Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is there a way to lower cholesterol without medication?"
If I reduce my intake of meat and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, plus drink water, can I reduce my cholesterol without taking meds?
There are many factors that affect our cholesterol levels, all of which should be discussed with your primary care physician. In addition, there is more than one type of cholesterol making the situation more complex. The good cholesterol is the HDL and the bad cholesterol is the LDL. Eating more fruits and vegetables and less red meat can have the positive effect of lowering the bad cholesterol. Reducing your weight if you are overweight can have positive effects on both types. Exercising has been shown to raise the good cholesterol. Drinking more water will not have change your cholesterol. Genetics plays the most important roll in determining what your cholesterol will be. Some people that have only mildly elevated bad cholesterol and lower it to acceptable ranges with these methods. Others (most) require a medication. The good news is that the medications used to lower cholesterol generally are safe and have beens show to prevent heart attacks. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician to review your most recent cholesterol levels. If you have a problem with your HDL only, then you can consider increasing your exercise frequency and perhaps adding a glass of wine to your evening routine assuming you don't drink any alcohol now. If you have a problem with your LDL you can try dietary changes. If your LDL is too high, or if you can't change your levels with these methods, then you will need to try a medication.
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