Hi, I’m Laureen Wallravin, Certified Nutritional Therapist and founder of RelishedFood.com. I'm here today for About.com to give you some tips for lowering your LDL cholesterol levels, using information from About.com’s Health Site.Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol, is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol. It's the LDL cholesterol in your system that contributes to a build-up of plaque on the arterial walls. This can ultimately lead to narrowing of the arteries, blockage, and even heart disease. Here’s a closer look at how to get those LDL levels where they need to be.While cholesterol is naturally produced in the liver, individual diet, activity levels, and personal habits can all have an effect on one's LDL level. Within the medical community, it is believed that maintaining LDL levels of less than 100 milligrams per deciliter of blood is best. Levels approaching or exceeding 160 milligrams per deciliter are considered high.Beginning with diet, eating foods high in soluble fiber and monounsaturated fats will help raise your “good” cholesterol, or HDL, thus reducing your LDL. Examples of such foods include, but are not limited to: bran, oats, fruits, vegetables, avocados, and olive oil.Exercise and weight loss also contribute to lowering LDL levels. As noted on About.com’s Health Site, even losing a small amount of weight, as low as 5% of your total body weight, can lower LDL levels. Another effective way to lower LDL is by eliminating bad habits, such as smoking. Smoking has been linked to the occurrence of oxidized LDL in the blood, which is known to contribute to the narrowing of arteries.Just a tip: Depending on your individual needs and health history, you may find that drug therapy is a necessity in lowering your LDL. Your doctor will advise you on this and it's best to follow his or her instructions. More than ever, it’s clear that what we eat and how we live play a crucial role in our overall health. It's not always easy making healthy choices, but keeping your LDL levels in check is one of the best things you can do for your heart and yourself.Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.
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