How Quickly Can You Improve Your Cholesterol Levels?

reduce cholestrol

Your cholesterol levels are directly tied to your heart health, so it’s important to make sure they’re in a healthy range. If they’re not, you’ll need to work on raising your good cholesterol levels (HDL) and lowering your bad ones (LDL). Medications can also improve your levels, but it’s best to make healthy changes that will improve your overall health and wellness.

Some of the best ways to lower your LDL levels are by:

  • Eating heart-healthy foods and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Reducing your intake of saturated fats and trans fats
  • Exercising most days of the week
  • Quitting smoking if you smoke
  • Losing weight
  • Drinking alcohol in moderation

There are many factors that contribute to having high cholesterol levels, and your diet is a major one. However, genetics play a role too. If your levels are still high with a better diet and more exercise, your doctor may recommend medication to keep your levels in check.

How Long Does it Take to Improve Cholesterol Levels?

One of the great things about making healthy lifestyle changes is that you can see improvements fairly quickly. Most people see their levels improve within three to six months. Research shows that it takes longer for women, so don’t be hard on yourself if your levels haven’t gone down as much as you want. Each body is different.

Keep in mind that once you get your levels down, you need to continue following a healthy diet. Your cholesterol levels can go up quickly again if you return to eating trans and saturated fats. Instead of focusing on getting your levels down fast, focus on leading an overall healthy lifestyle.

How Often Should I Check My Cholesterol?

The American Heart Association recommends that adults 20 years and older get their cholesterol checked every four to six years. Your doctor may recommend doing this more often to keep an eye on your levels, especially if you have a history of heart disease, obesity or type 2 diabetes.

A simple blood test is all that’s required to check your cholesterol, and your doctor may recommend not eating or drinking anything for 9-12 hours before the test. A cholesterol test gives you four measurements:

  • Total cholesterol. Less than 200mg/dL is normal.
  • LDL cholesterol. Less than 100mg/dL is normal.
  • HDL cholesterol. More than 40mg/dL is best.
  • Triglycerides. This is a type of fat in the blood. Normal levels are less than 150mg/dL.

Knowing that your cholesterol can improve fairly quickly with a good diet and exercise should motivate you to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Not only will you feel better and lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and other conditions, but also you can avoid being on cholesterol medications. Your body will thank you!

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    Core values:

    Courage • Compassion • Commitment • Caring • Community

    • "Thank you for being awesome! A current patient called me this morning to tell me her physician is now recommending Doctor’s Choice because of the care you provided her."

    • "Thank you all for everything you do for our patients. We got a patient call to compliment each of you for going above and beyond in your care. Keep up the good work team!"

    • "I was very pleased with the therapist and the nurse.  My wounds were treated with the utmost of care.  Thank you"

    • "Thank you Shana for the caring and concern you have for your patients. You embody all the core values when you practice home health."

    • "Your staff - Terry, Carole, Mary, Diane and Lisa - were all excellent.  They are caring, knowledgeable, helpful in every way.  Terry is special among special people.  Congratulations on putting together such an incredible team!"

    • "Carol is a tremendous asset to your organization.  She embodies the utmost in knowledge, skill and compassion.  Arlene, Speech Pathologist, was very instructive.  She taught me a number of things to care for my parent, helped me secure items for Dad's wellbeing and taught me plenty for his care."

    • "Thank you for being awesome! A current patient called me this morning to tell me her physician is now recommending Doctor’s Choice because of the care you provided her."

    • "Amanda your attention to detail and hard work does not go unnoticed. Thank you for all of your hard work."

    • "I have to send a huge THANK YOU to Jennifer for her EXCELLENT communication between disciplines and to office staff to ensure the best patient care is being provided."

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