Q. Dear Terry, “I have high cholesterol and don’t want to take medications. My doctor said he would let me try natural options for a few months and see if my numbers improve. What should I do?” – Tomás R., Los Angeles, CA
A. Dear Tomás, I think one of the biggest changes we can make to improve our cholesterol is through diet modifications. I believe it’s important to restrict all sugar and foods made with sugar, refined flour, and carbohydrates. That means soft drinks, sweetened and diet, crackers, candy, cookies, bread, pasta, cakes, and ice cream. While I understand this takes a huge effort, it can make a real difference. Click on my healthy diet plan for more information. For additional information, I also recommend checking out the following websites: www.ketogenic-diet-resource.com, www.drperlmutter.com, and www.dietdoctor.com. You should also read the books, Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter and Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis.
I do not believe that cholesterol needs to be uniformly lowered. I believe the balance between your HDL (“good” cholesterol) and LDL (“bad” cholesterol), is what really matters. This may be something you want to discuss with your healthcare practitioner, as they could have additional insight.
In addition to the dietary recommendations, I suggest that you also consider adding three nutrients to your daily regimen to help balance your cholesterol levels – amla (also called Indian Gooseberry), omega-3 fatty acids, and curcumin.
Amla is a fresh fruit from India and 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. Amla 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 would take 500 mg of amla, standardized to at least 35 percent polyphenol content, twice daily.
There are also many studies showing the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for reducing triglyceride and balancing cholesterol levels. I prefer omega-3 fatty acids from salmon, naturally bound to phospholipids and bioactive peptides, as this is much closer to nature and how people were meant to absorb and use these nutrients. This is the way you’d get your omega-3s by eating fish – which means a big difference in stability and ability to transport omega-3s to where they are needed most. I would take 214 mg of a salmon-based omega-3 phospholipid peptide complex in a capsule or 292 mg in a tablet, twice per day.
For additional support, I also think curcumin enhanced with turmeric essential oil would be a great choice. I would take 375 mg or 750 mg of curcumin twice per day.
Please be patient – you need to allow at least three months with the above nutritional program before you evaluate your progress.
Terry . . . Naturally
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