High Cholesterol - West Des Moines,IA

Updated on February 26, 2011
M.C. asks from Des Moines, IA
11 answers

I recently had blood work at my doctor's appointment. Later, a nurse called to tell me that the doctor wanted me to start medication for high cholesterol. I asked how I should change my diet and she told me he just wanted me to take this pill. (I'll admit, that frustrated me!) I am taking the medication and have been looking online for ideas, but it all seems so overwhelming. I know I need to watch my diet, eat fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly..... but... is there any other specific advice someone can give me? I need to go back in 6 months to have it re-tested and would really like to see the numbers go down.

thanks in advance!

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answers from Minneapolis on

Oatmeal helped me lower my cholesterol over 100 points, also cutting out fats. It took 4 years to lower it that much but oatmeal does help out, and it is a good breakfast when it is cold outside.

mom to Ryan 9 special needs
Abbey and Alexa 3 identical twins

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answers from Detroit on

Hi M.,

I am 34 years and have high cholestrol as well. My doctor prescribed me a pill to take but I was getting bad side effects. I had extreme leg pain. I could barely get out of my bed. I am now taking a natural supplement and my cholestrol has dropped 20 points. I need to include some fiber supplements as well (but have not done that yet, however my father takes the natural supplement I do and adds fiber to his diet as well) I am managing my weight with other products from the company where I get the natural supplement. Go to: http://aturningpoint.fourpointwellness.com/ to inquiry more information. I have very happy.



answers from Milwaukee on

Hi Linda,

There is a product out there that my husband and a lot of other people take that reduces cholesterol "naturally"
Heart disease is the number one killer in North America.

The product that I am talking about mimicks cholesterol. As a result, our product interferes with cholesterol absorbtion in the intestines - essentially blocking some of the cholesterol from being absorbed by your body. The unabsorbed cholesterol harmlessly leaves your body.

NO SIDE EFFECTS!!! If you are using a statin drug, the potential to harm your kidneys or liver is huge!

Please check into alternatives. They are out there.

If you'd like to knmow more about ours, let me know. I would be glad to share more with you.

Education is key. You are asking the right questions. I have been free of presc. meds for over 4 years now. And my health improved dramatically!

Many Blessings,




answers from Minneapolis on


Suggestions from my dietician when I saw her. Stay away from Hydrogenated oil (it is in most things). Also, don't eat a lot of fat (read labels) saturated fat is the worst but try to keep your fat intake low. Other than that you have the plan, eat more fruits and veggies and exercise more.



answers from Omaha on

I have been on cholesterol meds since I was in college ( I am 37 now). Of course you should try to eat more healthy and see if you can bring the numbers down on your own, but your doctor's rush to give you meds could be due to a number of factors. Some high cholesterol is simply in your genes. If you are at healthy weight, exercise regularly and have a family history of heart disease, then it's likely hereditary and the doctor knows that. But if you are overweight and never exercise, it's worth a try to get it under control on your own. I would suggest educating yourself like mad woman, most people make honest mistakes about the choices that they eat. Fat hides in foods you wouldn't think. Also, maybe if you can afford it, do something like a food delivery service and ask for their low fat options and you could see what kinds of foods they send you. Of course a low fat cookbook would be an easy way to start. Basically no red meat, no cheese, no fried foods or creamy sauces. Be watchful though, most low fat diets are very high in carbs and cause people to gain weight. Good luck.



answers from Minneapolis on

I was told to keep my saturated fat intake below 16 grams per day, no more than 1 gram of trans fat per day, and only 1 egg per WEEK (that includes things that are made with eggs). One egg contains almost and entire day's worth of sat. fat and cholesterol. The whites are fine- the yolks are the culprits.
I thought it would be hard, but it's not as bad as I thought. Egg Beaters have no cholesterol or saturated fat (you can get the Costco brand for a lot cheaper than the name brand) so you can eat as much of them as you want, and even cook with them. You can still eat cheese (one of my favorite foods) in controlled amounts. I found it was worth it for me to cut down on the amount of cheese, rather than go with low-fat, no taste varieties.
Cholesterol is only found in animal products, so just be aware of how much saturated fat is in the meat and dairy you are eating. Check the labels on your butter an margarine, too.
Contrary to what a precious poster said, olive oil IS fine to use, as long as you are staying within the saturated fat guidelines. According to the American Heart Association, coconut oil and palm oil should be limited.
Oatmeal and other high-fiber foods are very helpful, too. So is baked or grilled fish.
Good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi Linda,

A few years ago, I had a high cholesterol reading of 250. I started eating oatmeal most days--the old fashioned kind, not the instant kind. I also started drinking red wine. Those 2 steps alone dropped me to a reading of 200! Granted, 200 is on the high end of "normal", but given both my parents have a high cholesterol, I am satisfied.

Garlic is good at maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. You can also find pure garlic in capsule form, and it's just as good as eating it. I do both--I incorporate garlic into my cooking each week, and I take a garlic capsule at night.

I'm not going to tell you to eliminate butter and eggs, but cutting back on them will help. I do NOT believe in fake foods like margarine... Remember a healthy diet is not just about cutting out certain foods, but about adding good ones!

The fact that your doctor pushed meds on you without any sort of discussion is deplorable. Doctors get kickbacks and perks from drug and medical device companies--all expense-paid "conferences" that consist of a 2 hour meeting in Florida, you get the idea. It's clear who *some* doctors have as their first priority, and it's sad it's not their patients.

My husband was in the same situation as you, except he had high blood pressure. When the prescription came in the mail, we sat down and decided we would try other measures on our own. We consulted a great Naturopathy Doctor in St. Paul, and between diet changes, supplements, and meditation, he is now having some great bp readings.

Good luck to you, and don't be afraid to go to a different doctor!



answers from Minneapolis on

Linda - I would highly recommend you get a copy of Dr. Ladd McNamara's book entitled The Cholesterol Conspiracy. It's very eye opening about why so many people are taking statin drugs today and what we can do to help ourselves be healthy. His website is www.laddmcnamara.com.

Let me know if you need help with any of the recommendations in his book.




answers from Milwaukee on

I think Cassandra had some really great advice and I would definitely follow what she had to say. I just wanted to add that using the good fats such as Canola Oil and especially Olive Oil are really great. They are filled with the good cholesterol that actually take away the bad not that you should be eating a large quantity of those either. Fish Oils (Omega 3) are always good at that was well.. Exercise regularly is great a 30 min walk a few times a week will help tremendously.

I hope you get it figured out.. it's something that even now I try to keep in check knowing that it's in my family as well.. I hope you can lower your numbers, I'm sure you can do it. enjoy good healthy foods with a great glass of red wine and then out for a short little walk.. it's actually very nice and you will feel great about yourself afterward..



answers from Omaha on

Find a good naturopath in your area. I went to one when my level was 268 and he analyzed my numbers, put me on a three month regimen of homeopathic cholesterol HP, Pol-chol red (like red rice yeast, a natural version of statins) and a number of other vitamins and supplements for my situation (I am a breastfeeding mom) and in a few months it was down to 170. I don't have to be married to a drug for the rest of my life, one that can do other damage. Go to businessweek.com the Jan 28th issue for some important info about Lipitor. My mother was on it for 18 years and has had horrid problems since, including memory loss, not one that has had a lot of press until lately.
Just know there are lots of options and you have to find the one that fits your lifestyle, your body and your philosophy of health,
Good luck!



answers from St. Cloud on

Hi Linda! Flax seed will drastically reduce your numbers! My hubby had high cholesterol and took ground flax every day and ate healthy fats. Also, a good fish oil!
Eggs and butter are healthy fats. So are coconut oil, grapeseed oil and avocados/avocado oil.
Olive oil should NOT be used in cooking. The oils I listed above can be used for cooking. Canola oil, despite how it's marketed, is not a good fat UNLESS it's expeller pressed. I recommend that all fats that you eat be expeller pressed or "cold pressed".
You do NOT need to avoid animal products or good fats. Free range beef is a source of good fat and has more Omega 3's fatty acids than wild caught salmon.
Absolutely avoid hydrogenated oils or fractionated oils. Read those labels :) They make abrasions in your arteries and cholesterol acts as a "band-aid" to heal those abrasions. If you eat bad fats, that is where the buildup comes in. The more the bad fats damage the arteries, the more the body tries to correct it with cholesterol.
If you can, go to a natural Dr. or a good Chiropractor. They will help you much more than an MD ever could.

EDIT*** I see that an above poster refuted my advice but I caution you to use any American Heart Association or food pyramid guidelines. There is so much more information on fats than we are led to believe. If you are interested in keeping your cholesterol down without meds than I encourage you to research! I recommend the book "The Low Glycemic Revolution" for your situation. If you look at statistics, cholesterol and heart disease has skyrocketed since the birth of the low fat diet and it is a direct result.

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