Reducing Cholesterol

Quitting Smoking or Nicotine Use
Nicotine in cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, snuff, and pipe tobacco can make blood vessels narrow and can lower high-density lipoproteins (HDL), the "good" cholesterol. If you use tobacco products, quitting can be part of an effective strategy for reducing cholesterol.
A moderate exercise program, such as taking a brisk walk for 30 to 40 minutes a day on most, if not all, days, will help you keep your heart and blood vessels in shape and help lower cholesterol levels. Exercise will not only lower LDL, which is the "bad" cholesterol, but it also will raise HDL. Check with your doctor before starting any type of exercise program.
Losing Weight
Weight gain tends to result in an increase in cholesterol in the blood. When treating high cholesterol, a doctor will usually recommend that an overweight person lose weight. Even a small weight loss can lower cholesterol levels by about 10 percent. Weight management is especially important for those people with certain risk factors, including high triglyceride and/or low HDL levels and being overweight with a large waist measurement (more than 40 inches for men and more than 35 inches for women).
Your healthcare provider will probably suggest both a low-fat/low-cholesterol diet and moderate exercise if you are overweight.
(Click Exercise and Cholesterol for more information about how moderate levels of physical activity can help reduce cholesterol levels.)
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