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5 Super Simple Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol

By Amber Page

If you have high cholesterol -- especially elevated levels of LDL cholesterol -- you're at risk for a host of cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks. Fortunately, you can lower your cholesterol -- or prevent it from getting too high in the first place -- by making simple lifestyle changes. 

Stop Smoking

Cigarettes contain a nasty chemical called acrolein, which gets absorbed into your bloodstream through your lungs and changes the way your body metabolizes cholesterol. Your immune system becomes unable to recognize LDL and attacks it, causing inflammation and a host of other nasty side effects that increase your risk of heart attacks.

So now you've got another good reason to quit smoking.

Cut Down on Sugar 

Sugar. It tastes so good, but it's oh so bad for you. Foods that have lots of sugar in them are usually highly processed and high in carbs, which are bad for your heart and could even result in lower levels of HDL (the good cholesterol).

Start Exercising

You know exercise is good for you. Turns out, it's a great way to lower cholesterol, too. Both cardio and resistance training (weights), benefit heart health. But resistance training is a particularly effective way to reduce your total cholesterol.

Aim for about 150 minutes of exercise per week, including both cardio and strength training.

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

Most fruits and vegetables have tons of heart-healthy things in them, such as fiber, vitamins and minerals and antioxidants. And studies have shown that eating a diet rich in whole fruits and vegetables is a great way to lower your cholesterol.

They're also low in calories, so you can eat a lot without impacting your waistline. And, because they contain fiber, they'll fill you up -- leaving you with less room for cholesterol-raising foods.

Include Healthy Fats in Your Diet

The key word is "healthy." Things like bacon, deep-fried foods, and ice cream are still on the list of no-nos. But there are a number of healthy fats that can lower cholesterol.

Cook with olive oil. Snack on nuts. Make yourself some of that millennial-favorite food, avocado toast. Or treat yourself to a fatty fish, like salmon. These foods are all good for your heart -- and tasty to boot.

These are just a few ways you can lower your cholesterol and increase your overall health. Ask your doctor about other steps you can take to get your cholesterol in check.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Azusa, Calif.

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