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Millions of Americans live with heart disease. If being heart healthy is the goal, you need to have healthy cholesterol levels. Although your body needs cholesterol to make hormones and substances that help you digest foods, having high levels of cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. By simply adjusting to a healthier diet, you can drastically lower your chances of high cholesterol.


Eat more fiber

Try eating more foods that have oats, oat bran, barley, fruits and root vegetables, or whole-grain cereals. These foods are high in soluble fiber, which can bind to bile (which is made up of cholesterol) and remove it.


Eat less animal fats

Try to skip out on processed and fatty red meats such as salami, pepperoni, ribs and fatty cuts of beef. Also, try to avoid full-fat dairy products like butter, whole milk, cheese or cream. These foods contain more saturated fats, and are associated with plaque buildup and high blood cholesterol.


Eat more vegetables

Substitute animal protein for more plant-based proteins like tofu, quinoa, beans or lentils. You can add these into your meals to decrease your saturated fat intake while increasing your fiber intake.


Eat healthier carbs

Carbohydrates that are higher in fiber will give you the energy you need for the day, while also making you feel full. This includes fruit, lentils, oatmeal or whole grain starches. Having a low-carb diet can also reduce cardiovascular problems, as well as help with weight loss.

Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.

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