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My cholesterol is high. What to do?

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My cholesterol is high. What to do?

Old 10-20-04, 10:02 AM
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My cholesterol is high. What to do?



I've always been pretty healthy... High cholesterol runs in the family... mine is not off the charts or anything, around 215 if I remember correctly. This came up on my life insurance application.

My dad's was over 300 and my grandpa's is really bad as well. Apparently it's catching up with me as I get into my later 20's. Ugh.

So, other than eating Cheerio's, what's a guy to do? What things actually affect your cholesterol level?

I'm thinking red meat and salt? Or is it any meat... Does exercise make a lick of difference? Or is it more dietary? Water intake? Not looking for advice on staying healthy overall, just the cholesterol issue.

Is coffee/espresso an issue (please say no... please say no...)

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
Old 10-20-04, 10:11 AM
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Yes, espresso can increase your cholesterol. All forms of unfiltered coffee can increase your cholesterol to a degree. Exercise can help to reduce cholesterol, but the biggest thing you can do is read labels and avoid products with a really high number next to the word cholesterol.
Old 10-20-04, 10:11 AM
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If high cholesterol runs in your family and your level is more due to heredity then poor diet, there may not be a lot you can do other then consider the need to start taking statin medications.
Old 10-20-04, 10:13 AM
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grape juice
Old 10-20-04, 10:14 AM
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What Phil L. said.
Old 10-20-04, 10:16 AM
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Originally posted by Phil L.
then consider the need to start taking statin medications.
Screw that. I at least need to try first.

I sit on my butt all day and think nothing about what I eat. I'll try the concientious approach first.

No doubt I may need lipitor or something when I'm much older, but by then we will probably have nanomachines swimming through our bodies eating bad cholesterol any way.

What's grape juice do?

Are you serious about espresso? Cause that's one thing I won't cut. I need to find out how bad it is and find a balance.
Old 10-20-04, 10:16 AM
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Re: My cholesterol is high. What to do?

Originally posted by Thor Simpson
Thooorrrr Simpsooonnn
Old 10-20-04, 10:16 AM
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Check out webmd.com and do a search for High cholesterol. They have a ton of information about...I know, I went through this a few months ago.

Olive oil is your best friend now.
Old 10-20-04, 10:22 AM
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How about working out? Perhaps if running 15 miles a week isn't your thing (it's only 3 miles every other day), then maybe you can go out for a nice 40-50 minute walk every day.
Old 10-20-04, 10:22 AM
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Originally posted by Kittydreamer
Olive oil is your best friend now.
Always has been.
Old 10-20-04, 10:24 AM
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Remember that talk about drinking a glass of red wine a day? Well, supposedly grape juice has the same benefits. Furthermore, have a serving of oatmeal per day instead (or in addition to) your Cheerios. Buy some Flax Oil (contains Omega fatty acids) - it's available at grocery stores now.
Old 10-20-04, 10:25 AM
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Originally posted by ChiTownAbs, Inc
How about working out? Perhaps if running 15 miles a week isn't your thing (it's only 3 miles every other day)
Running three miles every other day would get you 12 miles a week at most.
Old 10-20-04, 10:27 AM
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Cheerios
Old 10-20-04, 10:29 AM
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Originally posted by Kittydreamer
Check out webmd.com and do a search for High cholesterol. They have a ton of information about...I know, I went through this a few months ago.
Thanks.

Lots of good info there, no mention of coffee that I've seen yet.

Originally posted by Geofferson
Remember that talk about drinking a glass of red wine a day? Well, supposedly grape juice has the same benefits. Furthermore, have a serving of oatmeal per day instead (or in addition to) your Cheerios. Buy some Flax Oil (contains Omega fatty acids) - it's available at grocery stores now.
Yeah, oatmeal is out. I've never been able to eat that mush. WebMd suggests the 1-2 glasses of wine or hard alcohol a day for men. Looks like Jack is my friend again and I can explain it to the wife.
Old 10-20-04, 10:30 AM
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Originally posted by Groucho
Running three miles every other day would get you 12 miles a week at most.
I'll keep this in mind next time I need to run somewhere.
Old 10-20-04, 10:30 AM
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Originally posted by Groucho
Running three miles every other day would get you 12 miles a week at most.
Doh. Sorry. Still 12 > 0.
Old 10-20-04, 10:31 AM
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Well obviously check with your doctor, and all the food and exercise suggestions are just fine and you should try em'.

However I can tell you that you could go strict vegan and run five miles a day, but if high cholesterol is part of your genetic make up, those measures could end up having only minor affect on lowering *your* cholesterol.
Old 10-20-04, 10:33 AM
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from WebMD:
Limit trans fatty acids or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, such as those found in hard margarines, snack crackers, cookies, chips, and shortenings.
Old 10-20-04, 10:35 AM
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*Aerobic exercise, 30-60 minutes a day is supposed to help
*If overweight, getting to a recommended target weight helps.
*Trans- and saturated fats are bad. Minimize as much as possible. Within total recommended fats guidelines, try to make it all unsaturated fats, especially olive and canola oil, as well as fish high in omega-3 oils. Butter and red meat = bad!!
*Increase dietary fiber, oats are supposed to be particularly good in this respect, but any and all fiber helps.

I don't think salt, coffee, etc make a difference either way (they can for high blood pressure)

Be sure and read what kind of fats are in them crackers
(Virtually all "junk food" is very high in bad fats)

I got mine from 240 --> 198, basically doing above, still working on more reduction. Try to do something against all four points, don't just pick 1-2 "easiest."
Old 10-20-04, 10:38 AM
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Exercise, losing weight.
Old 10-20-04, 10:40 AM
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screw the grape juice and go for the RED wine

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0909070840.htm

If you have a Trader Joe's near you, they sell 2 buck chuck Shiraz or Merlot for about $3.29 per bottle. The wine is not bad and at that price you can drink a bottle a day

Olive Oil is also good for you, BUT, you must get olive oil that is clearly labelled "FIRST COLD PRESS". There are a couple brands that are better than others, but I can't think of the names off hand. You can snack on bread dipped in olive oil (sprinkle some fresh ground pepper in it like they do at Macaroni Grill)

Exercise, Exercise, Exercise and not the kind that has to wear you out. Just walk a couple miles a day.

If the changes in diet and exercise fail, then you have to hit the meds.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0907080306.htm

or hey, just eat some algae

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0323050400.htm
Old 10-20-04, 10:44 AM
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Thanks, OldDude... that's a significant reduction. How long did that take?

I have a full 2 years before I can get my life insurance rates down, but I'm making a move immediately. I think I need to get down to 188 or something. I don't have the numbers in front of me. That may not even happen due to genetics as others have pointed out, but the changes I make in trying will benefit me in other ways as well, so it's all good.

This is the first time in my life I've had any sort of red flag on my health and I plan to take it seriously.

I've need to start exercising again any way, and this is good motivation. Being more conscious of my diet is something I've needed to do also, and will probably get me to cook at home more often (which I like to do, I just don't get to the grocery store enough for the ingredients) and save money as well.

Grape juice is good to know. Is cranberry similar?

The trans-fat / saturated fat seems like it will be the hardest to get used to but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it once I actually start paying attention.

By no means do I mean to change my lifestyle to the point where I'm miserable. But I know there are steps I can take in the right direction that will only help, just by being concious of them instead of eating whatever looks good at the time.
Old 10-20-04, 10:47 AM
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Originally posted by criptik28
Exercise, losing weight.
Thing is... I'm not really overweight. I've weighed the same since I got out of college. My exercise levels have dropped so it's certainly less muscle and more blub, and I need to work on that. But I don't think significant weight loss will help me in this case. For a lot of people that's the case though. I think diet (not aimed at losing weight, but losing cholesterol) and moderate exercise will be the key. But we'll see.
Old 10-20-04, 10:47 AM
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Originally posted by Thor Simpson
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
from WebMD:
Limit trans fatty acids or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, such as those found in hard margarines, snack crackers, cookies, chips, and shortenings.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yup, I printed this page out and posted it on my fridge, just as a gentle reminder that I will never eat anything yummy again!

There is a margarine that is made from olive oil and it's pretty good. It melts a lot faster than the regular stuff but I feed it to my husband and kids all the time and they don't notice the difference at all.

Best of luck to you!
Old 10-20-04, 10:50 AM
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I dont' eat a lot of butter to begin with, so that's not really a concern.

Olive oil + balsamic vinegar + good bread = heaven. In Italy I ate this stuff constantly. I have no problem with this being my primary snack item. I don't snack much any way. The wife buys cookies and snacks and desserts occasionally or for company and I'll eat about 2 bites out of the entire box and I'm good. Not a snacker here.

My biggest enemy would be fast food. But I can cut that down, and will do so immediately.

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