4 Ways to Really Lower Your Cholesterol – Starting Now
| 2 min read
- Eat more fiber. Eating foods with fiber can help to reduce your bad cholesterol. Swapping refined sugars and grains, like white flour, for whole wheat and other whole grains can be a simple way to add fiber to your diet.
- Cut out trans fats. Avoid any foods that contain the ingredient “partially hydrogenated oil.” This is found in a lot of processed foods and means that the food has trans fats—something that raises your bad cholesterol while lowering your good cholesterol levels. Eating trans fats increases your risk for heart attack and stroke, which is why it’s recommended that you cut them out of your diet completely.
- Swap out saturated fats for unsaturated fats. The American Heart Association recommends that you cut down saturated fat intake to less than 7 percent of your daily calorie intake. Cut down on how much red meat you eat and instead of using butter (which has saturated fat), swap it out for olive oil (a source of unsaturated fat).
- Exercise most days of the week. We know you’ve heard this tip before, but exercise can help raise your levels of “good” cholesterol and lower “bad” cholesterol. With approval from your doctor, work up to exercising for at least 30 minutes a day. Don’t be overwhelmed by that number! It can include a brisk walk during lunch or riding a bike to work. For more tips on ways to sneak in exercise and how to freshen up your fitness routine, check out our blogs on aHealthierMichigan.org.