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Cross the Bridge to a Healthier Lifestyle.

Ask Sunny

Healthy Advice for Cholesterol

Dear Sunny,

My cholesterol is up and I’m hoping you can give me some good, healthy advice to help with this. I don’t want to go on statin drugs.

— Colleen in Collier

Dear Colleen,

They say, “What goes up must come down!” and your elevated cholesterol levels are no different.

There are a few dietary additions you can make to improve your numbers. But of course you’d want to check with your doctor before you embark on any new program.

Oatmeal is a good way to start the day and has also been shown to help lower cholesterol. Add a cup of blueberries to your breakfast and you have a great cholesterol busting combo. Blueberries, along with their other potent anti-oxidant effects, have recently been shown to support both healthy lipid and glucose levels.

Green tea has many health benefits and is a great way to support the cardiovascular system. Several cups a day can be added to your program. (Don’t steep green tea longer than three minutes as it can become bitter.) Many brands come already flavored and it can be purchased as iced tea also.

I hope you’re using extra virgin olive oil for sautéing and also on your salads. Another good fat can be found in flax oil. This can be mixed with yogurt or put on a salad. You don’t want to cook with or heat flax oil, however.

All vegetables will add needed fiber, but green peas are especially helpful for cholesterol lowering.

Eating walnuts, oily fish and lots of fruits and vegetables as part of the Mediterranean diet has also had a beneficial effect on cholesterol scores that are in the higher range.

Supplements can be a great help in avoiding prescription drugs. Garlic is a very basic way to start a regimen. You may want to use one that releases in the lower intestines for full benefit such as Garlinaise 4000. CoQ 10 is also recommended for high cholesterol and general cardiovascular health. Blue Bonnet makes a CoQ 10 product called Ubiquinol which is the latest form shown to be especially absorbed well by the body. Many people have had good success with red yeast rice. It’s thought to work the same way as the statin drugs. In fact, Solaray has a product that combines red yeast rice and CoQ10.

There are other combination products containing ingredients known to support healthy cholesterol levels. Cholest-Response made by Source Naturals is one of many good ones on the market.

Supporting your liver is important, so you may want to do a liver cleanse to kick off your new plan. There are many good products for this process and it’s not as daunting as it may sound. Renew Life makes a Liver Detox supplement which is easy to use. Just follow the directions to give your liver a much needed boost.

Exercise is known to raise HDL, which is the good cholesterol. A thirty minute walk everyday is an easy way to accomplish this.

Keep in mind that cholesterol is not the only factor in cardiovascular disease. Please ask your health care professional to check your homocysteine levels (high levels are associated with oxidation of LDL a more damaging form of the bad cholesterol) and C reactive protein (indicates the amount of inflammation in the body which is a marker for risk of heat attack and stroke) also. These two numbers are just as important in evaluating your overall cardiovascular status.

Good luck with your efforts to improve your cholesterol. Hope these suggestions get you on your way!

Beaming with Health,