"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

20 May 2014

A More Natural Approach

I'm trying to lower my bad cholesterol and raise my good cholesterol with natural methods.

It isn't all that high....just a little over 200 overall. BUT..this is up from 174 in one year.  Part of that is due to my inactivity all of last autumn and winter (2012/2013) due to the bulging disk in my back that took many weeks to heal.  And I also added calcium to my diet in the way of more dairy products that year as my vitamin D levels were low.  (calcium adds vitamin D).  So....starting last September, when I had my results from the blood work and found out my overall cholesterol was 208, I decided to try natural methods to lower it this year.  I am due to have it checked again this summer...and I'm hoping these new things I've tried have worked.  The research says it should.  We'll see!! 
Here are the things I have added to my diet/life style:

  •  Plant sterol-fortified orange juice.

  •  Almonds and walnuts.  I add them to oatmeal, quinoa, and salads. Make sure they are not coated with sugar or salt.  Just all natural nuts.

  •  Fresh fruits and veggies....eaten raw.  I've added apple slices to lean deli ham or turkey with a smear of honey mustard, fresh spinach leaves or romaine lettuce, fresh tomato, fresh cucumber slices.  When I don't have apples in the house, I add sliced avocado.  I bring blackberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, and blueberries to work for a mid-morning snack or late afternoon snack.  Fresh is best and raw is even better!  You can also add fresh fruit to cereals and serve in place of baked goods for dessert.

  • Flaxseed Oil with Omega 3-6-9:  I take a capsule of Flaxseed Oil each day with dinner. It is the 1800 mg one.  It helps to lower cholesterol AND wards off hot flashes. It works. I've been taking it all this past year while going through menopause and I've had no hot flashes! I was getting "night sweats" but they have really disappeared with these capsules.

  • CHOLESTOFF is also something I take every other day, twice a day.  The directions say to take 2 caplets with food, twice a day. I take them after breakfast and after dinner. I just started this regimen last month.  We will see what happens!


  • Cardio workouts.  This is VITAL!  In order to lower your cholesterol, you MUST do some cardio at least 4 times a week (always check with your doctor first).  I do power walking with bursts of running, biking, hiking, and jump rope.  It's so important.  Not only will it improve your cholesterol numbers but it will help you sleep better, help you lose weight if you need to get some weight off, and help with your mood/emotions.  I love my work out times, especially now that we are past the winter season!

  • Calcium plus Vitamin D:  this builds up your vitamin D and calcium levels which can raise your good cholesterol by 7%. I take 1200 mg per day and the recommended dosage is 1000.  (my doctor wants me taking 1200).  Check with your own doctor first!

  • UNSWEETENED ALMOND MILK  I have switched from skim milk on cereals to unsweetened almond milk.  It is best for me to avoid most dairy products.  I don't want the added hormones or antibiotics that often come with cow's milk.  I don't care for goat's milk and it's difficult to buy it around here. So I started using almond milk on my cereal last autumn. Now, I can't even fathom putting regular cow's milk on anything.  I do use skim in my coffee but just a tiny bit.  Almond milk is much easier to digest and won't raise your cholesterol!  

  • NO MORE BUTTER!  I no longer put butter on toast or rolls, etc.  I still buy it as my husband and daughters use it.  But last summer I switched to Smart Balance.  I will never go back to butter.  This has plant sterols.  It's wonderful. And yes, it tastes like real butter.  I use it on my flaxseed bread that I toast for breakfast.

those are just some things I've added to my diet and life.

I've also added things like cranberry juice (more on how that helps lower cholesterol in another post), bison rather than ground beef and IF I buy ground beef I am buying "grass fed" only, more fish like salmon and tuna, flaxseed meal to replace flour or eggs.  I also only buy DHA eggs now...more on that later..I eat a half grapefruit each day in the winter months...more on why later...and I've added small amounts of red wine and concord grapes.....also I've switched to very dark chocolate, and am a part time vegetarian.....2 times a week is my goal but right now I'm only eating vegetarian 6 times a week for lunch, and one time a week for dinner. I"m also cutting way back on sweets/baked goods, and I no longer eat ice cream in its pure form.

What about you?  do you need to lower your overall cholesterol and raise your good cholesterol?  What steps are you taking?? please share....


Joyful Reader said...

Lots of changes! Hope they all work for you. I had a scare with High Colesterol last year. My OB had the blood work done then called me all worried about my numbers. I saw my regular MD and he said it was no longer considered "high" but that I might want to do better things. He recommended the Mediterranian Diet. MMMM, good choices there! :)

Dianna said...

VERY good information you've put out here, Faith! I need to check out that orange juice. I do most of the things you've mentioned and my good cholesterol raised 4 points over the last year. We truly ARE what we eat! We take Flaxseed Oil...but I am going to check out your brand. The brand we've been using only has Omega 3 on the front of the bottle, but I just now checked and it does include 132 mg of 6 and 9 as well. I also want to check out the Cholest Off. We are totally Almond Milk around here...have been for quite a while now. I'm like you...I can't imagine ever going back to dairy.

Thanks so much for a great post, Faith. I will be looking forward to the information you put out there about the things you will include in a future post!

Melanie Lopata said...

Oh! I've been buying the Almond Milk because it doesn't bother my stomach. My current fave is the dark chocolate almond milk! I also buy the coffee creamer in the organic section; again, doesn't bother my belly.

We buy the same o.j. :)

Joe and I have been eating VERY healthy in the last couple of weeks. Plus walking a lot (more than dog walking) and Joe has lost weight and I am starting to tone up AND............my GERD hasn't bothered me at ALL!! No more meds for this gal!!!