A Answers (2)
Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredMany factors can affect the cholesterol levels in your blood -- some of these things you can control, and others you cannot. They include what you eat, your weight, your physical activity, your family history, even your age and gender. In many, many instances, high cholesterol is the direct result of a lifestyle that is no longer working for you. The cost could be high: chronic illness, disability, even death.
Robert S Kaufmann, Internal Medicine, answeredA variety of things can affect cholesterol levels. These are things you can do something about:
- Diet. Saturated fat and cholesterol in the food you eat make your blood cholesterol level go up.
- Saturated fat is the main culprit, but cholesterol in foods also matters. Reducing the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet helps lower your blood cholesterol level.
- Weight. Being overweight is a risk factor for heart disease. It also tends to increase your cholesterol.
- Losing weight can help lower your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and total cholesterol levels, as well as raise your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and lower your triglyceride levels.
- Physical Activity. Not being physically active is a risk factor for heart disease. Regular physical activity can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels. It also helps you lose weight. You should try to be physically active for 30 minutes on most, if not all, days.
Things you cannot do anything about also can affect cholesterol levels. These include:
- Age and Gender. As women and men get older, their cholesterol levels rise. Before the age of menopause, women have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. After the age of menopause, women's LDL levels tend to rise.
- Heredity. Your genes partly determine how much cholesterol your body makes. High blood cholesterol can run in families.
This answer from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has been reviewed and/or edited by Dr. Robert S. Kaufmann.