C.G. asks from Fort Worth, TX on May 07, 2010
Do You Moms Have Tips on Lowering Cholesterol ?
So I got my results back and my cholesterol level is in the slightly high range. I'm 50 pounds overweight (I'm working on that) but I was wondering aside from exercise, what natural methods do you ladies use to lower or keep yours low? maybe there are herbs at the naturist store I don't know about or specific foods I could try?
This is the first time I get my cholesterol above normal levels and I'm a little freaked out about heart disease, I'm 34 and healthy otherwise. Any tips would be greatly appreciated, thanks everyone for your advice!
3 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
I'm so grateful for all the responses, I've read everyone and see a lot of flax seed and fish oil recommendations. also policosanol(sp?) I will def look into those and try them aside from exercise alone. well to give you a little more background, I do not consume any type of fast food, I hate fast food I can't stand the over processed full of chemicals taste in my mouth, my problem is I loooove sweets (I'm not willing to die for them though). I have my coffe in the morning with lots of sugar and high calorie sandwiches or cakes. I do not have lunch until 3pm and eat nothing in between breakfast and lunch. I have a heavy dinner around 9pm, eventhough I do not eat fast food or sodas, I hate sodas too, I know my eating habits are horrible. I get depressed about it since I have only recently become overweight(after my 2nd pregnancy)
in fact I had tried going vegetarian before and lasted two months, I have to admit I never felt so healthy before as I did those two months.
I loved salads , veggies, and fruits but also love cheese, bread, ham and red meat. I have huge arguments with my husband because he does NOT believe in organic products and refuses to buy anything organic or anything from a decent brand, it's not his fault I'm overweight since he is not putting food in my mouth but I would love to have his support so I can get closer to my pre pregnancy weight.
I take this very seriously and as someone said if I'm overweight I'm not healthy otherwise, I just don't want to panic and start stress eating ugh such a vicious cycle.
I will keep you guys posted of my efforts, and will def try you all's tips, I need consistency in my diet and will power in my life in general.
thank you all so much again, and have a happy weekend everyone,
E.M. answers from Dallas on May 08, 2010
Hi I worked in a cardiac unit at a hospital for 3 years, and the one thing all of the cardiologists told there patients about lowering cholesterol is to take fish oil pills. My husband also has high cholesterol and I had him start taking it. It has worked very well. The cardiologist he saw doesnt like to rush just putting you on medication definetly diet and excercise and fish oil is what he recommends. I hope that helps!!!
J.B. answers from Tyler on May 08, 2010
Can I add one more?? I take timed-release Red Yeast Rice along with Coq10. One of each every day. I've lowered my cholesterol about 20 pts. I've never been bad about eating fatty foods, so there wasn't a whole lot for me to cut out. This simple supplement addition works for me.
M.O. answers from Chicago on May 07, 2010
Start the day with a healthy breakfast, whole grain, raw fruits, oatmeal (regular plain with your own fresh fruit added). Don't forget about nuts! They have proteins and good oils in them. Limit all foods after 7pm...try to just drink water.
Just remember that most packaged items have significant amounts of sugars, sodium, etc. that just add to an unhealthy lifestyle and problems for your body to lose weight, keep your blood pumping and organs functioning properly. I tell my kids "God's packaging". It's a simple way to remember that if it comes in a box, plastic bag, or pull off aluminum top it's NOT God's packaging.
Drink lots of water. Again, "other" drinks have tons of sugar, sodium, caffeine, etc. All of which make your body sluggish and not work at it's peak performance.
Exercise...I'm not talking join a gym, I'm talking start simple. Park far away from the grocery store, and walk the length of the parking lot, take the stairs, move EVERYDAY. A 10 minute walk at lunchtime, plus that walk through the parking lot, plus the stairs adds up quickly.
Just like all of this craziness with the economy you probably knew all of this, it's just a matter of planning healthy meals, keeping junk food out of the house and watching your portions (including snacks).
Finally, take a fish oil supplement. We buy the big container at CostCo that offers the most fish oil per capsule for the price. Think of the oil as lubing your arteries. Bad stuff can't stick! If you add the fish oil and nuts you will be helping your body clear out some of the bad stuff.
If you do a quick internet search you should be able to find a list of healthful foods to add to your next shopping list. There are tons out there with what to include and what to avoid.
Just by following some of this simple rules we've done quite well in living a healthier lifestyle without having to FOCUS too much on calories, cholesterol, weight, etc.
Back to basics! You'll do great!
2 moms found this helpful
R.H. answers from Colorado Springs on May 07, 2010
Fruits and vegetables and lots of fiber from whole grains, like oats. If you can manage to eat five servings of vegetables in a day (equals 2 1/2 cups total, or for green leafy vegetables 1 cup = one serving) and 3 servings of fruit, that alone will dramatically lower cholesterol. If you can manage to eat 1/2 cups of oats in a day you'll do even more. Replace butter with olive oil. Avoid trans-fats like they are the plague. Many labels will say 0 trans-fat but they can actually have up to .4 grams and still label "zero". So read the ingredients and if you see partially hydrogenated oil on the list, it has trans-fat and don't buy it. This also goes for restaurants. Do not order anything fried or processed from a restaurant--- they are loaded with trans-fats. Don't eat fast-food for the saem reason. If you eat out, stick to grilled items and steamed vegetables.
Really, the biggest impact is going to be made by diet. The more fiber you eat, the lower your cholesterol will go. The more trans-fats and saturated fat foods you eat, the higher your cholesterol will be. There is a genetic component to cholesterol, but most people who eat plenty of vegetables, fruit, and stay away from processed foods don't even really have to worry about the saturated fats they eat to keep a cholesterol in the right range.
(FWIW, my cholesterol always ranges in the high one hundred range--- LDL usually 95-100, HDL usually 70-90 and triglycerides in the 50s. I eat plenty of saturated fats in the form of grass-fed beef, organic chicken, bacon and a ton of locally grown and farm purchased free range eggs, about four a day. However, I absolutely refuse to eat processed food, no transfats and a minimum of 8 servings of fruits/vegetables a day plus whole grains only. I've never had to restrict saturated fats in order to keep my cholesterol level in the healthy range. If I had a genetic issue and this wasn't enough, I would then start to eliminate things like eggs and limit beef and other sources of saturated fats).
2 moms found this helpful
D.B. answers from Tampa on May 07, 2010
The first thing is to watch your diet, but you probably already knew that even before you posted your question! That being said, I recently heard...can't remember if it was from a doctor or from a continuing education program (I'm a pharmacist)... that your cholesterol level is only 20% determined by diet. For me, having a strong family history of heart disease, being 44, and having LDLs in the 150s, it was an easy choice to go on Lipitor. If you don't know what the different numbers (LDL, HDL, TG) mean, have someone explain the breakdown to you so you know exactly what you're trying to reduce. Different kinds of cholesterol respond to different meds/supplements.
Fish oil is probably the number one recommendation I would make, as long as you have no ethical (vegan, vegetarian) problems with it. I hate the taste of fish, but have found that there are some varieties out there that I don't notice the taste as much. Be sure you take it with a meal that has a decent amount of fat in it, and that will help. I stick with the good brands. you pay a little more, but with the risk of mercury in fish products, I feel more comfortable paying the money to have a pharmaceutical grade product.
Flax seed is recommended as well. You can get the ground flax and add it to many things... oatmeal, cereal, pancakes, smoothies... or you can get the supplements. Be sure any supplements are cold pressed.
Niacin can work as well. Keep in mind that if you take it, particularly the immediate release version (as opposed to sustained release), you may have a problem with flushing. Taking a baby aspirin 1/2 hour before can help, as long as you have no contraindications for aspirin. If you have any plans to get pregnant, please take with you OB first before taking any meds, OTC or not. Flax seed is fine, and I took fish oil throughout my pregnancy.
As far as food...oatmeal can help, but try the plain oatmeal and not the sugary kind, since you want to lose weight. Low- or non-fat dairy products, lean meats, lots of veggies. The diet may not be enough, though, so don't be discouraged if it doesn't bring it low enough. Hopefully, as you lose weight, the cholesterol numbers will drop as well.
Good luck. As a side note, if you need to increase your HDLs and you like wine, red wine has been shown to improve those numbers!
1 mom found this helpful
A.A. answers from Denver on May 07, 2010
Weight and cholesterol levels being high are both symptoms in most people rather than having a causal relationship.
Eliminate high flash point oils from your diet (corn, vegetable, margarine, crisco, canola, etc). Use butter very sparingly, and mostly rely on olive oil, coconut oil, nut oils, and other similar products that you could probably stand a chance at being able to get oil from yourself if you really had to for some reason, rather than those which take so much processing you couldn't even begin to guess how they do it.
Use sea salt and kelp flakes rather than table salt.
Stop cooking your vegetables for the most part and make them your main dish most of the time.
Reduce the toxic load on your system. Less chemicals, pesticides, etc in your life, food and body.
Drink more water.
Avoid all high fructose corn syrup.
Get your vitamin D levels checked with a blood test. Take a good multivitamin, and Omega 3s.
And if that isn't enough, test yourself for food allergies to things like wheat and milk and see if either or both lowers it.
Something in all that should work.
1 mom found this helpful
B.P. answers from New York on May 07, 2010
The way you loose weight in a healthy way is the way you can lower your cholesterol. You need to cut out meat that has lots of visible fat, cheeses, fried foods, and any other sources of saturated fat. You have to cut back on processed premade food and eating out. Drink only skim milk and increase your fruits and veggies. Its best to cook your veggies in olive oil. My favorite way to eat veggies is to roast them in the oven or grill them now that its getting hot. Don't cut out fat entirely since that will make you rebound. Cook with olive oil and eat fish and nuts. Always eat breakfast, but make sure its simple and nutritious like whole grain cereal with skim milk and some fruit or an egg. Only brown breads. But don't waste your money on "lite" or "diet" foods. Allow yourself a treat once in a while too!
1 mom found this helpful
A.W. answers from Kalamazoo on May 07, 2010
Cut out junk. Increase fiber and Omega3's.
N.H. answers from Dallas on May 10, 2010
You got a lot of good advice. I wanted to give you some encouragement. I saw my doctor 3 months ago. My fasting blood sugar was a little high and my cholesterol was high. I was also about 50 lbs overweight. I decided that I wanted to lose some of the weight, so I started watching my diet and trying to get more exercise. My doctor gave me 3 months to lower my cholesterol or start taking medication. I have been eating low fat and non fat foods for years, but tried to cut back a little more. I have increased my fiber a lot. I had been eating a breakfast cereal with flax seeds, but now I add another tablespoon of flax seeds. I also add them to brown rice. I eat oatmeal on the weekend and add a few walnuts. I make smoothies with bananas, strawberries, nonfat yogurt, cold pressed flax seed oil and skim milk or soy milk. I add black beans or kidney beans to soup. I found some whole wheat tortillas with a lot of fiber and make bean burritos with a little bit of lowfat cheese and lots of salsa. I use sandwich rounds instead of bread (less calories and more fiber). I still eat meat. I just eat less meat and more vegetables and beans. All the fiber keeps you feeling full, so you don't need to use as much willpower. I haven't done quite as well with my exercise routine. I have increased my activity level a little, but I need to do some more work in that area. I saw my doctor again this morning. I've lost 8 lbs, but more importantly my fasting blood sugar and cholesterol are down. My blood sugar was in the normal range and my cholesterol was just a little high. I still need to lose 40 pounds, but I've got things moving in the right direction. Since you're 20 years younger than me, your body will probably start responding to diet changes even quicker. Good luck.
A.M. answers from Dallas on May 07, 2010
Cholesterol is ONLY found in animal sources: meat (beef, chicken, turkey, eggs, cheese, cow's milk)...... cutting these out of your diet will force you to take in healthier foods: whole grains, natural vegetable proteins, veggies, fruits, legumes, nuts.
My hubby's cholesterol used to be 201 and he weighed 220. He decided to first go vegetarian in Jan. 2010.... in 4 months, his cholesterol down to 159 and he weighed 196 (continues to drop more to this day).
He has not had one cholesterol med... this was all done naturally and easily. We've since all gone vegan (no animal products whatsoever), and we feel absolutely wonderful! We are so full on much smaller serving amnts because of these foods are soo full of fiber and natural protein.
There are so many good vegetarian foods available now -- A.'s Kitchen is a very convenient product for nights that you do not have time to cook --- or for quick lunches... they sell A.'s products at Walmart and Target now. Their black bean vegetable frozen burritos are sooo good!
Of course, grocery shopping at a place like Whole Foods is the best -- they have good deli vegan foods: mock chicken salad; vegan tofu fried rice (1/2 the big box is 180 calories!).
so many people tell those dieting to eat more salmon but what you fail to realize is that salmon is high in calories so if you're wanting to lose weight, you must weigh out your salmon filet portion.
message me if you want more specific info on how to go vegetarian or vegan. I have a lot of tips! It's been an amazing ride already and we are changed for life! One great benefit is that there is virtually NOTHING for us to eat at fast food places so there's never a tempting time to go there. We only go to Chipotle and order the vegetarian bowl if we want "fast food".
And if you do decide to cut back on meat... watch out for your cheese intake. Cheese is very high in calories/fat grams. some vegetarians make the mistake of piling on the cheese b/c they think they'll miss the meat..... give it a chance. You'll be pleasantly surprised! You'll feel great, energized .... so regular on the toilet!
Exercise is good too.... make it regular time every day... you must break a good sweat. strenuous enough that you can still talk if you must, but you don't want to talk for long b/c it's tiring.