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Cholesterol and a Healthy Heart

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One of the many things you can do to help lower your risk of heart disease, is to keep your cholesterol in check. You want to keep your LDL (the bad stuff) as low as you can and keep the HDL (the good stuff) as high as you can.

LDL cholesterol causes cholesterol to build up inside blood vessels. An optimal level of LDL cholesterol is under 100 mg/dL.

Things you can do to help lower LDL Cholesterol:

* increase physical activity level
* decrease dietary saturated fat

* decrease dietary cholesterol
* increase dietary soluble fiber
* decrease percent body fat
* manage stress effectively
* control diabetes

HDL - the good cholesterol actually helps protect the heart. HDL levels between 40 and 60 mg/dL are considered "normal" and an HDL level greater than 60 mg/dL is ideal and may actually protect people from heart disease.

Things you can do to increase HDL Cholesterol:

* increase physical activity level
* decrease percent body fat
* quit smoking
* decrease blood triglyceride levels
* increase the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in your diet including fish with omega-3 fatty acids
* cut out the trans fatty acid

Work on getting and keeping your cholesterol in check and protect that precious heart of yours!

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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