Weight Loss, Diets and Nutrition

The Role of Diet in Treating High Cholesterol and Related Conditions

High lipid levels are treated with diet and exercise, and in certain circumstances, drugs are also prescribed. Drugs reduce levels either by affecting the way the body absorbs fat from the intestine, or by stopping the liver producing too much cholesterol. However, drugs are not seen as an alternative to lifestyle changes, as they are more effective when combined with dietary change, and as they can have adverse side effects. Furthermore, dietary change can deliver other benefits beyond cholesterol reduction, for both the health of the heart and for health in general.

The aims of dietary treatment are:

- To help prevent narrowing of the arteries by reducing the levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood
- To increase the levels of certain protective fats in the blood
- To achieve a healthier weight and reduce the waist to hip ratio

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