High cholesterol is a major risk factor for the development of a heart attack or stroke due to plaque formation in your arteries (atherosclerosis).

Here are some simple ways to reduce your cholesterol that are non prescription’ to start lowering your risk for heart attack and stroke:

  • Portion control: use your hand as a guide to the size of portions of meat (palm), fruit (fist), and veggies (cupped hand).
  • Serve up mostly heart healthy foods: 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
  • Go to the sea twice a week: eat fish twice a week, good for omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Whole grains: oatmeal or whole grain cereal to start your day and brown rice, quinoa or whole wheat pastas/breads.
  • Go nuts: a handful of almonds daily.
  • Unsaturated fats: you need 25-35% of your calories to come from fat, use only canola, olive and safflower oils.
  • Beans, beans: eat fewer potatoes and more beans.
  • Exercise: 30 minutes of vigorous activity 5 times a week and walk or take the stairs instead of driving or elevators.
  • If you are ‘eating out’ at a restaurant: pick a dish that is broiled, baked, steamed, or grilled, not deep fat fried.
  • Reduce your stress.
  • Lose weight.
  • Follow your Doctors’ advice.

Diet, exercise and weight loss are always ‘sure fire’ ways to help lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Here is also an extensive list of foods and other products known for lowering cholesterol:

Mayo Clinic Likely Effective List:

  • Artichoke
  • Barley
  • Beta Sitosterol-from certain margarines and ‘Promise’
  • Blond Psyllium-from seed husks and ‘Metamucil’
  • Garlic
  • Oat Bran-from oatmeal and whole oats
  • Sitostanol-from certain margarines and ‘Benecol’
  • Others-Fish oil, flaxseed (ground), green tea extract, red yeast rice

WebMD Effective List:

  • Niacin (Vitamin B3)
  • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
  • Kefir

WebMD Possibly Effective List:

  • Alfalfa
  • Almonds
  • ArtichokeAvocado
  • Barley
  • Beta Glucans
  • Chocolate
  • Flaxseed
  • Red Wine
  • Safflower
  • Soy
  • Post Fermentation (dark) Tea

Incorporate these recommendations and products/foods into your life and you can make a difference in reducing your risk for heart attack and stroke!