(Also Called ‘Erectile Dysfunction and Lifestyle Changes: Diet and Exercise – Care & Treatment’) There are now a number of epidemiologic studies that suggest a link between erectile dysfunction (ED) and obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. The following recommendations may play a role in the prevention of ED or improvement (if the problem is already present): Eat a healthful diet. A diet that limits saturated fat intake and includes several portions of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can benefit men with ED. Reduce cholesterol. High cholesterol can harden, narrow, or block the arteries (atherosclerosis) leading to the penis. Men can lower cholesterol through diet, exercise, and medication. Maintain a healthy weight. As noted above, overweight men are more likely to have ED. Exercise regularly. Regular exercise may reduce the risk of ED. Choose exercises that you enjoy and will make a regular part of your day. In addition to reducing the risk of ED, exercise also can help you manage stress. Check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.