A client came to me recently because of her cholesterol. Her total cholesterol was over 200. Of course her physician wanted to put her on statins—the standard course of treatment for high cholesterol.
Having read about the side effects of statins, this smart lady wanted to reduce her cholesterol naturally.
We were able to reduce her total cholesterol by 37 points! This is a significant decrease. And this drop was a result of diet and lifestyle choices that my client was able to integrate into her normal routine.
It did take a little trial and error. Since everyone’s body reacts differently we had to find what worked best for her.
Unfortunately, as we often see, when her total cholesterol dropped, so did her HDL. HDL is what we call the “happy” cholesterol. We generally want to see HDL above 50. I researched ways to tweak her diet and lifestyle to boost her HDL and thought I’d share them with you.
These are amazingly simple tips you can start employing today to naturally boost your happy cholesterol:
- Eat 6 to 7 of soaked raw almonds at breakfast each morning. Here’s how: soak almonds in water with a ¼ t vinegar overnight. Drain and rinse before eating. Or, to make them taste wonderful, follow my recipe for crispy nuts.
- Eat 2 T of oat fiber each day. You can get oat fiber by eating oatmeal or by adding it to your baked goods. You can even get oat fiber in a supplement called beta glucan.
- Drink 8 oz. of cranberry juice cocktail daily. I can hear you now as you read this, asking, “Really, Kristy…isn’t that full of sugar and artificial stuff? I know, right!?! But research shows that it works. It probably works due to the polyphenols.
- Eat at least 5 servings of vegetables/fruit each day
- Snack on Brazil nuts, peanuts, or pistachios (a serving size is about 1.5 oz. which is important to keep in mind if you are watching your waistline)
- Consume 5 teaspoons EVOO, extra virgin olive oil (just under 2 tablespoons). EVOO is good for both salad dressing and cooking.
- Consume 6 teaspoons of coconut oil (same as 2 tablespoons) (good for sautéing and baking—but don’t use it on your salads!
- Eat 1.5 oz of high polyphenol chocolate. Yep, I said it: eat chocolate! However this comes with a caveat: Not all chocolate is created equal. You must buy dark chocolate that is high in polyphenols to get the health benefits. Want to know what are the best chocolate brands to eat (and what you typically find in the grocery store that you want to avoid)?
- Last is EXERCISE, that nasty 8 letter word. You’ll need to exercise 60 minutes per day most days of the week to get the HDL boosting benefits. You can walk, bike, hike, or do water aerobics to get in your 60 minutes. You can even break up your 60 minutes into three 20 minutes walks if that is more enjoyable for you, if you can’t find time for one solid hour, or your body isn’t up to 60 minutes all at one time.
- The fun thing about exercise is that it lowers your LDL cholesterol, too. LDL is what we call the “lousy” cholesterol.
If you employ some or all of these, you should see a rise in HDL which will result in your own happy dance!
If your doctor is fussing at you to lower your cholesterol, and you’d rather not take statins, give me a call 970-685-8531 and we’ll develop a plan to get your numbers where they need to be—naturally.