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Thrive with a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle: Lower Your Cholesterol Risk


High cholesterol levels put people at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease. However, the good news is that you can manage this risk by making lifestyle changes. Yes, you heard it right. Lifestyle changes can help you tackle the “bad” cholesterol and increase the “good” cholesterol. As a result, one can reduce their risk of developing serious conditions, including heart disease. ​


tips to manage cholesterol naturally


You should always prefer lifestyle changes to medication. In case you don’t get any fruitful outcome with lifestyle changes, you can ask to opt for medications. Medications should always be your last option. Please, have a consultation with your healthcare provider to know the correct medication based on your health status and medical history.

What causes high cholesterol levels? 

There could be many reasons for high cholesterol levels, which may vary from person to person. A few common causes of high cholesterol levels are: 

Smoking or exposure to tobacco: Being a smoker increases your risk of developing high cholesterol. Smoking increases bad cholesterol and reduces good cholesterol. 

Being under high stress:  stress could also be a reason for increased cholesterol levels. Stress leads to hormonal changes, encouraging your body to produce more cholesterol. 

Alcohol consumption: Drinking occasionally and in moderation is fine. However, binge and regular drinking can increase cholesterol drastically. 

Food choices: Your diet can conduct a role in increasing or decreasing your overall cholesterol level. If you eat a nutritional diet, it will help you reduce bad cholesterol levels. On the other hand, if you focus on a diet enriched with saturated and trans fats, it will increase your cholesterol level. 

How to reduce cholesterol? 

The high levels of cholesterol put you at a higher risk of coming across cardiovascular disease and other conditions. However, by incorporating some lifestyle changes, you can subside the risk of coming across such serious conditions. 

To manage this risk, you must focus on increasing “good” HDL cholesterol and decreasing “bad” LDL cholesterol. Try to stick to the following lifestyle changes to address high cholesterol and its potential risks: 

Note: Your daily habits are not the sole factor contributing to high cholesterol levels; your genes matter, too. In some cases, you may have to continue taking the recommended medication along with making lifestyle changes. Moreover, lifestyle modifications can help taper off the dosage over time and reduce the associated side effects. 

Start getting moving: 

When it comes to starting to get moving, we always have an excuse, i.e., busy schedule. However, this busy schedule and a sedentary lifestyle are leading to significant damage to our overall health. Being physically inactive affects your overall health drastically and raises your risk of developing severe health conditions. 

If you are someone who has always been physically inactive and finds it challenging to start, no worries; we have got you sorted. You don’t need to start with a strict plan; devote 10 to 15 minutes daily.  You can increase the time gradually as your body starts building up a tolerance. 

The core advantages of daily exercise are many, and a few of them are: 

  • Helps in shedding excess weight 

  • Minimize the LDL and triglyceride 

  • Improve HDL levels 

Stop being a chain smoker: 

If you smoke without keeping a check on daily limits to tackle day-to-day life stress and other personal problems, you are putting your life at high risk. Smoking is one of the common causes of heart disease around the globe as it elevates the HDL and cholesterol build-up in arteries and affects the transportation and absorption of cholesterol. 

Try to reduce the daily consumption of smoking; it will help to curb potential negative effects. If you are unable to give up on smoking on your own, talk to a healthcare provider. A healthcare provider can support you in setting a plan based on your personal and unique needs. 

Load on soluble fibers:

Soluble fiber provides you with a protective shield against the negative effects by minimizing the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. Plants and whole grains are enriched with soluble fiber. Therefore, you should prioritize eating a diet rich in soluble fiber. To increase your intake of this fiber, include the following food items in your diet: 

  • Fruits 

  • Peas

  • Brussels sprouts 

  • Oat cereals 

  • Flaxseeds

  • Lentils 

  • Beans 

Keep a check on alcohol consumption: 

After reaching a certain age, meeting your friends is all binge drinking. However, this habit can lead to unwanted consequences, including high cholesterol and being highly suspected of heart disease. The amount of sugar and calories is already high in alcohol, which can contribute to weight gain. 

Weight gain, as a result, can lead to increased bad cholesterol levels and decreased good cholesterol levels. In addition to this, alcohol also increases blood pressure and triglyceride, a potential risk factor for heart disease. 

Make a plan that helps you cut back on alcohol and avert its unwanted consequences. 

Food items to kick out:

While managing high cholesterol levels, you need to cut back on saturated and trans fats, which can increase your LDL cholesterol significantly. Therefore, avoid food items like red meat, processed meats, full-fat dairy food, etc., to decrease your intake of saturated fats. To reduce your consumption of trans fats, eliminate fried food, fast food, and baked goods from your diet. 

Look out for cholesterol medications under doctor’s supervision: 

You should always prioritize lifestyle modifications over medications. However, lifestyle changes don't help; you can take relevant medications. You should always consult a doctor before choosing any medication. The healthcare provider will carry out an exhaustive analysis before prescribing any medication. 

Some people may need medications that lower LDL levels, and some may need medications that increase HDL cholesterol. Therefore, you should reach out to a professional to find the one that completely aligns with your health. 

While using the prescribed medication, if you see any side effects, please consult your doctor. The doctor may let you know strategies that can help manage side effects. Above all, lifestyle changes are considered the best way to lower cholesterol


As listed earlier, high cholesterol levels can lead to significant damage to your overall health, including the heart. You may not observe any evident symptoms of this condition until it has caused significant damage. The key to preventing unwanted outcomes of high cholesterol is to get it checked regularly. Adherence to the ways to lower cholesterol can improve high cholesterol levels and overall health. In case you don’t get any results, please seek help from your health care provider to find cholesterol medications. ​


1. What role does medication play in managing cholesterol levels?

Medications, along with lifestyle changes, can help you manage cholesterol levels. However, You should primarily focus on lifestyle changes such as limiting alcohol consumption, avoiding certain food items, cutting off smoking, exercising, etc. In case these ways don’t help you out, please see a doctor. The doctor may suggest you medications based on your health and other ongoing treatments. Statins are a type of drug that assists in managing cholesterol levels.

2. Can I eat eggs if I have high cholesterol?

It is generally safe to eat 1 to 2 eggs per day while keeping a check on other food items. In case you are already suffering from high cholesterol or are under other risk factors for cardiovascular problems, try not to eat more than 4 to 5 eggs a week. 

3. Can children have high cholesterol?

Children might also have high cholesterol levels like adults, which can result in serious health problems later on when children grow up. High cholesterol levels can induce the build-up of plaque on the wall of arteries that are responsible for transporting blood to the heart and other organs. 

4. What resources are available for support in managing cholesterol and adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle?

In order to address high cholesterol, you should not look further than lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes can help you tackle high cholesterol and keep a check on your overall health. Follow the following guidelines to manage high cholesterol: 

  • Quit smoking and alcohol 

  • Get moving 

  • Cut off extra weight 

  • Manage stress

  • Eat heart-healthy food items 

Medically Reviewed By:

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B. Pharma

(Dr. A. Sharma, PharmD, is a licensed pharmacist and a medical writer with 10 years of clinical experience. He strives to empower patients to understand their medications so that they become better healthcare advocates.)


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