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    Experts suggest the following steps to maintain serum cholesterol within normal limits: an important component is to maintain a normal weight for height and to reduce one's weight if it is inappropriate for height. Changing dietary habits by reducing the amount of fat and cholesterol consumed is advised. Doctors recommend avoiding smoking by not starting or quitting if currently a smoker. Increasing levels of fiber in the diet by including foods such as beans, raw fruits, whole grains and vegetables is receommended. It is important to exercise on a regular basis. Aerobic exercise is especially helpful in reducing serum cholesterol levels.

    People from families with a strong history of early heart attacks should be evaluated with a lipid screen. Proper diet, exercise and the use of effective drugs can reduce serum lipid levels.

    Nutrition and cardiac experts offer the following suggestions:

    • purchasing low-fat or fat-free dairy products such as milk, cheese, sour cream, and yogurt
    • eating lean red meats, chicken without skin, and fish
    • reducing consumption of foods high in saturated fat such as french fries
    • avoid foods that are rich sources of cholesterol such as eggs, liver, cheese, and bacon
    • eating smaller servings
    • keeping a food journal and writing down everything eaten each day
    • prepare food by microwaving, boiling, broiling, or baking food instead of frying
    • trimming the fat from meat before cooking it.

    Source: The Gale Group. Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 3rd ed.";

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