A healthy diet, exercise, and losing weight can lower your cholesterol. But the most important goal is to lower your risk of heart disease. A diet low in saturated fats lowers your risk of heart disease. That means avoiding food like butter, cheese, and fatty meats. Foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat proteins are the best choices. This healthy diet can lower your cholesterol. Lowering your saturated fat intake can lower your risk of heart attack and other heart problems by 17%!

Adding regular physical activity to your life helps even more. Ease into exercise slowly, but shoot for exercising 3 or 4 times a week for 40 minutes each time. Exercise that makes your heart beat faster and breathe harder when you are doing it is best. This is called aerobic exercise.

Losing weight can lower your cholesterol and your risk of heart disease or stroke. The more weight you lose the bigger the benefit. Losing about 7 pounds causes your triglycerides to go down by 15 mg/dL. High levels of triglycerides increase your risk of heart disease. Losing between 11 and 18 pounds can lower your low-density lipoprotein (“bad”) cholesterol by 5 mg/dL and raise your high-density lipoprotein (“good”) cholesterol by 2 to 3 mg/dL. All of this means better heart health.