramer said.
The National Lipid Association recommends levels of non-HDL cholesterol of less than 130 milligrams per deciliter, according to Dr. James A. Underberg of the NYU Langone Medical Center. Adults older than 20 should have their blood levels of cholesterol checked every five years.