How to Lower Your Blood Cholesterol

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is made by the body and is found in foods that have animal origin, such as dairy products, organ meats, and egg yolks. The body requires a certain amount of cholesterol to perform its daily functions.

Why Should I Care about Cholesterol?

If the cholesterol level is high, the excess can become deposited in the artery walls in the form of plaque. As the plaque builds up the arteries narrow, allowing less blood to flow through. In time, an artery may become completely blocked and cause a heart attack.

Men with total cholesterol of 260 mg per deciliter or more have shown the development of coronary artery disease four times higher than those with a cholesterol of 200 mg or less. In women, high cholesterol levels tripled the risk of coronary artery disease.

What are HDL and LDL?

One type of cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol is actually of benefit. It works as a type of clearing device in the blood helping to keep LDL-cholesterol that is deposited in the arteries, in check. An easy way to understand HDL and LDL cholesterol is to remember that HDL is “good cholesterol” and LDL is “bad cholesterol.”

Ideally, your bad cholesterol should be less than three times your good cholesterol. The good cholesterol acts as a garbage truck in your body, picking up the bad cholesterol. The good cholesterol, however, can only pick up 3 loads of the bad and the rest is left circulating in the blood.

What Determines My Blood Cholesterol Level?

Eating too much of foods that are high in cholesterol and saturated fats is the primary cause of high blood cholesterol levels. Saturated fat can be described as a type of fat that is usually solid at room temperature and is mostly found in animal products such as eggs, butter, cheese, and chicken skin.

How Do I Lower My Blood Cholesterol?

Eating foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol will help decrease your blood cholesterol. Exercise will help to increase your HDL or “good cholesterol.” If following a low fat, low cholesterol diet along with exercise does not decrease your cholesterol then your doctor may prescribe medication to help with this problem.

Low Cholesterol/Low-Fat Foods


  • Chicken (¼ lbs has 60 mg cholesterol and 4.5 g fat.)
  • Flounder (¼ lbs has 57 mg cholesterol and 1.5 g fat.)
  • Pinto Beans (1 cup has 0 mg cholesterol and 2.3 g fat.)
  • Avoid fatty cuts of meat and organ meats.


  • Banana (1 on average has 0 mg cholesterol and .3 g fat.)
  • Broccoli (1 cup has 0 mg cholesterol and .5 g fat.)
  • Apple (1 on average has 0 mg cholesterol and 1 g fat.)
  • Avoid coconut and palm oils.


  • Low-Fat Milk (1 cup has 18 mg cholesterol and 5 g fat.)
  • Low-Fat Yogurt (8 oz has 14 mg cholesterol and 3.5 g fat.)
  • Part-Skim Mozzarella (1 oz has 15 mg cholesterol and 4.9 g fat.)
  • Avoid whole milk products and eggs.


  • Whole Wheat
  • Whole Grain
  • Bran muffin

Please note, the information provided throughout this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and video, on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. If you are experiencing related symptoms, please visit your doctor or call 9-1-1 in an emergency.