What can I do if my doctor told me my "cholesterol" is high?
👩⚕️ I am not a doctor and cannot tell you whether to take medication or not. If they recommend it, I would listen. They are used to people not taking action with their health so to reduce the risk of heart disease they will prescribe these medications because they are the safer alternative. If they told you this, they are basically saying you better do something or you get the pills, haha. 💊💊
Here are a few basic facts about cholesterol:
▫Cholesterol itself is not bad, it's just a fat particle. But when lipoproteins which carry cholesterol get stuck in the artery walls, that's when the bad stuff happens.
▫ Eating cholesterol in food (like eggs) has only a small effect on the cholesterol you're concerned with in your test.
▫ Having high cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease. It is increased further if you also have high triglycerides or diabetes/high blood sugar.
Things that can raise cholesterol and the risk of heart disease:
🔸 Trans fat (even if it says 0g on the label, if the ingredients show anything "hydrogenated" or "intersified" then it has trans fats. Common sources are packaged baked goods, tortillas, deep-fried foods, some margarines, etc.
🔸 Excessive saturated fats of certain types (excessive butter, processed foods, deep-fried foods, non-lean meats). Please don’t put butter in your coffee, ugh. No, saturated fat isn't the devil like they used to say. Some saturated fats are fine, just don’t overdo it because excessive saturated fats can definitely raise cholesterol.
🔸 Overeating, being overweight or obese. Especially carrying weight around the waist.
🔸 Eating too much processed food with tons of sugar.
🔸 Lack of exercise, smoking, drinking alcohol.
🔸 Genetic factors
Things that can help lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease:
🔹 Stop smoking.
🔹 Lose weight.
🔹 Exercise regularly.
🔹 Reduce alcohol consumption.
🔹 Eat lots of soluble fiber (veggies, fruit, oats, beans, whole grains, etc). This one is powerful.
🔹 Replace trans fats and excess saturated fats (butter, cheese, fatty meats) with healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, and nuts.
🔹 If your triglycerides are high fish oil can help and garlic can help with cholesterol, but the effects are not overly potent.
Moral of the story? "Be a lean, mean, exercising, good diet machine." -Dr Spencer Nadolsky