Changing your diet and lifestyle is probably the most effective steps you should take to lower your cholesterol levels.
The first thing you need to do it to lower your carbohydrates intake. Cut down on carbohydrate rich food such as bread, rice, pasta, cereals, potatoes and corn as excess intake are converter into sugar and then into cholesterol in our body.
Increase your intake of fiber. Fiber helps to reabsorbed some of the bile (which is composed partly of cholesterol) in the intestine which is excreted during regular bowel movement. Two good sources of fiber are oats and psyllium. Legumes such as kidney bean and lentils are also an excellent source of fiber. So are nuts such as pecan, almonds, Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds. You can also get a lot of fiber by consuming a lot of vegetables such as cucumbers and tomatoes and fruits such as apples and pears.
And do not forget to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water for healthy bowel movement.
You should also increase your omega 3 fats intake which you can get from fishes and vegetable sources such as walnuts, green leafy vegetable and tofu.
Saturated fat such as those found in meat and butter are okay as long as they are taken in moderation. You should however make a real effort to cut down on trans fats. Trans fats increase LDL or "Bad" cholesterol and decrease our HDL or "Good" cholesterol. Most of the trans fats we get comes from vegetable oils that are not cold pressed or extra virgin.
Most vegetable oils are produced using a process that damages the oil and convert some of them into trans fats. Also to convert liquid vegetable oil into a harder form, they go through another process called hydrogenation which is forcing hydrogen atoms into the oil under high pressure and temperature further damaging the oil. An example of a hydrogenated fat made from vegetable oil is margarine. Also avoid deep friend food as the frying process creates a large amount of oxidized fats rich in trans fats.
If you base your diet on salads and vegetables, lean meat, fish, chicken, eggs along with a small amount of nuts and seeds, legumes and good fats such as olive oil, you should be able to lower your LDL or "Bad" cholesterol and triglycerides levels.
Other than changes to your diet, you should exercise more. Three (3) to four (4) thirty (30) minutes session a week should be sufficient. And if you are a smoker, quit!
These are the steps that you should take to lower your cholesterol levels.