With the kind of stress laden, sedentary lifestyle that most of us lead today combined with erratic dietary habits, it is no surprise that cholesterol especially the ‘bad kind’ of LDL builds up in the body putting us in the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes etc.

So experts suggest getting your cholesterol measured every year at least once if you are past 40. To be healthy doctors suggest that you keep your LDL at 70 or less.

If you lead an active life then your LDL can be up to 130 but not more. However, doctors suggest that to be healthy you need to keep your HDL or the ‘good cholesterol’ high. So here are few tips to know how to optimize on your cholesterol levels.

1) Set a target, and start by managing your diet. Cut down on trans-fat, instead go for healthy oils like Olive or sunflower.

2) Practice portion control, and eat only that much as will fit in your fist. A palm size of meat or fish, a fist full of fruit, and cupped hand full of rice or pasta and vegetables

3) Eat antioxidant rich foods, and less fat.

4) Control your blood pressure, and try medication for that if you need to.

5) Get into an exercise routine to lower LDL and up HDL

6) Stock up on fish, fiber and whole grain foods that help up the HDL.

7) To lower LDL, drink green tea and stop smoking

8) Go nuts with almonds and walnuts. Extensive research has shown that if you eat a handful of the same daily you can bring down your cholesterol.