High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. However, cholesterol levels are only part of the "heart
risk" picture. Therefore, the best way to address high cholesterol is to focus on a heart healthy lifestyle.
The traditional advice to eat a low-fat diet or to avoid eggs and dairy is too simplistic. Eggs and dairy foods
(at least in moderation) do not seem to raise the risk of heart disease, and while some fats are bad for the heart (like trans
fat and saturated fat), other types of fats are good for the heart (like olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados).
There are many things you can do to lower your heart risk.
Exercise regularly: start slowly,
but the goal is at least 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week, of moderate intensity exercise. A combination of aerobic
and strength training is best. Schedule your exercise like you would schedule a meeting or appointment, so you can stay
Maintain a healthy body weight. You can do this with proper eating and regular
Improve your diet: Here are some specific suggestions that improve
health and lower your heart risk:
Eat more of these foods:
High fiber foods like
whole grains, beans, barley, oatmeal; apples; psyllium husk
use olive oil or canola
oil for cooking
Eat less of these foods:
Refined carbohydrates (white bread, rice, pasta
potatoes); substitute with whole grains
Red meat and processed meats
Fried foods, "fast foods",
processed foods (usually high in sugar and unhealthy fats)
Baked goods: cookies, cakes, muffins, etc.