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Keeping cholesterol low with diet

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My cholesterol has been lowered with medication, but I want to maintain it with diet, so I can not require the medication for life. What steps are needed to keep cholesterol down through diet and exercise? Also, I do not have a gallbladder.

Best Answers

  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 10,035 Member
    Answer ✓
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    Reducing triglycerides is a big one which lowers our C-reactive protein which is basically our inflammation and heart disease is pretty much an inflammatory disease. Whole foods work well for this to happen simply because is removes most processed and ultra processed foods which is the main driver of inflammation for most people. And of course any exercise also helps to lower all of this. Basically we're talking lifestyle intervention.
  • sollyn23l2
    sollyn23l2 Posts: 1,683 Member
    Answer ✓
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    My cholesterol has been lowered with medication, but I want to maintain it with diet, so I can not require the medication for life. What steps are needed to keep cholesterol down through diet and exercise? Also, I do not have a gallbladder.

    Whole foods, in my opinion. Think vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean meats. None of that will guaranteed lower cholesterol, but it's good regardless. Also, I'd you're overweight, losing weight is a biggie.
  • sarabushby
    sarabushby Posts: 784 Member
    Answer ✓
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    Michael Moseley has some good books on this subject and meal recipes too.
    Def the no1 thing you can do is try to lose weight if you’re overweight.
    You may find intermittent fasting beneficial as well.

Answers

  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 33,041 Member
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    For me, losing to a healthy weight was key to getting my formerly high cholesterol consistently well into the healthy range. Even while obese with high cholesterol, much of my diet was whole foods, and I was already quite athletically active.

    I'm not saying that eating whole foods and exercise are unhelpful or unnecessary. All I'm saying is that for me, they weren't sufficient. If you can improve things in those ways, they may make a good contribution.

    A significant part of my impetus to get serious about weight loss was that I didn't want to take a statin. (I felt like I'd already given up enough cognitive bandwidth to chemotherapy for breast cancer, so I feared the potential "brain fog" side effect of statins, even though that doesn't occur for everyone.)

    FWIW, I also don't have a gallbladder.

    A caveat: AFAIK, I don't have any genetic inclination to high cholesterol (familial hypercholesterolemia). With no medical credentials/education at all, just from talking with friends who do have familial hypercholesterolemia, the totality of healthy weight, excellent way of eating, and regular exercise may not be sufficient, i.e., medication may be long term. One friend in that group did get better results from a low carb way of eating, but I don't think she was able to fully drop the medication, at least in the shorter term. (I haven't asked lately.)

    I share your desire to keep medications at a bare minimum, so I hope that you'll be able to use body weight, whole foods (and maybe low carb) and exercise to accomplish your goals. Best wishes!

  • sollyn23l2
    sollyn23l2 Posts: 1,683 Member
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    My cholesterol has been lowered with medication, but I want to maintain it with diet, so I can not require the medication for life. What steps are needed to keep cholesterol down through diet and exercise? Also, I do not have a gallbladder.

    Whole foods, in my opinion. Think vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean meats. None of that will guaranteed lower cholesterol, but it's good regardless. Also, I'd you're overweight, losing weight is a biggie.
  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 6,457 Member
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    Since it hasn't been mentioned: on top of eating whole foods, also make sure to increase your healthy fat intake. Fatty fish, avocado, nuts and seeds.
  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 10,035 Member
    edited March 11
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    Statins sales are over 1 trillion. Guidelines for statins keep getting lowered where only around 8% of the population were eligible in 1987 for statins to over 60% in 2016 and I've heard it will be lowered more allowing more of the population to become eligible and then there's mortality risk where the ARR or absolute risk reduction is around 0.1% where the relative risk can show 36%, which is their talking point, so be aware of that. Basically it helps 1 in 10,000 people for a reduced heart related event. What lowers heart disease is better overall health, which is a lifestyle intervention and that is what primary care doctors should be talking about but most generally haven't a clue and medicate instead, so I would suggest anyone that is about to be prescribed a statin to do some research, because it really is up to the individual to take charge of their own health and not rely on what passes as the medical complex as it exists today or seek our an alternative PCP that is more informed, in my opinion.


  • sapphiremnb
    sapphiremnb Posts: 8 Member
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    Thank you for your responses. My husband and I have been working towards using good fats and reducing processed foods in our diet. I would like to say that we are processed free, but we do require convenience foods from time to time. We just need to chose better options. We are now on MFP to have more accountability and learn more about the foods we are eating and need to balance with better options. Also, it helps me not fudge on my portion sizes when I am logging them. I do not want to be bonded with the app for life, but it helps me learn to make better habits and train myself to choose better options for the future. I am working to continue losing weight and reach my goal while improving my wellness. Thanks everyone for the feedback. When I reach my target weight, I will talk with my doctor about getting off the cholesterol med and rechecking my levels.
  • VegjoyP
    VegjoyP Posts: 2,744 Member
    edited March 12
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    WFPB diet lifestyle change. SOS free. Exercise. Reduction of over all calories. Avoid oil by using broth for cooking, but do eat healthy fats from foods like nuts, seeds, avocado, olives. I'm vegan but yes wildcaught fish.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 28,032 Member
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    VegjoyP wrote: »
    WFPB diet lifestyle change. SOS free. Exercise. Reduction of over all calories. Avoid oil by using broth for cooking, but do eat healthy fats from foods like nuts, seeds, avocado, olives. I'm vegan but yes wildcaught fish.

    I've enjoyed reading your posts touting the benefits of vegetables and hope you take this in the spirit in which it is intended - please don't include fish in with being vegan. "Mostly plant based" would be accurate.

    https://thehumaneleague.org/article/what-do-vegans-eat#:~:text=Vegans do not eat any,crabs, clams, and mussels.

    ...Vegans do not eat any animals or any food that is derived from animals. This means that vegans do not eat beef, pork, lamb, and other red meat. They also don't eat chicken, duck, and other poultry. And because fish are also living creatures, vegans don't eat fish or shellfish such as crabs, clams, and mussels.
  • sollyn23l2
    sollyn23l2 Posts: 1,683 Member
    edited March 13
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    kshama2001 wrote: »
    VegjoyP wrote: »
    WFPB diet lifestyle change. SOS free. Exercise. Reduction of over all calories. Avoid oil by using broth for cooking, but do eat healthy fats from foods like nuts, seeds, avocado, olives. I'm vegan but yes wildcaught fish.

    I've enjoyed reading your posts touting the benefits of vegetables and hope you take this in the spirit in which it is intended - please don't include fish in with being vegan. "Mostly plant based" would be accurate.

    https://thehumaneleague.org/article/what-do-vegans-eat#:~:text=Vegans do not eat any,crabs, clams, and mussels.

    ...Vegans do not eat any animals or any food that is derived from animals. This means that vegans do not eat beef, pork, lamb, and other red meat. They also don't eat chicken, duck, and other poultry. And because fish are also living creatures, vegans don't eat fish or shellfish such as crabs, clams, and mussels.

    I'm wondering if she means that while she is vegan and doesn't eat it, wildcaught fish contains healthy fat.
  • Corina1143
    Corina1143 Posts: 3,217 Member
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    As far as needing convenience foods-- there is a place near me that sells pre-made healthy meals. You take it home, heat it up, or put your own spin on it. The meals come in freezable containers. It is in the same shopping center as a big, busy gym, and across the street from another one. I suggest you look for something similar near you.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 28,032 Member
    Options
    sollyn23l2 wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    VegjoyP wrote: »
    WFPB diet lifestyle change. SOS free. Exercise. Reduction of over all calories. Avoid oil by using broth for cooking, but do eat healthy fats from foods like nuts, seeds, avocado, olives. I'm vegan but yes wildcaught fish.

    I've enjoyed reading your posts touting the benefits of vegetables and hope you take this in the spirit in which it is intended - please don't include fish in with being vegan. "Mostly plant based" would be accurate.

    https://thehumaneleague.org/article/what-do-vegans-eat#:~:text=Vegans do not eat any,crabs, clams, and mussels.

    ...Vegans do not eat any animals or any food that is derived from animals. This means that vegans do not eat beef, pork, lamb, and other red meat. They also don't eat chicken, duck, and other poultry. And because fish are also living creatures, vegans don't eat fish or shellfish such as crabs, clams, and mussels.

    I'm wondering if she means that while she is vegan and doesn't eat it, wildcaught fish contains healthy fat.

    Oh! Yes, that makes more sense, thanks. I have COVID, lol.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 28,032 Member
    Options
    sollyn23l2 wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    VegjoyP wrote: »
    WFPB diet lifestyle change. SOS free. Exercise. Reduction of over all calories. Avoid oil by using broth for cooking, but do eat healthy fats from foods like nuts, seeds, avocado, olives. I'm vegan but yes wildcaught fish.

    I've enjoyed reading your posts touting the benefits of vegetables and hope you take this in the spirit in which it is intended - please don't include fish in with being vegan. "Mostly plant based" would be accurate.

    https://thehumaneleague.org/article/what-do-vegans-eat#:~:text=Vegans do not eat any,crabs, clams, and mussels.

    ...Vegans do not eat any animals or any food that is derived from animals. This means that vegans do not eat beef, pork, lamb, and other red meat. They also don't eat chicken, duck, and other poultry. And because fish are also living creatures, vegans don't eat fish or shellfish such as crabs, clams, and mussels.

    I'm wondering if she means that while she is vegan and doesn't eat it, wildcaught fish contains healthy fat.

    Oh! Yes, that makes more sense, thanks. I have COVID, lol.
  • no1racefan2
    no1racefan2 Posts: 84 Member
    Options
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    For me, losing to a healthy weight was key to getting my formerly high cholesterol consistently well into the healthy range. Even while obese with high cholesterol, much of my diet was whole foods, and I was already quite athletically active.

    I'm not saying that eating whole foods and exercise are unhelpful or unnecessary. All I'm saying is that for me, they weren't sufficient. If you can improve things in those ways, they may make a good contribution.

    A significant part of my impetus to get serious about weight loss was that I didn't want to take a statin. (I felt like I'd already given up enough cognitive bandwidth to chemotherapy for breast cancer, so I feared the potential "brain fog" side effect of statins, even though that doesn't occur for everyone.)

    FWIW, I also don't have a gallbladder.

    A caveat: AFAIK, I don't have any genetic inclination to high cholesterol (familial hypercholesterolemia). With no medical credentials/education at all, just from talking with friends who do have familial hypercholesterolemia, the totality of healthy weight, excellent way of eating, and regular exercise may not be sufficient, i.e., medication may be long term. One friend in that group did get better results from a low carb way of eating, but I don't think she was able to fully drop the medication, at least in the shorter term. (I haven't asked lately.)


    I share your desire to keep medications at a bare minimum, so I hope that you'll be able to use body weight, whole foods (and maybe low carb) and exercise to accomplish your goals. Best wishes!

    I feel like this is important to say. Definitely try all the tips to lower your cholesterol naturally, but know that there are instances where being healthy could still mean needing medication. My DH has worked really hard with his doctor to eat healthy, be a healthy weight, and minimize medication, but still ended up on a statin because he does have genetic inclination to high cholesterol and heart disease. (He does not currently have any signs of heart disease at 56 and wants to keep it that way).