A few years ago my cholesterol level was in the mid range between 200-240. It was 204 if I remember right. Recently I discovered my level is in the high range. It’s about 243. It’s time to make some changes.
Over the past few years I’ve tried to eat healthier. I admit I haven’t tried that hard though. I still ate food from fast food restaurants like McDonald’s and Burger King once in a while. I don’t smoke. But I don’t exercise much either. I like chocolate and other sweets. For a while I ate wheat bread but mostly I ate white bread. I never shied away from donuts and cookies.
The first step was to learn what I needed to know. I’ve put the learning process at the end of this article because I want to get right to the things I am doing now to lower my cholesterol and avoid heart disease.
So here’s a few simple things that I changed right away.
- Don’t eat these foods: Cookies, donuts, soda pop, candy, white bread, whole milk (use skim milk instead), fast foods like Big Macs, Whoppers, and French fries, ice cream, hash browns, fatty meats, some types of pizza. Some of these things I still eat once in a while. Sometimes I’ll eat some pizza and other things that are not so good. To compromise on that, if I do eat some of these not so good foods I’ll just eat smaller portions of them. For the most part though, these are foods I avoid.
- Eat more of these foods: Apples, bananas, blueberries, wheat breat (instead of white), healthy shakes, skim milk (instead of 2% or whole), vegetable versions of meals like lasagna or chili. Turkey or chicken is a good substitute for ground beef when making chili and similar meals.
- Take supplements. I’ve always been a believer in taking a multivitamin pill every day. So I’m still doing that. I figure I don’t get all the nutrients I need from food every day so just to be sure I take supplements. One multivitamin pill. One Omega 3 supplement with DHA and ELA types of Omega 3 Fatty Acid. I also take separate pills for Vitamins C, D, and E. And I take a low dose (baby) aspirin which is 81mg. The reasons for these supplements are based on my research in some of the recommended books I’ve read. My wife, who is a medical doctor, is also in agreement with these supplements.
- Exercise more. This is hard for me because I don’t have a job that requires exercise and I don’t really enjoy exercise. I have a treadmill in the basement but it’s very boring for me to use. I have discovered that if I run up and down the stairs 10 times it seems to be a good workout and it’s not so boring. So I’ve started doing that. I may increase it to 20 times or more. We’ll see how it goes. I know exercise is important but I’m trying to find a way that’s more enjoyable. Walks are OK but bad weather sometimes gets in the way.
The Learning Process
The first step was to learn more about lowering my cholesterol level. As I was doing my research I came across the topic of cholesterol’s effect on heart health in a book I found. The book claimed that cholesterol is not the problem, inflammation is. Inflammation within the arteries caused by high blood sugar. The book recommends that you don’t need to avoid foods with fat and cholesterol so much as foods high in sugar and carbohydrates. Sugar and carbohydrates are bad, meat and some fat is OK, Kind of like the Atkins diet.
This book, called “The Great Cholesterol Lie”, contains very good recommendations for avoiding heart disease. It’s written by an experienced heart surgeon. Very few people have seen heart disease from his point of view. Here’s the link in case you’re interested: Click here to check out The Great Cholesterol Lie eBook.
Another resource I found that is quite good is called “Heart Health Made Easy”. It’s a course with great information and a plan of action that you can easily follow to help lower your cholesterol and improve your heart health. It takes you through the steps to help you avoid heart disease and lower your cholesterol. It’s written by a dietitian who has had trouble with high cholesterol herself. Heart problems run in her family. I won’t recommend anything unless it’s good. I do recommend this course: Heart Health Made Easy.
I learned a lot from these two resources alone. There’s also a lot of free information on the Internet, but it’s overwhelming to try to search through it all because there’s too much information. That’s part of the reason I created this website. To try consolidate and arrange the best information I can find and present it right here on this website.
There’s more information about these two resources on my recommendations page.
Will my cholesterol get lower?
I will find out if what I’m doing works. After following these steps for a few months I will get my cholesterol checked again and report back here with the results. If it’s a lot better then what I’m doing is working for me. If it’s not much better then I’ll have to make more changes. We will see.