10 ways to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly “1 in 2 U.S. adults (116 million people) have high blood pressure” and “about 3 in 4 of people with high blood pressure (hypertension) don't have it under control.”

  • Coronary artery disease, such as heart attach
  • Stroke
  • Retinopathy (eye damage)
  • Nephropathy (kidney damage)
  • Heart failure
  • Dementia

What you eat really can help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure levels. It just takes a couple of easy switches and food substitutions to make a big difference in your cholesterol levels. Try these ten tips recommended by the American Heart Association*.

  1. Eat a heart-healthy diet low in saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars. A healthy diet includes various fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, skinless poultry, fish/seafood, legumes (beans and peas), and nontropical vegetable oils and nuts. 
  2. Eat at least 8 ounces of non-fried fish each week, particularly fatty fish like salmon.
  3. Limit red meats. If you eat red meats, select lean cuts of meat. Trim all visible fat and throw away the fat that cooks out of the meat.
  4. Substitute meatless or “low-meat” dishes for regular entrees.
  5. Aim to consume less than 1,500 mg per day of sodium. Even reducing your daily intake by 1,000 mg per day can help. Limit your intake of processed, packaged, and fast foods, which can be high in sodium.
  6. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. If you’re a woman, have no more than one drink a day. If you’re a man, have no more than two drinks a day.
  7. Be physically active. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week (or a combination of both).
  8. Reach and maintain a healthy weight.
  9. Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke.
  10. Take your medicines as prescribed by your health care professional.  

Firelands Cholesterol Clinic

If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol and are interested in learning more about this disease, how to effectively treat it and possible alternative treatments, download the Cholesterol Clinic Referral Form at the Firelands Cholesterol Clinic webpage. 

The clinic staff consists of clinical pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and a registered nurse with specialized cardiac care training. Any patient with a high cholesterol diagnosis may enroll in the cholesterol clinic with a physician referral from a physician that you plan to continue to visit at least once a year.

The cholesterol clinic is conveniently located on the second floor of the Firelands Regional Medical Center main campus, 1221 Hayes Ave., Suite B. For more information, visit:  https://www.firelands.com/care-treatment/health-clinics/cholesterol-clinic/

*Reference:  https://www.heart.org/-/media/files/health-topics/answers-by-heart/ls_chol_howmonitercbpw_2018.pdf?la=e