Ten Tips for Lower Cholesterol

Here are 10 ways to help keep your cholesterol – and your family’s lipids – at healthy levels: 

  • Parents: Know your own cholesterol level. If it's high, ask to have your kids' levels checked.
  • Eat a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Eat a variety of protein-rich foods, including lean meats and poultry, fish, nuts, beans, peas, and soy products.
  • Read nutrition facts labels to limit your intake of cholesterol and saturated and trans fats. Don’t let unhealthy foods past the front door.
  • The 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommend keeping dietary fat intake between 30%-40% for kids 1-3 years old and between 25%-35% for kids 4-18 years old, with most fats coming from sources of unsaturated fats (fish, nuts, and vegetable oils).
  • For kids over 2 years old and teens:
                 -Limit cholesterol to less than 300 milligrams a day.
                 -Keep saturated fats to less than 10% of calories.
                  -Avoid trans fats as much as possible.
  • Choose nonfat or low-fat milk and dairy products.
  • Stay away from solid fats. Use vegetable oils and trans-fat-free margarine.
  • Teens: Limit beverages and foods with added sugars, and limit your intake of fried foods.
  • Limit commercially prepared baked goods and serve healthy snacks such as fresh fruit, vegetables with low-fat dip, light popcorn, and low-fat yogurt.
  • Encourage everyone to get plenty of exercise. Exercise helps boost HDL levels in the blood — and that's a good thing!
  • Kids and teens should be physically active at least 60 minutes a day.
  • Make living healthier a family affair.
  • The steps you take to improve your family's lifestyle can have a positive effect on your family's health now and far into the future!