How Is High Cholesterol Treated?

How Is High Cholesterol Treated?

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that your liver produces and is found in your blood. Your body uses cholesterol to make vitamin D, hormones, and other substances to help you digest food. While your body makes all the cholesterol that it needs, you can get added cholesterol from animal sources like meat and dairy products. As a result of eating too much of these foods, you may be at an increased risk of developing high cholesterol.

Having too much cholesterol in your body can block blood flow, making you more likely to experience serious medical complications such as stroke or heart attack. That’s why knowing how to lower your cholesterol if you have high cholesterol is so important. 

Generally, you can treat high cholesterol with lifestyle changes like an improved diet and an increase in physical activity. However, if lifestyle adjustments aren’t helping you get your desired results, your healthcare provider may suggest certain medications to bring your cholesterol levels to a healthy range

Adjusting Diet 

If you have high cholesterol, your healthcare provider will likely talk to you about your eating habits and meal plans. To help bring your cholesterol down, your provider will usually discuss changing your diet. In some cases, they may also refer you to a nutritionist who may help you develop an eating plan that’s right for you.

diet best suited for reducing cholesterol consists of:3

Your healthcare provider may also recommend refraining from:

  • Sweets and desserts
  • Fatty meats
  • Foods high in salt and fats
  • Alcohol 
  • Sugary drinks 

The DASH diet may be a good place to start when making dietary changes. DASH is an acronym that stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension (high blood pressure). This diet focuses on eating foods that are high in potassium, protein, calcium, and fiber while low in salts and saturated fats.

A review of the DASH diet was published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2015 which studied the effect this diet has on heart disease. Researchers found evidence that the DASH diet may lower blood pressure and cholesterol. While diets aren’t one-size-fits-all, talk to your healthcare provider about the DASH diet and whether this eating plan may work for you.

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