General Tips For Lowering Cholesterol.

The values for total, LDL, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides are listed below.

Total Cholesterol 
<200 Desirable
200-239 Borderline high 
>240 High

LDL Cholesterol
<100 Optimal
100-129 Near optimal/above optimal
130-159 Borderline high
160-189 High
>190 Very high

HDL Cholesterol
<40 Low, >60 High
Men >40 is optimal
Women >50 is optimal

Triglycerides (mg/dL)
<150 Normal
150-199 Borderline high 200-499 High
>500 Very high

Your health care provider should guide you on how often you should have your cholesterol level checked and what are your target numbers. If your cholesterol levels are above your target, talk with your health care provider about what you can do to lower them. Here are a few general tips to lowering cholesterol.

1) Avoid foods high in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. Try not to eat fatty cuts of beef and pork. Eat more chicken, turkey and fish. Drink fat-free milk instead of whole milk. Avoid other high-fat dairy foods like cheese, butter and ice cream. Avoid fried foods. Eat lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans.

2) Exercise regularly. Do 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days of the week. It helps you lose weight, raise your HDL (good) cholesterol and lowers your triglycerides.

3) Lose extra weight. Weight loss improves your good cholesterol levels and lowers your bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

4) Quit smoking. Smoking lowers your HDL (good) cholesterol.

5) Medications. If diet and exercise do not get your cholesterol levels to goal then your health care provider may recommend cholesterol medications. The most common ones are statins. These are important in lowering your risk for heart attack and stroke.

Disclaimer: The information is intended to provide general education for patients and their families. The information provided does not constitute medical or health care advice for any individual and is not a substitute for medical and other professional advice and service.

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