Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Advice Needed- The Cholesterol Question

One of my family members recently found out that they have high cholesterol. Instead of going on meds, they are trying to make lifestyle changes first. I am looking for any information you can give me on how to prevent and or lower high cholesterol. I know that many of you deal with high cholesterol and would love to hear what you have to say. Any good recipes you would suggest? What foods do you avoid? What foods should you eat more of?

Any advice would be much appreciated!


  1. If you want your HDL to go up, you exercise and eat saturated fat.

    If you want your triglycerides to go down, you give up gluten and/or reduce starches/carbs.

    If you want a healthier LDL pattern, you lower carbs.

    That's the profile I GO FOR, not a lower total. I'm more intersted in those markers directly tied to heart disease--inflammation, low HDL, high triglycerides, small density LDL.

    I have high cholesterol by regular standards --254 total. But my HDL is high, triglycerides are low, and LDL pattern is A, meaning my heart disease risk is lower. :D

    Going on statins can be pretty icky--I was on them for years and the muscle pain and forgetfulness were daunting. Then they started to damage my liver. Off them, my cholesterol hovered arouund 209 to 213. BUT..HDL was low and triglycerides higher = heart disease risk.

    Now, I"m about a healthier profile, not a total lower cholesterol. I'd like to have a lower total, say 180 or 200, but I'm in the weight loss stage, so I'll wait to see when I'm at maintenance.

    I'd advise researching what is actually a healthy cholesterol profile, then how to get it. Resources abound online. I might point you to The Heart Scan Blog/Track Your Plaque, written by a cardiologist with a parctic in, er, oh, I forget. MN?


  2. Vegan diets are cholesterol free. I know veganism is not realistic for everyone but reducing the amount if animal products you consume (meat, eggs and dairy) will reduce your cholesterol. (Anyone's cholesterol, I know this was for a family member)
    There are millions of vegan recipes out there to get some ideas... Just Google it. I like Hope that helps :)

  3. I highly recommend the American Heart Association website - full of great information. It was a wonderful resource when my husband had heart issues which resulted from high cholestrol & clogged arteries. :( We met with a registered dietician who gave us wonderful handouts on cuts of meats / foods to limit / etc.

  4. My husband's cholesterol was high when he had his physical back in June. Not high enough to need meds, but enough that she advised him to watch his diet. She mentioned limiting carbs and red meat specifically, and adding exercise to boost his good cholesterol. He's sorta compliant, mostly because I do most of the cooking, but not on the exercise.

    Best advice is to do some research and be consistent. Not like Mr. D :(

  5. I'm on the thin side and I have high LDL Cholesterol (which my understanding is the one that is bad to have high). My doctor recommended 1200 mg fish oil tablets, which I forget to take along with my vitamins. Eeek. It's interesting b/c it's not just an issue if you have a weight problem which I think a lot of people including me think.

  6. EXERCISE + oatmeal, omega 3's and nuts. Those are the three I usually tell people to increase in their diet. Watch other fats and most processed foods are going to be higher in cholesterol than the natural foods from the ground! Of course.

    Good luck to your family member and hope they are able to lower it without meds. Exercise is usually key when it comes to lowering blood pressure and high cholesterol. My husband had both at age 30 and now that he changed his way of life, he's healthier than he's EVER been :)



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