Improving Health


Taking Control of Cholesterol: Key Steps for a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle

Posted by CareATC on September 19, 2023

230919-CATC-BP-HealthSeptember is National Cholesterol Education Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of managing cholesterol levels for a healthier heart. Cholesterol plays a crucial role in our body, but high levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) can increase the risk of heart disease. This month serves as a reminder to take proactive steps toward a heart-healthy lifestyle. Let's explore some key measures that can help you take control of your cholesterol levels.

Know Your Numbers

Understanding your cholesterol levels is the first step. A simple blood test can provide insights into your total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides (Mayo Clinic, 2022). Work with your healthcare provider to interpret these numbers and set appropriate goals.

Adopt a Balanced Diet

A heart-healthy diet is essential for managing cholesterol. Focus on incorporating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats into your meals. Reduce saturated and trans fats found in fried foods, processed snacks, and fatty cuts of meat (Mayo Clinic, 2022). Reading labels and choosing whole, unprocessed options can help lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease.

Stay Physically Active

Regular exercise is a powerful tool for managing cholesterol. With your doctor's OK, work up to at least 30 minutes of exercise five times a week or vigorous aerobic activity for 20 minutes three times a week (CDC, 2023). Exercise can raise HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Excess body fat affects how your body uses cholesterol and slows down your body’s ability to remove LDL cholesterol from your blood. The combination raises your risk of heart disease and stroke (CDC, 2023). By maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise, you can improve your cholesterol profile and overall heart health.

Manage Stress

High levels of cortisol from chronic or long-term stress can cause high blood cholesterol, along with other heart disease risks (Bernstein, 2023). Incorporate stress-reduction techniques like meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or spending time in nature to promote emotional well-being.

Avoid Smoking

Smoking not only damages your lungs but also negatively affects your heart health. If you smoke, seek support to quit. Quitting smoking can lead to improvements in both HDL and LDL cholesterol levels. Within a year of quitting, your risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker (CDC, 2023).

Drink alcohol in moderation

Avoid drinking too much alcohol. Men should have no more than two drinks per day, and women should have no more than one (CDC, 2023). Cutting down on alcohol will help your liver to work better at removing bad cholesterol. 

Regular Check-Ups

Perhaps most importantly, schedule regular check-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor your cholesterol levels and discuss any necessary adjustments to your lifestyle or medication.

Make a commitment to prioritize your heart health and take control of your cholesterol levels. By following these simple steps, you can reduce your risk of heart disease and enjoy a longer, more vibrant life. Remember, small changes can lead to significant improvements in your overall well-being.


Bernstein, S. (2023, July 18). Stress and Cholesterol: Is There a Link?. WebMD. Retrieved from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, May 16). Prevent high cholesterol. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from

Mayo Clinic. (2022, September 2). Top 5 lifestyle changes to improve your cholesterol. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from


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Post Topics Healthy Lifestyles, Healthy Eating, Health & Safety, Employee Engagement, Nutrition