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5 Ways to Score Lower Cholesterol

By EatingWell Editors, "Our Heart-Health Playbook," January/February 2010

Easy tips for lowering your cholesterol and getting your heart in shape.

5. Practice Healthy Habits

If you make three lifestyle changes to help your heart, they should be to...

Quit smoking. Smoking even one to four cigarettes a day almost triples the likelihood that you will develop heart disease compared to a nonsmoker, says Philip A. Ades, M.D., cardiologist and author of EatingWell for a Healthy Heart Cookbook: A Cardiologist’s Guide to Adding Years to Your Life (The Countryman Press).

Exercise for 30 minutes nearly every day. A 2009 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association credited NFL players’ high level of physical activity with helping to mitigate the heart risks associated with being overweight. You don’t need to be a professional athlete to benefit from exercise. Moderate exercise (e.g., brisk walking) will help to keep your heart healthy.

Make friends with your doctor. Don’t assume that just because your body weight, exercise habits and diet are healthy that your blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels are too. Your genes may predispose you to cardiovascular disease. Talk with your health care provider about heart-related screens that might be important for you.

Next Slideshow: 9 Tips for Lowering Your Cholesterol Right Now »


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