Cholesterol is a tricky thing. Your body needs it to survive but it can also be your downfall. Your doctor can help you get a better understanding of your good and bad cholesterol levels and create a treatment plan to lower them if necessary, but even if your cholesterol reading is good, leading a healthy lifestyle is important to keep your risks of heart disease to a minimum.

Usually, if your doctor advises you to work on lowering your high cholesterol level, it is because your low-density lipoprotein, also known as LDL, or the bad cholesterol, is too high for the high-density lipoprotein, or HDL good cholesterol to clear out of your arteries fast enough. Therefore, you need to give it some help by making healthy choices to minimize this buildup.

Changing Eating Habits:

Some cholesterol fixes will fit right into your daily lifestyle, while others may require a little bit of work, but one thing is certain, it is well worth the effort to ensure your good health. The first thing you should do is change your eating habits. This means cutting out processed, fried, and highly sugared foods and making room for natural, whole foods.

Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and sardines, are highly beneficial to this effort, because they don't increase LDL, but only HDL levels when you eat them. Replacing fatty cuts of beef or pork with fish will make a huge impact when lowering high cholesterol. Similarly, French fries and other fried foods can be replaced with baked alternatives with higher fiber counts. Increasing fiber in general, by adding ingredients such as oatmeal to your diet, can reduce LDL levels.

Prunes and apples have a similar effect compared to oatmeal due to their high fiber levels. This makes a great way to sweeten snacks and desserts without the use of processed sugar, while still retaining that sweet treat feel.

Cutting Out The Bad Stuff:

If you are a smoker, then you will need to drop some bad habits to lower your cholesterol. Alcohol is another trigger which can increase heart disease risks. Some medications may also cause problems. These are things that you can disclose with your physician when building a treatment plan for lowering high cholesterol. He or she will be able to offer advice based on your health and medical history, and may be able to provide assistance when quitting smoking or drinking, or changing a medication if necessary.

Medical Treatments:

Other than the natural methods of treatment, cholesterol levels can be lowered through the use of certain medications. Statins are a type of medicine that have been known to drastically lower LDL levels in those with high cholesterol. Sometimes this medicine has side effects that make it problematic for certain individuals to continue taking it. In this instance, an alternative drug can be used.

Most treatments for cholesterol are obtained by simply making new goals and setting different standards of living. Exercising regularly, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, and eating meals regularly and with healthy ingredients are usually enough to bring your levels back to normal.