A few months ago I found out that I have a cholesterol problem. After researching statin medications with side effects such as memory loss and severe muscle pain I decided to talk to my doctor about alternatives. He said that some people’s bodies as they get older just make bad cholesterol (which would mean I would have no choice but to take a statin) and some people have high cholesterol because they consume too much of it (which means I can change my eating pattern to be healthy). So we decided to do an experiment. For 1 month I went on a very strict diet (which I will describe) and then at the end I retook my blood test to see if my cholesterol has reduced. The results were stunning! My CHOL test went from 270 to 200 with healthy at <239 and my LDL went from 161 to 103 with healthy at <159.
Here is what I did to reduce my cholesterol: I eliminated butter and coconut oil and replaced it with olive oil and avocado oil; stopped eating all baked goods; no coffee for me which I didn’t know has bad cholesterol and replaced it with tea; only low fat dairy–cutting out creamy cheese was one of the hardest parts; I took fish oil supplements to elevate my good cholesterol; only egg whites; no shrimp or crab; lots of canned tuna salads; no mayo replacing it with balsamic vinegar; stopped dipping my veggies in ranch dressing and instead used homemade hummus; I never really ate a lot of red meat so it was easy not to touch that for a month; added beans and lentils to my daily diet (beans and lentils attach to bad cholesterol and flush it out of your body); ate more fruits and veggies; I tried oatmeal and discovered that I still hate it; no more nachos; I took sterols supplements (the brand I used is called Cholesterol Off) which has been proven to reduce LDL; I ate a grapefruit a day. One thing that I should have done which is really hard for me is to elevate my heart rate for 1/2 an hour a day.
The day I got my blood test I was so excited to eat something with cholesterol that I binged on cheese and bad Chinese food and ended up getting sick (probably from rancid oil from the cheap Chinese food place). It would be pretty hard for me to live on a strict cholesterol diet so I think I will try moderation minus the Chinese food and retake my blood test in 6 months. In the meantime I will try to go on more hikes and brisk walks throughout the week.
Here is a Spicy Bean Soup Recipe that I posted. I used the leftovers to make bean tacos the next day. Yum!