Treatment for high cholesterol is not only about lowering cholesterol levels. Instead, it’s about reducing risk for heart disease if possible.
People who are at higher risk for heart disease are advised to follow some general measures as part of their treatment. These include:
- Not smoking.
- Reducing the amount of saturated fats in the diet.
- Getting a lot of exercise.
- Losing weight.
The TLC Diet:
- Less than 7 percent of daily calories from saturated fat.
- No more than 25 to 35 percent of daily calories should come from all fats.
- Less than 200 mg of cholesterol per day.
- Foods high in soluble fiber: Whole-grain cereals, such as oatmeal, fruits, and legumes such as chick peas and lentils.
As with other kinds of treatment, when assessing medications it is not enough to look only at how they affect cholesterol levels. So far, only one group of medications, called statins, have been studied for the treatment of high cholesterol in people who have not had a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular disease. Statins have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels, but also seem to have other positive effects on blood vessels.
Other groups of cholesterol-lowering medicine: bile acid sequestrants, nicotinic acid, fibrates, and ezetimibe. Even with medication, the TLC diet should be continued. High cholesterol medicine is not a cure, therefore a healthy lifestyle must be continued to keep cholesterol lower.