I am trying to improve my cholesterol numbers.
Q. Dear Terry, “I am trying to improve my cholesterol numbers. Recent blood work showed total cholesterol of 221, HDL of 41, LDL of 109, and triglycerides of 356. My doctor wants me to begin a statin drug, but has agreed to allow me several months to try diet and lifestyle changes first. Do you have any recommendations that might help?” — Rebecca J., Appleton, WI
A. Dear Rebecca, After doing very extensive research on cholesterol and its effects on the human body, I don’t believe there is such a thing as high cholesterol. Cholesterol is not the enemy – it’s a vitally important building block for everything from vitamin D to our sex hormones. Having said that, I do believe in maintaining a healthy cholesterol balance.
In most cases, a high triglyceride level is due to a high consumption of carbohydrates. Therefore, I would recommend the ketogenic diet. For additional information, I also recommend checking out the following websites: www.ketogenic-diet-resource.com and www.drperlmutter.com. You should also read the books, Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter and Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis.
In addition to modifying your diet, there are some natural ingredients that you may want to consider.
Indian Gooseberry, a fresh fruit from India, has been an important part of Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. However, it was modern research that unlocked the secrets to its success in treating heart disease. Indian Gooseberry has antioxidant properties, which allow it to stop the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, the first step in heart disease. It is also able to increase levels of HDL – the good, protective form of cholesterol. I recommend taking 500 mg twice daily.
There are also many studies showing the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids for reducing triglyceride and cholesterol levels. I prefer to get my omega-3 fatty acids from salmon, naturally bound to phospholipids, as this is much closer to nature and how people were meant to absorb and use these nutrients. This means a big difference in stability and ability to transport omega-3s to where they are needed most. Therefore, you only need a small amount compared to the handfuls of fish oil capsules or spoonsful of fishy tasting oils.
Please be patient – you need to allow at least 3 months with the above nutritional program before you evaluate your progress.
Terry . . . Naturally