These are the thoughts of a cantankerous ol' gynecologist who remembers when things were a little different. I try to find a little humor in my life and the people I meet along the way. Come meet the characters in my world.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Your Cholesterol is WHAT?

I recently had several episodes of chest pain, shortness of breath, and an irregular pulse.  I’ll tell you more about that later.  Let’s just say I’m feeling a lot better.  Anyway, I got to go visit my trusty medical doctor, Dr. Internist.  I had some lab work done, and my numbers were (blush, blush) not so good.  I’m doing research on how to get them better.

I thought I would start with a little bit of research I have done on lowering cholesterol.

Soluble fiber can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream.  Adding 5-10 gm of soluble fiber a day decreases your total and LDL cholesterol.  Soluble fiber is found in foods like kidney beans, apples, pears, and barley.  Your total should be 25 to 35 grams.


One way to cut out some cholesterol is oats.  If you eat cooked oatmeal, 1 ½ cups has 6 gm fiber. You can add fruit for more fiber.  Oat cereal is also helpful.  Read the box for fiber and sugars.

Another way to lower your cholesterol is to get omega-3 fatty acids.  The best source is fish.  You should try for at least two servings a week.  Fish highest in omega-3s are mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, salmon and halibut.

You should bake or grill your fish to avoid adding unhealthy fats.  Another source of small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids are flaxseed and canola oil.  Supplements are available, but are not as healthful as natural sources.

Nuts are also helpful in reducing cholesterol.  They are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids.  They are also rich in calories.  Be careful how they are prepared, as many are heavily salted or sugared.  My sources recommend walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, some pine nuts and pistachio nuts.

Olive Oil can lower your bad (LDL) cholesterol but leave the good (HDL) cholesterol stable.  Limit to about 2 TBSP per day.

Cut back on total fat, saturated fats and trans-fats.  Store bought cookies, crackers and cakes, margarines are high in trans-fats.  Meat, full fat dairy products and some oils are high in saturated fats.

Eat more complex carbohydrates instead of simple (get rid of the white stuff and simple sugars).


Green Tea lowers the bad cholesterol and raises the good.  It also helps prevent your body from absorbing cholesterol in the intestines

Make your coffee with paper coffee filters to filter out the Kahweol and cafestol in brewed coffee that raise bad cholesterol.  (Who knew???)

Don’t smoke.  Smoking reduces the good cholesterol and makes your blood clot more. 

Frequent small meals also help reduce cholesterol.  Especially if you increase your fiber. 

Alcohol in moderation can help lower cholesterol.  This means one beer or glass of red wine for a woman and two for a man maximum in a day.  Remember that there are other health risks to alcohol consumption.  So you don’t get to have the whole 6 pack or whole bottle of wine.  Yeah – use a regular size glass.  No cheating!!!!

Exercise also helps lower your cholesterol. 

Then there’s medication.  But I will have to go back to Dr. Internist for that.  I would rather impress him with my skills at changing my lifestyle. 

So, I’ve been working on all the diet changes.  And getting moving.  Puff!  Puff! 

You learn something new every day!  I did!

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