If you have heard from your doctor that you have high cholesterol levels, you may ask yourself, "What are the top ways to lower cholesterol?"" There are many ways to lower your cholesterol; some are lifestyle changes, and some are medications. Both are often needed to get high cholesterol levels into the safe range.
7 Lifestyle Changes to Lower Cholesterol
1. Lose Weight
If you are overweight, returning to and maintaining a healthy weight may be the best thing you can do for your overall health and wellness. A reduction of as little as 5% of your body weight can have a positive impact on your cholesterol levels.
2. Exercise More
Regular exercise will not only keep your body healthy, but it can help to reduce the amount of cholesterol in your blood.
3. Avoid Trans Fats
These types of fats are shown to harm your cholesterol levels. These fats can be found in things like margarine, fried foods, and non-dairy coffee creamer.
4. Up Your Soluble Fiber Intake
Soluble fiber, the type found in fresh fruits, some vegetables, cereals, and bread made from oats, whole grains, and beans, can help to lower your cholesterol. A fiber-rich diet is especially effective when added to a statin regime.
5. Don't Smoke
Smoking is terrible for your health in many ways. It damages your lungs and heart and changes how your body processes cholesterol, leading to high blood levels.
6. Use Alcohol in Moderation
There is currently a debate as to whether consuming small amounts of alcohol daily can improve your cholesterol levels. What is known is that heavy consumption of alcohol is damaging to many of your organs and can contribute to unsafe cholesterol levels.
7. Take Supplements
Many over-the-counter supplements have been shown to help lower cholesterol levels. These include fish oil, psyllium, and coenzyme Q10.
Frequently Prescribed Medications That Lower Cholesterol
If you have tried the natural ways to lower cholesterol and your numbers are still too high, your doctor may prescribe medications that will help. These include:
- Statins - These are the most commonly prescribed medications for high cholesterol. They work in the liver to prevent the formation of cholesterol. You might be prescribed several types, including Lipitor, Lescol, Zocor, or Crestor.
- Ezetimibe - This type of drug works by preventing the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines.
- Bile Acid Sequestrants - These cause the intestines to get rid of more cholesterol. Types include Questran, Prevalite, Colesid, and WelChol.
Save on Cholesterol Lowering Medications with RxLess
If your doctor has given you prescriptions for drugs to help lower your cholesterol, the RxLess discount card enables you to save money on them. Use the RxLess search tool to find your medication and a local pharmacy where you can get a discounted price. The card is accepted by Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, and many local pharmacies.