Exercise can raise HDL cholesterol levels and reduce levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. If you haven't been exercising, try to work up to 30 minutes, 4 to 6 times a week. Make sure you talk to your doctor before starting an exercise plan.
Being overweight can raise your cholesterol levels. Losing weight, even just 5 or 10 pounds, can lower your total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Smoking lowers your HDL cholesterol. Even exposure to second-hand smoke can affect your HDL level. Talk to your doctor about developing a plan to help you stop smoking.
Certain supplements may help improve your cholesterol levels if changing your diet isn’t enough. Some examples include:
This content was developed with general underwriting support from Nature Made®.
Improving Your Cholesterol with Diet and Exercise by Kelly R (American Family Physician May 01, 2010)
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. High Blood Cholesterol. Accessed May 11, 2010
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Cholesterol: Top 5 foods to lower your numbers. Accessed May 11, 2010
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Triglycerides: Why do they matter?. Accessed May 11, 2010
American Heart Association. Lifestyle Changes to Improve Your Cholesterol. Accessed May 11, 2010
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Your Guide to Lowering Your Cholesterol With Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes. Accessed May 11, 2010
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff