They did not take tons of supplements, drink herbal teas, and eat oats for breakfast to have perfect cholesterol numbers. Yet they made their doctors scratch their heads with disbelief.
High cholesterol is not an enemy
It is a damage marker. It goes up when health goes down, but not the way you think. High cholesterol does not cause poor health. It is failing that health causes high cholesterol. Cholesterol repairs. That’s why it goes up when your body is in poorer health. Think about it: why would body make a substance that kills? If that’s the case we shall all be dead.
Why Emily had high cholesterol?
Emily was a 54-year old woman with good eating habits and a slim built, but her doctor insisted she needed to lower her cholesterol. She did not know how to go about it since she already was doing everything possible: she ate a healthy low fat diet walked a lot and did yoga. Apparently that effort wasn’t sufficient. What was she doing wrong? Missing antioxidants? Missing garlic pills?
After a careful analysis of Emily’s diet diary and lifestyle habits some patterns became evident.
Factors behind Emily’s declining health:
- monotonous diet,
- insufficient vegetables, and
- wrong exercise type
Emily started to make jogging rounds around the neighborhood three times a week. She increased vegetables and brought variety in her diet. She was committed and her change was noticeable to everybody. Even her neighbor, a medical doctor, kept on insisting that she give away her secret of getting younger.
To Emily’s surprise her total cholesterol went from 6.59mmol/L (255mg/dl) to 5.18 (200) after about three months of suggested lifestyle changes. She was ecstatic, so was her doctor, who stopped talking about cholesterol-lowering drugs. Emily also lost 8 lb without dieting.
Dave’s reasons for high cholesterol
Dave was a 19 year old student with very good grades. But the stress of school and student lifestyle made him unwell and obese. At 321 lbs he accumulated a long list of health problem, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure. He wanted to lose weight and high cholesterol, he felt, was only a nuisance at that time, but I explained it is all in “one package”. Dave was a bit lost with what to do, but the problems were easy to spot
Factors behind Dave’s declining health:
- irregular eating,
- binging due to hunger,
- excessive sugar intake, and
- sedentary lifestyle
Dave was committed and wanted to make a visible change in two summer months. His changes involved eating a large egg-based breakfast and removing obvious sugars. Exercise was hard to fit in due to time constraints, so we left it at that.
Two and a half months later his total cholesterol went down from 6.23 (240) to 5.92, (229) but that wasn’t what was the most interesting. His HDL (good) cholesterol, which is hard to change, went up from 1.10 (42) to 1.36 (56), an astounding 24% increase. That is a very significant indication of substantial health improvement, including cutting risk for cardiovascular disease as well as cancers.
Dave lost over 40 lb. He went down from 321 lb to 280 lb. His blood pressure also improved. It went from 174/100 to 160/83 without any blood pressure lowering medication or supplementation.
Mary’ struggle with high cholesterol
Mary was a 60-year old female with numerous chronic diseases. Mary was overweight. At 5.5” she carried 181 lb. She was on eight different types of medication, some for diabetes, some for thyroid, and some for joint pain. She was also dependent on two different types of insulin to regulate her erratic sugar.
Mary could not exercise. She barely moved. Her joints were very painful and stiff but her diet was accepted by diabetic nurses as good. According to our standards, she had a lot of work ahead of her. We started with what was the most obvious. The cholesterol wasn’t the major issue, but the cardiovascular risk and inflammation was. Cholesterol was just a part of it.
Factors behind Mary’s declining health:
- junk food,
- large portions,
- impulsive eating,
- food allergies
Few months later Mary’s cholesterol was modestly down from 4.71 (182) to 4.10 (156), but her life has changed dramatically. She lost 20 lb, however that wasn’t the biggest success. By addressing the above mentioned problems she managed to reduce her insulin units by at least half and completely abandon five of her medications.
Her specialist told her she no longer has arthritis. What’s more, she started to exercise and enjoy her rounds of golf, as she did in her earlier years. All her friends started to be jealous of her glowing skin, her energy, and her endless zest for life.
If you ever wondered
how to lower cholesterol naturally
you got the answer. It is not about “low fat diet” and “cholesterol-free” approach. It is about finding out factors that caused health decline. Have you ever wondered why cholesterol-lowering medications do not prevent heart attacks? Because forcing cholesterol numbers down with pills does not translate into better health, stronger heart or more energy. The pills only lower cholesterol – that’s all. Do not expect your lowering-cholesterol medication reverse your arthritis, lower insulin units, or make you lose weight. Only better health can do that.
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