How to treat borderline high cholesterol

Borderline cholesterol occurs when the low-density lipoprotein levels (LDL), known as bad cholesterol, are between 200 to 239mg/dl in your body. That level indicates you are at risk for developing high cholesterol.

High levels of LDL in the body are due to the LDL sticking to your arterial walls and reduces the body's ability to pump blood. As the bodywork harder to pump blood through your arteries, blood clots and the risk of heart disease increase. Exercise and a heart-healthy diet are essential for reducing your cholesterol levels and increasing high-density lipoproteins (HDL) levels to flush out the bad cholesterol.

Avoid red meat. Though high in protein, red meat including beef and pork are high in saturated fat and contribute to your LDL levels. Eat salmon, halibut, mackerel or albacore tuna as they are high in protein and reduce low-density lipoprotein levels.

Switch to low-cholesterol foods. Fat-free milk, lean cuts of meat and egg whites are healthy substitutes that provide nutrients without the unhealthy cholesterol.

Eliminate butter. Replace butter or margarine with olive oil, peanut oil or canola, as butter is loaded with saturated fat. Cooking oils provides monounsaturated fatty acids, which contribute to healthy arteries. Trans fat, commonly known as partially hydrogenated oils, is found in fatty and fried foods and raises bad cholesterol levels.

Increase whole grains. Whole-grain foods (bread, cereal, pasta) reduce bad cholesterol in your arteries.

Exercise daily. Thirty minutes of cardiovascular activity such as running, brisk walks and aerobic exercise promote circulation and reduce cholesterol, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).

Limit alcohol. Alcoholic beverages when consumed in moderation lowers the risk of heart disease, according to the AHA; but it can increase the risk of high blood pressure when more than one drink is consumed daily. Twelve ounces of beer, 236ml of malt liquor, 142gr of wine or 425gr of liquor is equal to one drink, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Quit smoking. Smoking reduces your HDL levels, which puts your health at risk as bad cholesterol is able to accumulate in your arteries when there isn't enough good cholesterol to clear out plaque, according to the AHA.