Trim the Fat: Healthy Cholesterol Levels

Trim the Fat: Healthy Cholesterol Levels

Maintaining an optimal balance between "good" (HDL) and "bad" (LDL) cholesterol is key when it comes to healthy heart function. While there is a genetic component to your cholesterol, the right diet, lifestyle choices and supplements can help. Here are some tips for keeping already-healthy cholesterol levels in check.

  1. Easy heart-healthy foods

    Say so long to excessive added sugars, saturated and trans fats and processed foods—all of which can throw your levels out of whack. Instead, opt for whole grains, beans, and fresh fruits and vegetables, which are mainstays of the Mediterranean based diet. Plus, foods rich in omega-3s will help keep your cholesterol levels within a normal, healthy range.

  2. Get moving

    Physical activity has been shown to greatly support already-healthy cholesterol management; moderate physical activity helps raise your "good" HDL levels. It's important to incorporate at least 30 minutes of activity each day, so make sure you stick with something you enjoy: running, rowing, biking, swimming, tennis and even golf are great ways to break a sweat!

  3. Supplement smartly

    Diet and exercise are great building blocks for maintaining already-healthy cholesterol levels; essential, heart-healthy nutrients will fill in any gaps. Look for nutrients like artichoke extract, which has been clinically studied to help maintain healthy HDL and LDL levels. Pantethine, a derivative of vitamin B5, has been shown to help maintain already-healthy cholesterol levels. And no heart-healthy regimen is complete without CoQ10, which has the added bonus of revving your cellular energy levels!

Heart Health & Cholesterol

General Cholesterol Management

“Cholesterol” refers to waxy substances your body creates for several reasons. There are three commonly measured forms of cholesterol.

Cholesterol Management Information & Research

1.
How do you keep “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels within normal range?

In addition to reducing saturated fat intake and increasing the intake of soluble fiber, supplements that include gamma-tocopherol, pantethine, plant sterols, the carotenoid lycopene, red yeast rice, the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242 and extracts of artichoke, amla, garlic, green tea and pomegranate help support healthy levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the so-called “bad” cholesterol.

2.
How do you effectively manage your cholesterol levels?

Consuming a diet that has reduced amounts of saturated fat may help support already-healthy cholesterol levels, as can the intake of a number of supplements. Periodic blood testing is suggested for those who want to ensure that healthy levels are maintained.

3.
How can you check your cholesterol and triglyceride levels?

Cholesterol and triglyceride levels are checked as a part of routine bloodwork. This can be accomplished during an annual physical or ordered by the patient through sources that will refer them to a blood-drawing lab and mail them their test results.

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