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The risk of heart disease is greatly increased if you have high cholesterol. This can include potentially fatal heart attacks. Lowering cholesterol is recommended to lead a more healthy life and maintain a healthy heart. High cholesterol causes hardening of the arteries which reduces blood flow to the heart. This may result in chest pains or heart attack.

Favorable cholesterol levels should be less than 200. Anything over 240 is considered high risk. For severely high cholesterol it is recommended to seek consultation with a medical professional for treatment and medications. A physician will test the blood to determine the exact levels and to determine whether drug therapy is necessary. There are a number of drugs available to lower cholesterol. Your physician will be able to recommend one that is best. These include nicotinic acid and cholesterol absorption inhibitors

Most drug therapies are also used in tandem with lifestyle changes. Natural remedies are available in grocery stores, health food stores and pharmacies. Changing eating habits, toxic intake and activity levels will help lower cholesterol.

Low fat foods, especially green leafy vegetables are beneficial in your diet and will help reduce cholesterol. Ensuring a balanced diet from all food groups is ideal. Choose fresh fruits, fish, grains and soy. Avoid foods such as butter, margarine, prepackaged foods, junk foods and fast foods. These types are typically high in trans-fats, which are particularly damaging.

If you smoke, it can increase the chances of having high cholesterol. Quitting will not only help this but will also reduce several other medical risks. Also reduce your total caloric intake and maintain a healthy weight. Regular aerobic exercise will help achieve this. Lower the amount of alcohol consumption. Also, lessening your intake of caffeine such as coffee and tea will help.

There are several vitamins and supplements that can help lower cholesterol levels. Vitamin E, artichoke leaf extract, niacin and chromium are all reported to help control high levels of cholesterol. When using these options while on medication consult a physician for correct dosage. Some natural remedies will also react adversely with certain combinations so it is suggested you disclose all eating habits and dietary supplements to your doctor.

Heart disease is a potentially fatal condition that affects millions of people annually. Reducing the amount of cholesterol in your blood will help lower the risk of a heart attack. Taking medications per your doctor’s orders, making lifestyle changes and taking supplements can vastly improve your odds of remaining healthy.

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