If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may suggest a heart-healthy diet and medication. This is especially true if you already have heart or blood vessel disease or have had a stroke. By lowering your cholesterol, you can lower your risk of having another heart attack or stroke. Your doctor will almost always have you try a type of medicine called statins first. If that is not enough, other medicines can be added to further lower your risk.

Everyone benefits from a heart-healthy lifestyle. This includes eating vegetables, fruits, and whole grains and healthy proteins. Soybeans, nuts, and certain vegetable oils are also good for your heart. Cutting back on sweets, sweet drinks, and red meat is also good for you. People who are overweight may also want to cut back on calories. This can help lower their weight. Normal weight people have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.

People who have had a heart attack or stroke benefit from lowering their LDL-C. This is the “bad” type of cholesterol. It is low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). Doctors like to see the LDL-C level cut in half after a heart attack or stroke. They do this with medicines called statins. If statins are not enough, they may add another drug called ezetimibe. If your risk of another heart attack or stroke is very high, your doctor may add a newer drug called a PCSK9 inhibitor, too.

Make a start, lower your cholesterol and help your heart!