Life's Simple 7 Manage Cholesterol Infographic

Life's Simple 7 Cholesterol Infographic

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How To Control Cholesterol

Understand Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that comes from two sources: food and body. It is found in foods from animal sources only. It travels in the body by lipoproteins (LDL and HDL)

  • HDL = GOOD: High-density lipoprotein is known as "good" cholesterol.
  • LDL = BAD: Low-density lipoprotein is known as “bad” cholesterol.
  • HDL helps keep LDL from sticking to artery walls and reduces plaque buildup. This process can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. heart.org/Atherosclerosis
  • TRIGLYCERIDES: The most common type of fat in the body.
  • TOTAL CHOLESTEROL: HDL + LDL + 1/5th of triglyceride level = total cholesterol level.

Track Levels

A health care provider can measure blood cholesterol and help you understand what the levels mean. Track your cholesterol levels over time and take steps to reduce high cholesterol.

Tips for Success

  • Eat Smart: Eat a healthy diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, plant-based proteins, lean animal proteins and fish. Limit sugary drinks and foods, fatty or processed meats, full-fat dairy products, eggs and tropical oils. heart.org/EatSmart
  • Move More: Physical activity helps improve cholesterol levels. heart.org/MoveMoreKnow Your Fats: The fats you eat can affect your cholesterol levels. Replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats. heart.org/Fats
  • Don't Smoke: Smoking lowers good HDL cholesterol and raises your risk of heart disease. heart.org/Tobacco
  • Take Medication as Directed: Your doctor may prescribe statins or other medications to control your cholesterol levels.

Learn more at heart.org/MyLifeCheck and heart.org/Cholesterol. 

© Copyright 2019 American Heart Association, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited. Citations available upon request.

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