National Cholesterol Education Month

National Cholesterol Education Month

Written by Jennifer J. Shannahan, RD, CDN

September is National Cholesterol Education Month and is the perfect time to find out your cholesterol levels and take steps to prevent or reduce high cholesterol.

High cholesterol is a significant risk factor for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States.

Lifestyle changes, like the ones below, can help reduce your cholesterol and modify your risk factors.  

Eating a heart-healthy diet
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of all deaths from heart disease could be prevented through diet. Making a few changes in your diet can help you get on a heart-healthy track. 

  • Limit your saturated fat intake by limiting butter, whole dairy products and cheeses, fatty cuts of meat, fried foods and bakery goods.  
  • Focus on healthy monounsaturated fats found in nuts and seeds, olive oil and avocados. Choose foods high in omega-3’s such as fatty fish like salmon.
  • Increase your fiber intake by choosing whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans.

Becoming more physically active
A sedentary lifestyle lowers HDL cholesterol. Less HDL means there’s less good cholesterol to remove bad cholesterol from your arteries.

Physical activity is essential. At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week can help to lower your cholesterol.

Losing weight
Being overweight or obese tends to raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol. But a weight loss of as little as 5% to 10% can help improve cholesterol numbers.

Do you have questions about how you can implement these lifestyle changes?

Please call 631-941-2000 ext 479 to schedule an appointment with our registered dietitian.

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