Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in your blood. Your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, but high levels of cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease.

With high cholesterol, you can develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels. Eventually, these deposits grow, making it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries.

Sometimes, those deposits can break suddenly and form a clot that causes a heart attack or stroke.

High cholesterol can be inherited, but it’s often the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices, which make it preventable and treatable.

A healthy diet, regular exercise and sometimes medication can help reduce high cholesterol.

Lifestyle changes to improve your cholesterol

If you already take medications, these changes can improve their cholesterol-lowering effect.

  1. Eat heart-healthy foods
  2. Exercise on most days of the week and increase your physical activity
  3. Quit smoking
  4. Lose weight
  5. Drink alcohol only in moderation