Is your cholesterol too high?
High cholesterol levels are considered a risk factor for heart disease. If your level is above 240 it's too high. Above 200 is borderline high.
My cholesterol was 243. I lowered it to 199
(See 2018 Update here). In the fall of 2012 I learned my cholesterol was too high. My doctor recommended trying to lower it naturally, without medication. If that didn't work I'd have to start medication to lower it. I needed to learn how to lower my cholesterol.
So I began reading about cholesterol. I already knew some things. But I also learned a lot of important things.
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Obviously the first thing to do is learn to eat a healthy diet. Most people know basically which foods to avoid. But there are some surprises.
For example, many people may not know how harmful potato chips can be. They're made of potatoes after all. Potatoes are a vegetable, and vegetables are healthy right? This is true but the oils that potato chips are cooked in can be harmful.
UPDATE: After consuming a lot of orange juice - the kind that says "Heart healthy" on the carton! - I came to realize that there's a lot of sugar in that so called "heart healthy" orange juice. It will raise your blood sugar. And what's the big enemy of heart disease? Sugar. Needless to say I don't drink orange juice anymore.
After many weeks of reading and studying I understood a lot more and was able to really change things for the better.
What to do about cholesterol and heart disease
I've posted much of what I've learned and experienced on this website. I've also written some handy reports and eBooks that you can download and use yourself. I hope this information can help you like it's helped me.
Find out what foods lower cholesterol. And which foods to avoid. Learn about exercise and dietary supplements. There's a lot of disagreement about taking supplements. And about cholesterol. And exercise. And antioxidants. And fish oil. And whole grains. And more. I'm working on getting to the truth. It's important of course.
Does eating food with fat and cholesterol raise your cholesterol level?
The fat and cholesterol you eat may not directly result in high cholesterol in your blood. Some fats you eat actually help raise the good type of cholesterol in your blood. That's a good thing! The sugar you consume may be more harmful than the fat you eat.
It's not a simple fact that high cholesterol causes heart disease. It's more complicated. There is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. There's even a good and bad type of bad cholesterol. There are also other things at play. Triglycerides, sugar, inflammation, plaque, etc. It's complicated.
Important questions about lowering cholesterol
- What foods to eat?
- What foods to avoid?
- How much to exercise?
- Do vitamin supplements help?
- Should I take baby aspirin?
- Should I eat eggs?
- How about fish?
- Can I eat candy and deserts?
Are we being misled about how bad Cholesterol is?
Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in the United States,
BUT - half of hospitalized heart attack victims have normal cholesterol levels.
Some countries have high cholesterol levels but low incidence of heart disease.
A lot of research has been done. Unfortunately, politics are involved as well. Because both drug companies and food companies have much to gain, and much to lose, studies and governmental guidelines and regulations are subject to corruption. Do drug companies who sell cholesterol lowering drugs want everyone to believe that cholesterol is bad, and that your cholesterol level should be as low as possible, so they can sell more cholesterol lowering drugs? I just want the truth so I can avoid heart disease. I think maybe cholesterol isn't as bad as they want us to think it is.
Cholesterol HDL and LDL
HDL stands for High-density Lipoprotein. HDL is the good kind of cholesterol.
LDL stands for Low-density Lipoprotein. LDL is the bad kind of cholesterol.
VLDL stands for Very low-density lipoprotein.
An acceptable level for HDL is above 40.
An acceptable level for LDL is below 130. 100 or less is optimal.
Your total cholesterol level is considered normal if it's below 200.
Cholesterol above 240 is too high.
Triglycerides - Optimal range is 60-150 mg/dl
Diet and Exercise
Eating less fast food and processed food is important. Getting at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 3 times a week is also important to reduce your risk of heart disease and lower bad types of cholesterol.