Author: Sina Nafisi, M.D., FACC
Approximately one in three adults in the United States has high cholesterol (hyperlipidemia); fewer than half of adults receive the treatment they should be getting to lower high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. Perhaps one of the reasons high cholesterol frequently goes untreated is that the condition produces no signs or symptoms in patients. The only way to know you have high cholesterol is to have your cholesterol levels checked. Most physicians check cholesterol once every five years in adults with no known risk factors. Of course, you can have your levels checked sooner by talking to your primary care provider.
Take Control of Your Health. 5 Tips for Lowering Cholesterol.
You can start taking preventive measures now to lower high cholesterol levels. Try a few of these tips:
- Consider taking statins. These drugs lower cholesterol levels and decrease risk for cardiovascular disease. In fact, the use of statins is correlated with an estimated 60% reduction in cardiac events (including heart attack). (Learn more.)
- Lose weight. If you’re overweight, you may find that losing weight can help lower cholesterol. Even losing 5-10 pounds can help with lowering high cholesterol.
- Thirdly, eat more fiber. Dietary fiber (beans, oats, etc.) absorbs cholesterol in the digestive tract. Opt for healthy fruits and vegetables over processed high-fat/high-sugar snacks.
- Enjoy a glass of wine. One alcoholic beverage a day may help lower high cholesterol levels. Red wine can be especially beneficial, as it contains an antioxidant known as resveratrol, which has been proven to lower LDL cholesterol and prevent blood clots in mice. (Resveratrol’s effects in humans have not been thoroughly studied, and its impact – if any – may be minimal.)
- Take a daily multivitamin. Try though we might, life happens, and we don’t always get all of our daily vitamins and minerals. An over-the-counter daily multivitamin can help fill in the holes in your diet. B vitamins are especially important to get if your goal is to protect your heart’s health.
Schedule Your Appointment With a Cardiologist
Have more questions about what you can do to lower high cholesterol levels? Concerned about your heart health? Schedule an appointment with a cardiologist at Phoenix Heart Center (Phoenix and Tempe) by contacting us.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.