9 Good Foods for Your Cholesterol Levels

Go easy on the cheeseburgers, sausage, fried foods, pastries, and ice cream. These foods are high in saturated fat, which can raise your blood cholesterol to dangerous levels. Learn what to eat for healthy cholesterol levels ›

Cut Your Cholesterol, Without Drugs

Regarding the troublesome fat your body makes called cholesterol: Chances are good that you may not need drugs to keep it in check. 

True, people with a strong genetic predisposition to high cholesterol often need medication to control cholesterol. But a lot of people don't. 

For most people, lifestyle changes are the key to maintaining a healthy balance between bad cholesterol, which clogs the arteries, and good cholesterol, which combats the clogging process. 

Nearly 100 million American adults have cholesterol levels above 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) according to the American Heart Association. About 34 million Americans have cholesterol levels of 240 mg/dL, which is considered high risk. These numbers indicate that a shift in everyday health habits is in order. Although you can't do much about such risk factors as family history, age or ethnicity, there are others that you can control. 

Learn more about cutting your cholesterol

Is Your Cholesterol Putting Your Heart at Risk?

Over 100 million people have cholesterol levels high enough to increase their heart risk.

What You Can Do to Prevent Atherosclerosis

Your good health has an enemy: atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is common, and its effects can be devastating, causing strokes, heart attacks and death. The good news is that you can take steps to protect yourself from this disease.

Healthy arteries are like the pipes in a new house. Their inside walls are smooth and clean, making it possible to easily transport the blood your body needs. But arteries, like pipes, can become clogged. Fatty substances, such as cholesterol, can stick to the inner walls of an artery. These deposits, called plaque, can eventually slow or block the flow of blood. This blockage is atherosclerosis, and it can affect any medium- to large-sized artery in your body. When atherosclerosis affects the arteries that supply blood to the heart, it is called coronary artery disease.

Learn more about preventing antherosclerosis

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Did You Know?

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Kids who grow quickly as toddlers or teens tend to have lower cholesterol levels as adults, new research says. A 2007 study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health also found that people who become overweight after age 15 are more likely to have higher cholesterol levels.