High cholesterol can lead to heart disease, and possibly even heart attack. Diet, weight, and physical activity are huge factors in how high or how low your cholesterol levels are.
Here are a few basic facts about high cholesterol.
The American Heart Association recommends having a total cholesterol level of less than 200 mg/dL. HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or 'good' cholesterol readings should be more than 60 mg/dL to reduce the risk of heart disease. LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or 'bad' cholesterol should remain at less than 100 mg/dL. Your LDL reading is actually a better indicator of your risk for heart attack than your total cholesterol reading is.
Having high blood pressure, smoking, and being overweight are all factors that contribute to heart disease, so be sure and talk to your doctor about how you can change your diet and lifestyle to lower your risk for heart disease.
Increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables you ingest is a good place to start. Barley and whole grains, eggplant, and okra contain high levels of soluble fiber that decrease chances of developing heart disease. Apples, grapes, strawberries, and citrus fruits also contain pectin, a type of soluble fiber that lowers LDL.