Some risk factors for lipid disorders like family history or genetics can not be changed. Fortunately, there are many lifestyle risk factors that you can control. Modifications include:
General guidelines include:
Exercise can help decrease LDL and increase HDL cholesterol levels. Choose exercises you enjoy and will make a regular part of your day. Strive to maintain an exercise program that keeps you fit and at a healthful weight. For most people, this could include walking or participating in another aerobic activity for 30 minutes every day.
Check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
Excess weight is associated with higher levels of LDLs. Remember weight loss takes time and there is no quick fix. Give yourself time to make adjustments to your diet. Portion control, combined with healthy food choices, will get you started on the right track. A dietitian may help you develop effective meal plans.
Alcohol can raise triglyceride levels. Moderation means one or fewer alcoholic beverages per day for women and two or fewer for men. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer or four ounces of wine or one ounce of 100-proof spirits.
Smoking lowers HDL (good cholesterol) levels. If you are a smoker, consider a smoking cessation program or cessation aids to help you stop. Quitting smoking can improve your overall cholesterol picture and your overall health.
Hypercholesterolemia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 20, 2013. Accessed January 13, 2014.
Hypertriglyceridemia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 20, 2013. Accessed January 13, 2014.
Prevention and treatment of high cholesterol. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/PreventionTreatmentofHighCholesterol/Prevention-and-Treatment-of-High-Cholesterol_UCM_001215_Article.jsp#.VxflXE2FMdU. Updated May 1, 2013. Accessed January 13, 2014.
Last reviewed March 2016 by Marcin Chwistek, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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