How to create and follow a low-cholesterol diet

Your food habits can affect your cholesterol levels, but ultimately lifestyle changes and making heart-healthy diet choices are personal decisions. However, by eating low-fat and high-fiber foods, consuming foods that contain "good" fats, and reducing your sodium intake, you may be able to lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol, lose weight, and even feel better about yourself.

Adjusting the food you eat and modifying the recipes you follow may help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol. To help you out, we’ve included below a few ways you can get started on a heart-healthy diet. Following a diet such as this and regular exercise are two parts of a cholesterol-lowering lifestyle. To further reduce your risk of a heart attack or a stroke, your doctor may recommend a statin, like LIVALO.

Eat more foods with soluble fiber

Some examples of foods high in soluble fiber are peas, legumes, apples, oranges, pears, berries, broccoli, and oatmeal.

Certain fats can be good

Replacing a higher-carbohydrate diet with one that’s rich in mainly monounsaturated fat (the type of fat found in almonds, avocados, and olive oil) can help improve cholesterol levels. Choose foods that contain omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, which are actually good for your health. The most common kind of omega-3 fatty acid can be found in certain types of fish (particularly fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and albacore tuna), vegetable oils, flax seeds and flaxseed oil, nuts (especially walnuts), and leafy green vegetables.

Eat less trans fat and saturated fat

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Saturated fats tend to mainly come from animal-based food such as poultry, red meat, and whole-fat dairy products, whereas most trans fats come from partially hydrogenated oils used in many kinds of processed food. Both of these types of fats raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol; trans fats are even worse than saturated fat because they raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduce your HDL (good) cholesterol.

Smarter food preparation

Instead of frying, try boiling, grilling, roasting, or poaching. Before serving, be sure to drain any fat that appears after cooking.

Check your salt (sodium) intake

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that Americans ingest too much salt (sodium). Consuming high amounts of sodium raises blood pressure, and high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

Watch out for empty calories

Foods that have empty calories (like soda, cookies, and ice cream) should be avoided since they’re loaded with sugar and/or fat and have few essential vitamins and minerals.

Heart-healthier recipe redo

If you think you have to give up your favorite recipes to lower your cholesterol—think again! Substituting ingredients is a smart way to turn a favorite dish into a new, heart-healthier meal. By switching from high-fat to lower-fat (or even no-fat) ingredients, you can reduce your saturated and trans fat intake without sacrificing flavor. The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests:

Don't Use Use Instead
Whole milk (1 cup)
  • 1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk plus 1 tablespoon of liquid vegetable oil
Heavy cream (1 cup)
  • 1 cup evaporated skim milk, or
  • 1/2 cup low-fat yogurt and 1/2 cup plain low-fat unsalted, cottage cheese
Sour cream
  • Fat-free sour cream, or
  • Low-fat unsalted cottage cheese plus low-fat or fat-free yogurt
Cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons soft margarine (low in saturated fat and 0 grams trans fat) blended with 1 cup dry, unsalted low-fat cottage cheese; add a small amount of fat-free milk, if needed
Butter (1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon soft margarine (low in saturated fat and 0 grams trans fat), or
  • 3/4 tablespoon liquid vegetable oil
Unsweetened baking chocolate (1 ounce)
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder or carob* powder plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
*Carob is sweeter than cocoa, so reduce the sugar in the recipe by 25% when using carob.
Source: American Heart Association. Smart Substitutions to Eat Healthy. https://healthyforgood.heart.org/Eat-smart/Articles/Smart-Substitutions-to-Eat-Healthy. Accessed September 8, 2017.

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Savings Card Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible?
Most patients are eligible. The Savings Card works with insurance (commercial or private), and also can be used by patients without insurance (cash-paying patients). The Savings Card can be used at retail pharmacy locations, as well as at mail-order pharmacies. Use of this Card does not create any obligation or involve any past or future purchase requirement. Please see eligibility criteria, along with offer terms, on the Savings Card.

Who is not eligible?
You are not eligible if your prescriptions are paid by any state or federally funded programs, such as (but not limited to) Medicare, Medicaid, Medigap, VA, DOD, or TriCare; or where prohibited by law. See complete eligibility criteria, along with offer terms, on the Savings Card.

How does it work at retail pharmacies?

  1. If eligible, simply present your LIVALO Savings Card with your LIVALO prescription to your pharmacist.
  2. Then, pay as little as $18 a month for LIVALO. The Savings Card will save you on co-pay balances that exceed $18 (up to a maximum of $75 off of each 30-day supply). The Card does not have an expiration date or limit on refills. At some pharmacies, there may already be an offer for you that may automatically apply at checkout. If you believe you are eligible for savings and have any questions while at the pharmacy, call the LIVALO Savings Card Help Line at 1-877-264-2440.
  3. It’s a good idea to keep your Savings Card with you. Do not leave it with the pharmacy.

How does it work at mail-order pharmacies?
For 30-day supplies, coverage is the same as noted above. For 90-day supplies, the Savings Card will cover up to a maximum of $225 off per order. To get a rebate, go to patientrebateonline.com or call the LIVALO Savings Card Help Line at 1-877-264-2440.

If I’m eligible for the offer, are there instances when I’d pay more than $18?
For each 30-day supply, you will be responsible for $18, plus any amount that exceeds the $75 discount.

What if I still have questions?
Call the LIVALO Savings Card Help Line at 1-877-264-2440 with questions.