The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Therapeutic Lifestyle Program (TLP) offers these guidelines for limiting the risks of high LDL-C:
Eat better. Decreasing (or keeping low) consumption of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol is the key factor because these are the leading causes of high blood cholesterol.
Lose weight. Excess weight can elevate LDL-C and blood triglycerides. A BMI of 18.5-24.9 indicates a normal weight; a BMI of 25-29.9 is overweight; and a BMI of 30 or higher is obese.
Stay physically active. Adults and even children should do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week.
Consume soluble fiber. Eating foods with soluble (oatmeal) and insoluble fiber (fruits, legumes, vegetables and whole-grains) improves overall health. Soluble-fiber foods lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by reducing LDL-C. Soluble fiber dissolves into a viscous substance in the intestines that helps to block cholesterol absorption. Five to twenty-five grams of soluble fiber daily is recommended.
Eating plant stanols and sterols such as soybeans, can help prevent some LDL-C from being absorbed in the body.
Pass on the salt. Studies show that too much sodium may lead to elevated blood pressure, which may promote the deposition of LDL-C in the arteries. Limiting salt to ?2,300 mg per day is best for heart health. Use more spices and herbs for flavor.
Limit alcohol consumption. Too much damages the heart and liver. Women 1 drink and men 2 drinks per day.
Go with complex carbohydrates. High fiber cereals, wheat pasta, fruits and veggies are more healthful choices over simple carbs like candy and soft drinks.
Resources: IDEA Fitness Journal