If you blame your high cholesterol on your ancestors, while it might be true, that fact won’t help you lower your cholesterol.

That’s not all that causes high cholesterol. A lot of people ask, “what causes high cholesterol?”

But if you let that stop you from taking the right steps toward a solution, you’re probably headed in the wrong direction.

And while genetics is the most common cause of high cholesterol, many other causes can be controlled with the right information and the right action.

We want to share some of the leading causes of high cholesterol and help you identify ways you can lower your bad cholesterol.

What Causes High Cholesterol? 7 Causes of High Cholesterol

Your Diet – Eating high amounts of saturated fat can cause high cholesterol. Saturated fat is found in many animal products including beef, pork, veal, milk, eggs, butter and cheese. Other foods high in saturated fat include packaged food made with coconut oil, palm oil or even cocoa butter, margarine, vegetable shortening and cookies, crackers, chips and other snacks.

Your Weight – Being overweight is going to lead to increased triglycerides and decreased HDL (good cholesterol). Individuals with a high body mass index tend to have higher levels of LDL cholesterol.

Your Activity Level – Feel like you don’t exercise enough? It could definitely be leading to extra LDL cholesterol. A lack of regular exercise can increase your “bad” cholesterol and decrease the good kind.

Your Age and Gender – Unfortunately, age is another factor that causes your cholesterol to rise. After you hit age 20, your cholesterol levels begin to rise naturally.

Your Health – Skipping your annual physical can leave you in the dark about your health in general. It can also leave you in the dark about your cholesterol levels that can be caused by certain diseases including diabetes or hypothyroidism.

Your Smoking – With so many risks involved, including the fact that it can lower your good cholesterol levels, just quit smoking if you smoke now. Smoking also damages your arterial walls that make them more susceptible to plaque buildup.

Your Family History – As mentioned earlier, this is the leading cause of high cholesterol. The inherited type of high blood pressure affects one in 500 people. It’s more likely the cause of your high cholesterol if you develop high cholesterol while you’re younger. Genetics can cause an abnormality that leads to the overproduction of cholesterol in the liver.

If any of these factors are causing you to have high cholesterol, you can take action.

What can you do to lower your high cholesterol?

Of course there are obvious steps you can take like exercising and eating better. But there are a few more steps that will help you lower your cholesterol.

What can you do to lower your cholesterol?

Consider a supplement – L-arginine Plus utilizes l-arginine and l-citrulline to boosts nitric oxide levels. Increased nitric oxide has been shown to strengthen arterial walls and help lower bad cholesterol.

Learn more about L-arginine Plus here

Avoid saturated fat – Avoiding saturated fat comes down to your diet as mentioned above. But you can also eat more smart fats. Eating more fish instead of red meat, eating healthier oils like canola oil or olive instead of vegetable oil, butter, margarine or shortening.

Eat more fiber – Dietary fiber can help lower bad cholesterol. Eating more fruits and vegetables and whole grains provide healthy fiber as well as antioxidants. The fiber acts like a sponge to soak up and get rid of cholesterol through the digestive tract.

Try more fish – Fish and fish oil are loaded with cholesterol-lowering omega-3 fatty acids. To get the benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids, eat fish two or three times a week. While other sources of omega-3s include soybeans, canola, flaxseeds, walnuts and the oils from those sources, the biggest benefits have been linked to the omega-3s found in fish.

The truth is even small steps can help lower your cholesterol levels. If you’re inactive, start moving toward better health with a small step toward being more active to get started toward lowering your cholesterol. You can also start adding fish to your diet, and you may want to consider taking L-arginine Plus.

Read more about getting and maintaining a healthy cholesterol level here.