A Simple Step
By picking up this brochure, you’ve taken a step toward improving your health. Keep reading to learn about smart choices and simple steps you can make to help put your health first.
Whether you’re just diagnosed or already being treated for high cholesterol, this guide will give you tools to:
- Talk to your doctor
- Stick to your treatment plan.
- Make simple changed that can make a difference in controlling your cholesterol numbers.
Talking to Your Doctor
Open up. Be honest about your habits and what’s going on in your life. What you say will help shape your treatment plan.
- Do you have a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease?
- Do you smoke? Or did you used to smoke?
- How well are you managing any other health conditions you might have?
- How often do you eat foods that are high in cholesterol, like red meat and dairy products?
*Talk to your doctor about your food and exercise plans, what cholesterol numbers are right for you and how often to have your numbers checked.
When you have high cholesterol, your body may have too much bad cholesterol. This van lead to buildup on your artery walls.
High cholesterol doesn’t have any symptoms, so you won’t know you gave it unless you get tested. A blood test for cholesterol measure:
- Total Cholesterol- A combination of different types of cholesterol, including HDL and LDL (see below).
- HDL (high-density lipoprotein) – This is often called “food” cholesterol because it helps your body get rid of extra “bad” cholesterol.
- LDL (low-density lipoprotein) – This is known as “bad” cholesterol because when you gave too much, if can build up in your artery walls and can form plaque.
- Triglycerides- This is a type of fat that is stored in your body’s fat cells.
Enter your target numbers in the goal boxes and track the dates and your results each time your have your cholesterol checked. Use the guidelines on the next page and work with your doctor to determine the cholesterol levels that are right for you.
To improve your cholesterol, replace old habits with new and healthier ones. How? Start by changing just one thing.
Smoking increases your risk of heart disease.
Lose extra weight.
Being overweight increases your risk of high cholesterol and makes your heart work harder.
- Keep tempting, unhealthy foods out of the house. You’re less likely to eat them if you don’t have them nearby.
Limit Cholesterol from foods.
Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs, so take care to limit cholesterol in your diet.
- Read nutrition labels, and stick to fewer than 300 mg of cholesterol a day (200 mg a day if you gave heart disease)
Along with a healthy diet, exercise can help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol and help you lose weight.
- Partner up. Ask a friend or family member to be your exercise pal. Schedule workouts ahead of time.
Eat more soluble fiber.
Eating 5 to 10 grams a day of this fiber helps your body absorb less cholesterol.
- Eat fiber with every meal, including snacks. Oats, apples, and beans all have soluble fiber
Remember, any exercise is better than nothing at all. Start by checking with your doctor first to make sure that exercising is safe for you. As you gain strength, work up to 30 –minutes a day, most days of the week. Follow these tips:
- If you’re worried about time, split up your workout. Do 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening.
- To stay motivated, set small goals and record your progress. Try walking for 10 minutes on your lung break for a week and keep track on your calendar.
- Don’t give up. If you miss a day or two just pick up again the next day.
Pick up foods with high fiber, whole grains and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats during your next shopping trip like:
- Olive Oil
- Walnuts and almonds
- Seafood like salmon, mackerel, herring
- Low –fat milk and dairy products ( cheese, yogurt
- Whole-grain bread, pasta and rice
- Oat-bran flour
- Fruits and vegetables
Skip foods that are high in
Saturated and Trans fats like:
- Butter, stick margarine and shortening
- Coconut and palm oils
- Fried foods like French fries
- Sweets like cookies and doughnuts
- Whole milk and full-fat dairy products
Watch out for partially hydrogenated fats (trans fats). Also, remember to control portion sizes and eat in moderation.
TREATMENT FOR CHOLESTEROL
You and your doctor will work together to develop a treatment plan. This plan will likely include changes to your diet and exercise habits
In addition to diet and exercise, cholesterol medicines can lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and raise HDL cholesterol. Medicines lower LDL cholesterol in two main ways:
- By reducing the amount of cholesterol made in your liver
- By helping to block the absorption of cholesterol in your
If you and your doctor decide you also need medicine, you may have to try more than one medicine, or a combination of medicines, before you find what works for you.
Key to Seeing Results
Remember, high cholesterol doesn’t have any symptoms, so you won’t know if your treatment plan is working just by how you feel. You’ll see results when you have your cholesterol checked at your next doctor’s visit. If you take medicine as part of your treatment plan, and your numbers aren’t improving.
Fill & Refill Your Prescription
Not sure if you need medicine? Or having side effects? Tell your doctor so he or she can find a solution. Prescription costs too high? Ask your doctor to recommend resources that might help you. Remember, you can’t get the best care if your doctor thinks you’re taking your medicine when you’re not.
Take Every Dose
Medicine can be easy to forget. Put a note where you’ll be sure to see it every day or schedule a reminder through your phone or computer’s calendar program.
- Be sure to tell your doctor about other Prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicines or supplements you’re taking. Ask if they are sage to take together.