By Adem Lewis /

Our bodies need cholesterol to build healthy
cells, but high levels of it can increase your risk of heart disease. Dr. Brandy Patterson explains how you can
manage your cholesterol levels in this week’s segment of Straight Talk MD. Hi, welcome to Straight Talk MD. I’m Dr. Brandy P. If you have high cholesterol, you’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, more than 35 million Americans have high LDL, or bad cholesterol, which greatly
increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. Many who have high cholesterol are prescribed
medications called statins, but there are alternative ways to lower your cholesterol
that, when combined successfully, may eliminate the need for statins altogether. Number one is exercise. You knew I was going to say that though, right? Exercise is key to helping your heart be healthy. But more specifically, research has shown
that exercise can definitely impact cholesterol levels by helping to lower the bad cholesterol
in the body. Number two is weight control. Being overweight increases the LDL, or bad
cholesterol, in your blood. It is possible to be a normal weight and still
have high cholesterol, though. But this is generally due to a genetic predisposition
that occurs in some people. Number three is really a biggie, and that’s
diet. Of course, just as important as what you’re
eating is what you’re not. So steer clear of saturated fats found in
fried and processed foods. To get those cholesterol numbers down and
to keep your heart healthy, your best bet is to try combination of the tactics that
I just discussed. Remember that statins may be prescribed for
reasons other than to just lower cholesterol. So if you are currently taking these medications,
please be sure to talk to your doctor before you stop taking any of your cholesterol medication. Also talk to your doctor about any supplements
you may be considering to lower your cholesterol, in order to avoid potentially harmful interactions. Thank you so much for watching this segment
of Straight Talk MD.

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