· Lower your fat and cholesterol intake. Eat more fruits, vegetables, grains, cereals, and legumes. Choose poultry, fish, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Fat should account for less than 30% of your total calories daily.
· Broil, poach, or steam foods, rather than fry.
· Increase dietary fiber. Studies show that soluble fiber can help lower blood cholesterol. Sources of dietary fiber include fruits, vegetables, dried beans, and grains such as oats, corn, rice and bran.
Bringing cholesterol levels within normal ranges will help to reduce this major risk to your cardiovascular health. Other risk factors for cardiovascular disease include heredity, age, and gender. These you cannot change. However, there are things you can do:
- If you are a smoker, stop smoking.
- Exercise regularly. This is good for cardiovascular health, helps weight control and may raise levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol. (Consult your doctor before starting and exercise program).
- Lose weight if necessary; then maintain your ideal weight.
Many people can lower their blood cholesterol through diet. Others require the use of cholesterol-controlling drugs in addition to diet. Your doctor will determine the drug and dosage that is best for you.
You can do your part by taking your medicine exactly as prescribed. Do not take more or less during any one day. Be sure you understand how the medication is to be taken and what to do should you forget a dose. Your pharmacist is also a valuable resource for information about the drug therapy your physician has prescribed.
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