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Best Heart-Healthy Tips

Clyde Yancy, M.D., president of the American Heart Association, shares the simple secrets for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and achieving heart health.
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How to Lower Your Cholesterol
Dr. Clyde Yancy with daughters Nina and Kristin
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Diane McCormick/McCardinal Photo

Know Your Stats See your doctor to find out if your cholesterol is in the healthy range—less than 200 mg/dL. Your LDLs (the harmful cholesterol) should ideally be less than 100 mg/dL, while your HDLs (the "good" type) should be more than 60 mg/dL. Also evaluate your eating and exercise habits. Take a free heart-health assessment at heart.org/mylifecheck.com.

Get Moving People who begin a new exercise routine increase their HDLs. Every little bit helps—walking just two hours a week can improve cholesterol.

Watch the Fats If you consume about 2,000 calories a day, you should limit your total fat intake to 50 to 70 grams. But not all types are created equal. Reduce saturated fats in your diet to less than 16g per day and eliminate trans fats altogether. Concentrate on eating foods with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, like fish, nuts, and vegetable oil.

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