Summary: Effective suggestions to bring down your cholesterol levels.

A person interested in knowing how to lower cholesterol levels is probably one that has high cholesterol numbers. Understanding cholesterol and its numbers before quickly indulging into strict diets and strenuous physical activities is important. Your cholesterol numbers may not necessarily mean that you change your diet but merely pointing out that a few minutes of exercise a day would be sufficient.

Cholesterol in the body is produced by the liver in an amount just enough to carry out its tasks. Thus, cholesterol from outside sources is not at all necessary. Foods from animals have high cholesterol and saturated fat content. The latter of which is the major cause in the production of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the body. This bad cholesterol has the tendency to stick on the walls of the arteries, and in time, accumulate, suppressing the flow of blood. This disorder called atherosclerosis leads to heart attack or stroke. Thus, the presence of too much cholesterol in the body increases the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.

In general, lowering one’s cholesterol level can be best done by decreasing the saturated fat and cholesterol intake, engaging in physical activities, and losing weight for overweight persons.

The National Cholesterol Education Program as well as the American Heart Association has recommended the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) as a means to lower one’s cholesterol levels. The TLC encompasses the following guidelines: saturated fat intake should be less than 7% of the total calories per day; fat should comprise less than 25-35 percent of the day’s total calories; daily dietary cholesterol should be less than 200 milligrams; daily sodium consumption should not go beyond 2400 milligrams; and calorie intake should just be according to what is right for your needs.

The TLC diet may make drastic changes to your diet. A registered dietitian may be advised by your doctor to help plan the foods that will work best for you. The registered dietitian will also be monitoring your cholesterol levels and make sure that progress is at hand. While this is a very effective cholesterol management program, exercise should be practiced along with the diet change. Your new diet plan may decrease the bad cholesterol level, but it is actually the physical activities that are responsible in increasing your good cholesterol level.

Some patients may be asked to be under some cholesterol lowering medications on top of the lifestyle changes which includes the TLC diet. This may be the case if a patient, despite the change in diet, engaging in physical activity and after losing weight, still hasn’t succeeded in lowering down his cholesterol levels after about three months.

Consulting your doctor is the best way to deal with high cholesterol levels. They are the most reliable people to give you advice on what numbers are safe and which one puts you at risk.

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