Post # 1
We had a free wellness fair at the clinic, and it included fasting blood work. I got it back, and besides being overweight (which I’m working on–17 pounds lost in 3 months with MFP), I have high cholesterol.
Total cholesterol: 232 (Needs to be under 200)
HDL: 44 (Too low. Needs to be 60+)
LDL: 162 (Needs to be between 100-129)
I talked to one of the nurses, and she said they want to try to change my diet first rather than put me on medication because she doesn’t feel I’m to that point yet. I get one free visit with the dietitian here, which I’ll be doing sometime next month.
In the meantime:
What foods will help lower my cholesterol?
What foods should I be staying away from?
Any help from high cholesterol Bees would be awesome! I am going to be doing some independent research, but I know there must be some Bees out there that can help.
Just FYI, go to the doctor and get blood work done, ladies. I am 24 years old and feel too young to be having to deal with high cholesterol. It is a silent killer,and too many people wait until they are older to get blood work done and then some of their only options is going on meds right away.
Post # 3
All animal products have cholesterol- people who are vegan have a 100% cholesterol free diet. So products like meat, eggs, and dairy all have cholesterol. Have you had your cholesterol done before?? I ask because I grew up with a kid whose dad has passed from a heart attack when he was in his 30’s and when the kid was 3 he had high cholesterol and it was ALL hereditary.
Post # 4
Fiance has high cholesterol (and he’s only 31!), so I’ve been the tyrant of the kitchen lately.
Oatmeal is a always a good choice, I prefer the plain oatmeal with lots of apple pie spice and a little drizzle of honey or dried fruit. Nuts are good for cholesterol too, so you can toss in a little handful of walnuts or almonds for crunch. The flavored packets are packed with sugar.
If you cook a lot with butter, try switching to olive oil. The ‘lighter flavor’ olive oils are more neutral in flavor than the virgin/extra virgin oil, so it won’t alter the taste of the food. Fiber is your friend too – a great snack is low fat vanilla yogurt with a whole grain granola and a bit of fruit and nuts mixed in. You get texture variation, sweet and salty flavors.
Avoid margarine and many faux butter spreads. A lot of them are super high in trans fats and saturated fats. Also try and stay away from full fat dairy stuff. I’ve found the 2% cheese is still tasty (fair warning, doesn’t melt quite as well), and it’s a lot better for me than the whole milk version.
The best way I’ve found is to make the easy swaps. Butter to olive oil was easy. Oatmeal on weekends for lunch (we’re not breakfast people) is cheap and easy. He didn’t notice the cheese swap until he looked at the package in the fridge. If you try and drastically change everything at the same time, you’re less likely to stick with it.
Post # 5
My mom lowered her cholesterol 20 points by eating oatmeal every day. She made simple granola with almonds and flaxseed (also good for cholesterol). Her diet was already pretty good, and that was the only major change that she made.
Post # 6
Well I can see a lot of stuff I should be cutting back on already from your ladies’ posts. I also see a lot of good responses for things I can try to eat. I already cut out full fat dairy stuff and go with fat free or 1%, and I do cook with olive oil rather than butter, but I do use margerine for a lot of dishes.
Looks like I need to start eating oatmeal in the mornings rather than eggs and add some flaxseed and fiber to my diet.
@caits615: A lot of this could be hereditary, and I may be forced to go on meds if this doesn’t work. My dad has high cholesterol, but has since gotten it done. My grandpa also had it, so I know it is hereditary. They want me to try diet first, and then put me on medication if it doesn’t work. I may be doomed :-/
Keep all this good advice coming everyone!
Post # 7
There is a margarine with plant sterols. I know someone using that instead of other margarine/butter for their cholesterol and their numbers improved. Check with your doctor though, as I don’t think it’s recommended for everyone.
Post # 8
If you do a simple google search, you’ll get all kinds of lists and helpful advice of foods to eat and foods to avoid. You may find that once you make these dietary changes, you’ll have an easier time losing the weight, too!
Here are some general dietary changes that will help decrease your intake of cholesterol and saturated/trans fats, which should help your numbers:
Eat fruits/veggies first, before other foods. Make these the bulk of your meals
Avoid all fast food
Avoid foods with trans fats/high saturated fats/partially hydrogenated oils (read labels!)
Limit fatty meats (bacon, ribs, steak) and replace with leaner meats (chicken)
Switch to low fat dairy (1% or less milk, nonfat yogurt- I’d go for Greek, higher in protein)
Avoid egg yolks (the whites have just as much protein, but no cholesterol)
Avoid highly processed foods in general, and switch to whole grain, high fiber versions of products (breads, etc).
Take a fiber supplement, like metamucil
Post # 9
I had super high cholesterol and I was not super overweight, maybe 15lbs and I was very active, hitting the gym 5 days a week for an hour or more, but I had the cholesterol of a 65 year old 350 lbs person. It was just my genetic make up and I was put on medication for about 3 months, but I did not like it, mainly because I had to go in for blood tests every three months to make sure it was not killing my liver. I like my liver, no reason to hurt it.
So I completely changed my diet. I pretty much cut out most meats. I rarely eat beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, and I have never eaten pork. So with tons of fruits and veggies and other proteins like tofu and stuff mine dropped. It took a couple of years and it is still considered high for a person of my size and acitivity level, but it is in the safe zone. I still eat eggs with yolks, I rarely eat processed foods at all, I love dairy but I get low fat stuff, and I don’t eat fast food at all or greasey food.
It is a start. Try cutting out processed foods and meats and see what will happen.
Post # 10
Post # 11
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@megz06: I have a similar cholesterol issue. Cut out red meat (beef); we eat mostly chicken and turkey with the occasional porkchop (but we do have steaks once or twice a year.) Cut out sodium/salt as much as possible; I cut out canned goods and make everything from frozen or fresh only. Make sure you check the labels closely because sodium is in pretty much everything. We don’t cook with salt and we do not put salt on the table during meals. Also, increase your intake of water which helps flush your system. Limit your fried foods; we pretty much stopped eating fast food altogether (once a month at most and we try to order smalls or off the kids menu.) Add in fiber with your diet and supplements (I prefer Benefiber in my coffee because it mixes in completely and has no taste.)
Post # 12
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@megz06: Be carefully going totally fat free because they usually replace the fat with sugar which can cause other problems such as weight gain and type 2 diabetes. Sugar free is usually better.