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High levels of very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or VLDL cholesterol, can contribute to atherosclerosis, so lowering levels in the blood can help contribute to overall health. One of the best ways to do so is to eat a healthy diet, including plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains; limiting simple carbohydrates and saturated fat is also very important as they can trigger a rise in VLDL. Losing weight can also often help, as high VLDL cholesterol levels are many times associated with obesity. Other good tips include exercising on a daily basis and avoiding alcohol. If these steps do not work, cholesterol-lowering medications may be a good option.
Eating a healthy diet is critical to reducing VLDL cholesterol. Foods that are high in fiber like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are known to have a positive impact. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish are also a good choice, as well as nuts, beans, and healthy oils like olive or safflower. It is also important to minimize the amount of simple carbohydrates consumed, such as processed white bread, pasta, and crackers, as well as sweets like candy or cookies, as these can cause VLDL cholesterol levels to spike. Foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats like eggs, high-fat meats, and fried food should be eaten sparingly as well.
Another good tip for decreasing VLDL-type cholesterol is to lose weight. High VLDL levels are often associated with being overweight or obese, and losing extra pounds can help bring them down. In addition to eating a healthy diet, it may be useful to find a diet plan that will reduce overall calorie intake as well.
Exercise may also bring down VLDL cholesterol levels. Adding activities like walking, running, or biking to one's daily routine can decrease VLDL, as well as increase HDL, or high-density lipoprotein, which is good for health. A consistent exercise routine may also help with weight loss.
Cutting back on alcohol is another strategy that can help reduce VLDL cholesterol. Drinking is known to increase triglyceride levels in the body. Though having a drink or two may not be harmful for most people, those concerned about their cholesterol levels may want to consider avoiding it entirely.
For those who do not have success with these methods, medication may be needed. Cholesterol-lowering drugs are available that can help decrease VLDL levels. These may include statins and nicotinic acid.