I had a health scare recently when my new doctor warned me my cholesterol readings were sky high. He wanted to put me on Lipitor. After researching the side effects of statins and about how to lower ‘bad’ cholesterol naturally, I developed a four pronged strategy. Here is my new regime:
- Moduchol : This is plant sterols, proven to lower LDL by around 14% at least, within a month or two.
- Low carbs (<30/day) and low cholesterol (<200 g. per day) diet, kept track of with a daily log;
- Weight loss (from the low carb diet);
- Intermittent daily fasting with 8 hour eating window and 16 hr fast, daily;
- Plus exercise from at least daily dog walking for 30 minutes per day
After two weeks on this regime, I have lost 5-6 lbs. and feel great. I also went back to the doc to ask him to break down the cholesterol score and learned my HDL:LDL ratio is just barely within an acceptable range. My goal for avoiding statins is to lower LDL and raise HDL to a better range in three months through diet, supplements and exercise.
So, a sample daily breakfast:
1 slice of Ezekiel seed multi grain and seeds bread, toasted = 15 carbs; 0 chol.
2 egg whites and 1/3 of one egg yolk in a veggie omelet (tomatoes, onions, green pepper, some spinach), over the toasted bread with earth balance olive oil spread = 3 carbs (veggies); 40 g. cholesterol
1 cup of brewed coffee (not from my usual French press that allows in coffee byproducts that raise cholesterol), with 2%milk = 3 carbs, maybe a 15 cholesterol lift but likely 0.
I find it empowering to use dietary changes and more mindful awareness of levels of carbs and cholesterol in foods to manage my health instead of becoming dependent on pharmaceuticals. I am sure sometimes the latter really are called for, especially if an imbalance is mainly genetic. But I find it is fun to research what foods and natural supplements I CAN include in a low carb, low cholesterol diet; then I enjoy planning menus carefully, preparing meals carefully, and eating! good foods that bring positive results.
Diet and exercise are two dimensions of our daily routines that we have—or can have—some conscious measure of control over. It is easy to get off track though. I have been eating a low to later a moderate carb diet for over four years now and this has successfully lowered my A1C to a level that is in the Normal range after initially I was drifting into diabetic territory. But now I find that was out of balance as my low carb diet was not at all cholesterol friendly so I have edged into dangerous territory with LDL. So now I aim to integrate both requirements to better balance my diet.
Isn’t this the way life often goes…we aim to be thoughtful in our behavior and actions, but it is so easy to overlook crucial dimensions that could lead us away from our highest goals. We make adjustments to achieve better endings in the form of greater balance in our life going forward. Yet this is a process that calls for careful review and flexibility, every step of the way.