How can I lower my bad cholesterol?

Marcus J. Cox, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Ways to lower “bad” cholesterol include diet, exercise, and medical therapy. Statins have been showed to be very effective in reducing this “bad” cholesterol, also known as the LDL.

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Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Everyone should know their cholesterol number since high cholesterol is dangerous.

Dr. Oz reveals simple ways to lower cholesterol in this video.

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
LDL, the cholesterol carried by low-density lipoproteins, is the "bad" kind of cholesterol—the kind that breaks apart easily and builds up on your artery walls wherever there is a nick or hole. High LDL levels can be the result of eating a lot of foods like MacLard Ribs or croissants—foods laden with cholesterol, simple carbohydrates, and trans and saturated fats. Or it can be partially determined by genetics: A tendency to have high LDL can run in the family.

Exercising, losing even 10 pounds of weight, avoiding simple carbohydrates (avoid all white foods), and restricting saturated and trans fats to less than 20 grams a day will lower your LDL. You don't have to be a calorie-counting addict to benefit. Just have eyes good enough to read labels. The payoff to being just this smart can be substantial: A 55-year-old with a LDL of 180 mg/dL who lowers it to 100 will make himself three years younger.

Avoiding more than 20 grams of saturated and trans fats every day has another benefit—it maintains your arteries' ability to dilate, providing you with more energy. Saturated- and trans-fat-laden meals lead to saturated- and trans-fat-laden blood that keeps your arteries' muscular middle wall paralyzed. And you want that artery muscle to be functional so when you ask a leg muscle to move, it gets enough energy to move you. So keep energetic, and keep your saturated fat and trans fats to less than 20 grams a day.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.