Cholesterol Levels

woman eating bowl of fruit

Eat Better to Feel Better

Help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by eating more heart-healthy foods.

couple joggingHelp keep your heart healthy by managing your cholesterol levels. You may also lower your chances of getting heart disease or having a stroke. Specific dietary patterns and nutrient intake can play a major role in cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment through effects on modifiable risk factors such as cholesterol levels.

The American Heart Association recommends that all adults age 20 or older have their cholesterol and other traditional risk factors checked every four to six years, and work with their healthcare providers to determine their risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Comparing Your Cholesterol Numbers

Total cholesterol is a measure of the total amount of cholesterol in your blood, including low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

  • LDL (bad) cholesterol: the main source of cholesterol buildup and blockage in the arteries
  • HDL (good) cholesterol: HDL helps remove "bad" LDL cholesterol from your arteries
  • Triglycerides: another form of fat in your blood that can raise your risk for heart disease
See how your cholesterol numbers compare to the table below:


Nutrition Strategies to Help Maintain and Lower Cholesterol Levels

Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and rich in fruits, vegetables, and grain products that contain some types of dietary fiber, particularly soluble fiber, may reduce the risk of heart disease, a disease associated with many factors.

Source: Guidance for Industry: A Food Labeling Guide (11. Appendix C: Health Claims) FDA (21 CFR 101.77)

Lower saturated fat
Incorporate fruits & vegetables in your meals
Add in whole grains
Get in more sources of fiber