Did you know... that 4 out of 10 Canadians have an unhealthy cholesterol level? Too much “bad” cholesterol can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. Learn how to keep your levels at target.

What is cholesterol?

Our bodies produce cholesterol, which helps our bodies work properly. We also get it from some of the foods we eat. Some types of cholesterol include:
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL) – the “good” cholesterol that you’ll want to keep high (remember “H” for high)
  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – the “bad” cholesterol that you’ll want to keep low (remember “L” for low)

Cholesterol risk factors

Some risk factors for high cholesterol
  • Not enough exercise
  • Eating a diet high in saturated and trans fat
  • Diabetes
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Age
  • Family history of high cholesterol
Who should have cholesterol checked?
  • Men aged 40 and up
  • Women aged 50 and up or post-menopausal
  • People with diabetes
  • Anyone with a family history of heart disease or stroke, and certain other health conditions
  • If you are overweight
  • Current cigarette smokers


Diet and cholesterol

Diet can help control cholesterol
  • Plan a meal around meat substitutes like lentils and beans
  • Choose leaner cuts of meat
  • Remove the skin from poultry
  • Eat fish (fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, and trout) twice a week
  • Choose egg whites
  • Choose low-fat dairy products
  • Avoid foods with unhealthy trans fats
  • Use small amounts of vegetable oil (olive, canola, sunflower) and margarine
  • Prepare foods without adding fat. Roast, steam, broil and bake instead.


Diet tips

TIP: Eat more vegetables, fruit, whole grains and legumes
Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide recommends the following servings for most adults:
  • 7-10 daily servings of vegetables and fruit
  • 6-8 daily servings of grains
TIP: Eat less trans fats and saturated fats


Weight control

If you are overweight, you may have higher levels of “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and less “good” (HDL) cholesterol.

  • Fad diets are not a healthy approach to losing weight
  • Lose weight gradually by eating healthy food
  • Watch meal portions

Quit smoking

Smoking can lower the amount of “good” cholesterol in your blood and increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. The Pharmacist at Walmart can help you quit smoking.


Physical exercise

Regular physical exercise has many benefits:
  • Helps increase your “good” cholesterol
  • Helps control your blood pressure, weight, and blood sugar (if you have diabetes)
  • Acts as a stress-reliever
If you haven’t been active:
  • Start by doing 10 minutes of exercise a day
  • Work up to 30 minutes or more each day
Activities that work your leg muscles and pump oxygen are best – your heart is beating faster and getting stronger (e.g., brisk walking, swimming, biking, running and aerobics). Check first with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.



Your doctor may prescribe medication to lower your cholesterol. It is important to take the medication as directed and report any side effects. Your Walmart Pharmacist can help you learn more about your medications.
Take medication(s) as prescribed by your doctor.


Questions to ask

Here are some questions you may want to ask your doctor or the Walmart Pharmacist about cholesterol:
  • Do I have risk factors for high cholesterol?
  • What practical steps can I take to reach my target total cholesterol number?
  • How often should I have my cholesterol checked?
  • Besides cholesterol, are there other changes I can make that will reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke?
  • Is my cholesterol therapy the best for me?


Important information

Your Walmart Pharmacist can help you manage high cholesterol. Just ask!

This information should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your doctor. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances. If you have questions about your symptoms, ask the Pharmacist at Walmart for more information, and/or contact your doctor.

This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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