JJust been told to get my bad LDL cholesterol from 175 to 130 in 2 mts w/diet + exercise or take meds to control it. Need help to c

I just don't know where to start! What should I eat and drink to have an immediate impact. I love sweets and carbs. Since this news my cravings have gone crazy. I want to learn how to cook and enjoy healthy foods. Do you have classes for people like me????? I don't want to take medication to control this problem. What would you suggest?

a Whole Foods Market Customer


Linn May 24, 2012
Agree with healthierkitchen. Consider consultation with a registered dietitian. If triglycerides were high, cutting carbs would be the way to go, but LDL cholesterol requires investigtion into fats in the diet. Also good to put the number in the context of the HDL.
drbabs May 23, 2012
I just recently found out about this program and recommended it to a patient. Their mission is good health. It looks really comprehensive and reasonably priced. You might want to look into it.
susan G. May 22, 2012
If you follow some of this good advice, and your doctor still puts you on medication, you will still have gained high standards for diet and lifestyle (if you weren't already doing them). However it turns out, keep up the good eating, exercise, etc.
And, if you are taking a statin drug, be sure to learn about the issues with Coenzyme Q10. It may be very important to you to protect against side effects.
SeaJambon May 22, 2012
All of the above is good information and I just wanted to add a few additional words of encouragement. Not knowing you and your personal situation, I apologize in advance if any of this is off the mark, but if you've historically eaten a diet rich in processed/fast food, know that you need to give your taste buds about two weeks to "recover" from this past. Once you've totally removed highly processed and/or fast food from your diet, your taste buds will slowly wake up to flavors they haven't been able to taste for a very long time. Effectively, your taste buds have been overwhelmed by the high-sugar/high-salt/high artificial flavors that have been historically what they've tasted. Once they have a chance to cleanse and recallibrate, you will start really (REALLY!) enjoying your food -- and it will be the food that is good for you! Tastes like a ripe strawberry or peach, or even a slightly seasoned chicken breast, or a truly fresh green salad, will amaze you. So, keep the faith, know that not only is your food life NOT over it will actually get better once your body and tongue get back in balance. Watch out for the hypnotic call of processed food --there's a reason why the slogan "no one can eat just one" resonated so much! Sometimes it really is easier to "just say 'no'".

Good luck! It can be done, but it will require change.
petitbleu May 22, 2012
I am very young and have hereditary high cholesterol even though I eat a very well-balanced diet with lots of veggies and whole grains. However, I'm a fiend for cheese, so I know that isn't doing me any favor. I have been able to lower my cholesterol significantly in two months by eating oatmeal almost every day (I go for the steel cut oats and eat with walnuts, maple syrup, and cinnamon) for breakfast, by cutting back on desserts (although I have a sweet tooth and did indulge some), and by exercising every day. And when I say exercise, I mean just moving around. Walking, biking, going to the Y a few times a week. It's amazing what you can do with just a couple simple adjustments to your routine.
susan G. May 22, 2012
About eating out: even the best restaurants will use more salt and fat than you would use at home.
Another good book: 50 Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol, by Mary P. McGowan, MD, and Jo McGowan Chopra. Dr. McGowan is a respected MD in mainstream cardiology, with experience with 'alternatives.' Although it's copyright 2002, I think most of the information is very pertinent and good to see both the medical and the 'natural' side.
Lots of good information and suggestions from everyone here!
sexyLAMBCHOPx May 22, 2012
Oatmeal in the morning!
healthierkitchen May 22, 2012
Also, check with your local hospital(s). Many of the ones in my area have classes in just this sort of thing as party of their community outreach.

Voted the Best Reply!

healthierkitchen May 22, 2012
Get your doctor to write you an order for a dietician and go see one if you can. Sometimes insurance will pay for it if the doctor writes the order. In the meantime, low on the white carbs, low sugar, high on the lean proteins and vegetables and whole grains.
drbabs May 22, 2012
Check out the blog happyhealthylonglife.com. Especially her writing about Caldwell Esselstyn, MD. Or read his book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. http://www.amazon.com/Prevent-Reverse-Heart-Disease-Nutrition-Based/dp/1583333002 While you may not want to go to the extremes they recommend (vegan diet, no added fat whatsoever), you will find ways to make changes to your diet that can make a big difference in your health. In fact I was in Whole Foods the other day and saw the book Engine2 Diet here. You might want to check that out. It's based on the same principles.
Maedl May 22, 2012
A few random thoughts:

Consider food and eating holistically. Think about cultural, political, economic, environmental aspects of food and eating, and decide where you want to put your money.

First, don't totally ban anything that falls under the category of real food--fast foods are an entirely different matter and need to be eliminated from your list of edible foods..

Learn which foods need to be eaten in moderation, or even extreme moderation. Before you put anything in your mouth, ask yourself if your great grandmother--or someone of her generation--would have recognized it as food. If so, it is good enough for you to eat.

Make time in your life to cook. This may mean spending some time on Saturday or Sunday to cook a big pot of soup or stew that will provide quick meals throughout the week. If you have kids, involve them in planning meal, shopping for food and cooking.

If you have a family, make it a rule to sit down with everyone at the table for an evening meal. I don't care if the kids have a soccer game or other such diversion. There is no substitute for spending time with your family over a carefully cooked meal. Priorities!!

Become your farmer's best friend. Be a regular at farmes markets and learn to cook locally and seasonally.

Start reading! Contradictory information about which foods are good and bad can be confusing, so find sources you can trust. Eating Well, a magazine, is a good resource. The Paleo diet is interesting, too, but it is a bit too extreme for me because it eliminates too many grains which I think are perfectlly good for you, grains like spelt and farro.

Finally, consider red wine! Now, see, does this new approach sound all that bad?
susan G. May 21, 2012
High fiber (vegetables, whole grains, beans); save simple sugars (the kind of carbs you crave) for very special treats -- small portions, occasionally; increase exercise. Moderation, variety!
Supplements -- Red Yeast Rice has been successful for many people, but there are many other simple additions to a good diets that may help.
Your Whole Foods may have classes. Seventh Day Adventist churches or restaurants may have classes too.
ellenl May 21, 2012
Google forks over knives and the books they recommend, see Mark Hyman for supplements that will do it, eat fish and give up meat and all oils for several weeks. I'm not eating carbs, but have heard a number of people say that when they ate oatmeal for 2 meals/day it worked. Good luck!
SKK May 21, 2012
Increase your vegetables substantially and eat them raw when you can. Exercise, even walking 20 minutes a day can have a huge impact. Eat whole grains. Stay away from white foods and processed foods as well as dairy. You will find as you eat whole foods which are nutrient rich, you won't have the cravings you do now.

Whole Foods here in Seattle has some great classes on healthy eating. Don't know where you live but you can check it out.

And finally if you have the time and finances, consider going to a raw food retreat. You won't believe the difference one week of eating raw food can make. It teaches how food heals and totally changes your tastes. There are four that are great ones I have recommended to friends and have had friends recommend to me. Optimum Health Institute, in San Diego and Austin, Texas which I have attended and love; Moon River Retreat Center on the Hudson River; Tree of Life Rejuvenating Center in Arizona; Hippocrates Health Resort in Florida.

I happen to be a fan of Dr. Oz and this is a program he has to get started on raw food. http://www.doctoroz.com/challenges/raw-food-challenge

Another place to check out is Dr. McDougall's retreat. A friend of mine went and swears by this way of eating. http://www.drmcdougall.com/health.html

Just remember you don't have to eat this way forever, just to start changing your tastes.

And good for you!
Christine May 21, 2012
Take a look at niacin which is a B vitamin that a lot of doctors recommend for lowering cholesterol. Not a medication, if you aren't comfortable with that. It's a start....
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