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What are some tips for reducing cholesterol?

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Quick Answer

Tips for reducing cholesterol naturally, without medication, include eating heart healthy foods, increasing exercise and quitting smoking, according to Mayo Clinic. Losing weight and limiting alcohol consumption also help to bring cholesterol to a healthy level.

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Full Answer

People who change their diets can dramatically improve their cholesterol and reduce their chances of developing heart disease. Some ways to improve eating habits include, completely eliminating trans fat, choosing healthy fats like olive and canola oils and incorporating omega-3 fatty acids. Avoid foods with partially-hydrogenated oils and increase dietary fiber to decrease cholesterol.

Increasing exercise and physical activity not only lowers bad cholesterol, but raises good cholesterol. The type of exercise does not matter, but strive to stay active for about 30 minutes per day. Playing a sport, walking, swimming or bike riding all help if done on a regular basis.

Smokers should do their best to quit when making an effort to lower cholesterol. Quitting smoking begins to have a positive effect on the health in just 20 minutes, and within 15 years, an ex-smoker's risk of heart disease is equal to someone who never smoked, notes Mayo Clinic.

Other things people can do to lower their cholesterol include drinking alcohol only in moderation and losing weight. Women can safely consume one drink a day and men, two drinks per day. Losing just 5 to 10 percent of a person's body weight will have a positive effect on cholesterol.

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