If your cholesterol numbers come up high, your doctor may want to put you on medication. But many cholesterol issues can be solved simply by changing what you eat!

Harvard Health News published a list of 15 tips for lowering cholesterol naturally. These steps should be taken before considering cholesterol medication.

15 Tips for Lowering Cholesterol

8. Eat fruits and vegetables. To protect your heart, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

9. Go for nuts. Nuts are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. They’re a healthful and filling source of protein, but go easy on them; they have lots of calories, so too much could cause weight gain.

10. Add fish to your diet. Countries with high fish consumption have a lower risk of death from all causes as well as from cardiovascular disease. Like nuts, oily fish contain the essential fatty acids known as omega-3s and omega-6s. Since our bodies can’t make these, we have to eat foods that contain them to gain their benefits, which include improved cholesterol levels.

11. Reduce salt intake. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Diets high in salt increase risk of hypertension.

12. Avoid trans fats. According to the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board, there are no redeeming qualities to trans fats, and no safe levels. They raise LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol. The National Cholesterol Education Program urges people to eat as little as possible. Avoid or eat only very small quantities of foods that list hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil among their first ingredients. These products contain a lot of trans fat.

To read the rest of the list, click here.

It’s your job to be an advocate for your heart and your health, and that includes knowledge. Stay updated on the latest research and best natural remedies so that you can make informed decisions about your health.