Drugs are an effective way to lower cholesterol, but lifestyle changes can also make a difference. Your doctor can advise you best about your choices.

Either way, try to at heart-healthy foods. Avoid saturated fats, found mostly in red meat and dairy products. Use monosaturated oils such as olive and canola. Eat a diet rich in soluble fiber, including  beans, oats, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and other foods. Consuming nuts and avocados may cause a slight decrease in cholesterol, but don’t go overboard with these high calorie foods.

If you are overweight, try to drop some pounds. Even losing a little weight can lower your cholesterol levels. Also, try to exercise every day for 30 or more minutes.  American Heart Month is a good time to learn how to lower your risk of heart disease.