A routine blood test done in May 2015 revealed that I have high cholesterol. Reading was 6.4. I was totally unprepared and shocked when my doctor told me the news. As you already know, I am a health and fitness freak. I do not eat deep fried foods. Sausages, ham, bacon and all deli meats, sweets and junk food are banned in my household, as with canned food and soft drinks. I exercise 5 times a week. I graze on greens like a cow and I buy mostly organic greens. I eat very little meat, YET?! WTF? This is so unfair!
“You have genetic high cholesterol as both your parents have high cholesterol. No matter how hard you change your diet or exercise, it will be extremely hard to bring down your cholesterol level” said my doctor to me. I was shattered. How unfair can life be? Duh, I might as well be eating all those rubbish that I mentioned earlier and I would not feel as bad. I have done everything that is good for my body and hardly abuse it with junk yet I am given this ‘sentence’. I felt and still feel shitty ever since the diagnosis.
My 39-year old fitness freak brother who has 6 packs and is as fit as a horse also has high cholesterol all in the name of genetics! 🙁
My doctor wanted to refer me to a heart doctor for him to prescribe me with Statin but I am not ready yet. Statin has a host of negative side effects. I plan to take an even more drastic twist to my diet along with supplements.
So, can you imagine what sort of diet I have to stick to now? I have since morphed into a cow that grazes mostly on organic greens and nothing much else!! Well, truth is, I do still indulge in meat once a day and the portion is no bigger than half my fist. Yes this pathetic in size. Eggs consumption is limited to about twice or thrice a week. Thankfully I am the ‘eat to live’ type. I hardly ever crave for food. I can turn vegan any time. The day will come soon.
These days, my diet centers around lots of grains, nuts, seeds and green veggies. My intake of fruits is limited to 1.5 portion a day, which usually consists of an orange and half an apple / 1 kiwi / quarter slice pineapple a day. Too much fruits can also cause a spike in blood sugar. My maternal grandmother had diabetes, so I am a strong diabetic candidate too 🙁
I start off my morning with a glass of low fat milk with sugar-free cocoa powder / coffee and a teaspoon of chia seeds. After a half hour swim in the pool, I have my breakfast. Breakfast is normally a slice of wholemeal bread drizzled with extra virgin coconut oil and palm sugar syrup or maple syrup (both syrups are low in GI), a handful of roasted pumpkin seeds, raw walnut, baked almonds and baked cashews.
Lunch is usually my favorite organic raw sprouts with kim chi or vegetable acar. Or I would be sharing a bowl of soupy noodles or a plate of mee siam (Thai vermicelli) with Cass. Or it could be anything that the MIL cooks (if she is around). The MIL is a health freak too, thankfully! I also love to tuck into a satisfying bowl of Hakka lui char. Lui char is chockablock with all my favorite veggies and nuts. My usual lui char seller makes the best lui char in the world. I love her basil and spearmint broth, which she will prepare extra thick for me at my request. She also gives me an extra packet of roast peanuts and extra spoonful of fried minced ginger with sesame seed oil. I just had a big bowl of lui char for lunch and this is so fulfilling.
My dinner usually consists of soup with 3-4 tablespoons of oats and chia seeds, lots of vegetables and a piece of chicken / 1-2 tablespoons of fish meat / egg dish.
Cholesteroal Reading After Diet And Supplements
About 3 weeks ago (early February 2016), I had my blood tested for cholesterol. The reading of total cholesterol went down from 6.4 to 5.8. Yay! But. This. Is. Still not good enough! The reading is still slightly high. My doctor and I agreed that I can try to modify my diet “even further” and have another blood test done in two months.
What? How “further” can my diet go? Does this mean that I can no longer eat meat, eggs and the occasional indulgence in cakes and cookies? I am trying hard to steer clear of these, though I still eat in the tiniest portion. Someone commented that with this diet, I am going to get blown off by the wind in no time! Not that I am asking to have high cholesterol nor deliberately avoiding meat. How mean can some people be!
What is high cholesterol?
High cholesterol is a well-known risk factor for heart disease. Cholesterol itself is a waxy, fat-like substance that is primarily made by the liver, although some comes from the diet. It is an essential component of cell membranes and is used by the body to produce hormones and vitamin D.
What are the causes of high cholesterol?
The tendency toward high cholesterol appears to be genetic although diet also influences cholesterol levels. Other factors that can influence cholesterol levels include being overweight and being physically inactive. The older you get, the more likely your cholesterol levels are to rise. Before menopause, women tend to have lower cholesterol levels than men of the same age, but after menopause, women’s LDL levels often increase.
There is considerable controversy over whether high cholesterol is in itself a cause of heart disease (the lipid hypothesis), or a symptom of an inflammatory condition that is the true cause of heart disease (the inflammation hypothesis). According to the latter theory, chronically high levels of inflammation creates small lesions on arterial walls; the body sends LDL to heal those lesions, but it ultimately accumulates and oxidizes, causing blockages. From this perspective, the best lifestyle approach to lower cardiovascular disease risk is to lower inflammation in the body rather than LDL levels.
Supplements I Take To Bring Down Cholesterol
Besides oats, chia seeds, nuts, seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables, I take these supplements daily:
Natural fish oil (natural source of Omega 3 ) – 1 capsule 3 times a day
Izumio hydrogen water – 2 packets a day
Super Lutein – 2 capsules a day
Ways To Control Cholesterol Naturally
Eat some nuts every day. Choose almonds, walnuts and cashews, all of which contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.
Substitute whole soy protein for animal protein. Soy protein such as tofu, tempeh, soy milk, whole soy beans and roasted soy nuts has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. Choose organic products where possible.
Use fresh garlic regularly. Garlic has been shown to lower both cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Use one or two raw or lightly cooked cloves a day.
Drink green tea daily. The antioxidants it contains help lower cholesterol and prevent the cholesterol in your blood from oxidizing.
Go crazy with colorful fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables have scads of ingredients that lower cholesterol—including fiber, cholesterol-blocking molecules called sterols and stanols, and eye-appealing pigments. The heart-healthy list spans the color spectrum—leafy greens, yellow squashes, carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, plums, blueberries. As a rule, the richer the hue, the better the food is for you.
Limit refined carbohydrates. These include cookies, cakes, crackers, fluffy breads, chips and sodas, all of which can worsen cholesterol levels by lowering HDL and also increase triglyceride levels.
Take coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). This powerful antioxidant benefits heart health by protecting LDL cholesterol from oxidation and by re-energizing the mitochondria in the heart cells, which is where energy metabolism occurs. CoQ10 may also help lower blood pressure.
Exercise! If your cholesterol is creeping upward, your doctor has probably told you that diet and exercise—the traditional cornerstones of heart health, could help to bring it down. I brisk walk for 15 minutes, followed by a 30-minute swim in the pool 5 times a week.
Take fish oil. Fish oil contains an abundance of essential omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3s) that have been shown to lower triglyceride (blood fat) levels, minimize inflammation and clotting, and increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Research indicates that omega-3s may help reduce the risk and symptoms of a variety of disorders influenced by inflammation, including heart attack and stroke. You can add omega-3s to your diet by eating more cold water fish such as wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel and black cod. If that’s not possible, supplement it with two grams daily of a fish oil supplement that contains both essential omega-3 fatty acids, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). When choosing a supplement, look for one derived from molecularly distilled fish oils – these are naturally high in both EPA and DHA and low in contaminants. Also choose a supplement brand that has been independently tested and guaranteed to be free of heavy metals such as mercury and lead, and other environmental toxins including polychlorinated biphenyls, also known as PCBs.
Drink Izumio hydrogen water. According to a research conducted by the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, hydrogen (dihydrogen; H2) has beneficial lipid-lowering effects in high-fat diet-fed Syrian golden hamsters. Serum analysis showed that consumption of H2-rich water for 10 weeks resulted in decreased serum total-cholesterol (TC) and LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) levels. In conclusion, the research found out that supplementation with H2-rich water seems to decrease serum LDL-C and apoB levels, improve dyslipidemia-injured HDL functions, and reduce oxidative stress, and it may have a beneficial role in prevention of potential metabolic syndrome.
I have increased my intake of Izumio hydrogen water from 1 packet a day to 2 packets a day since the day I found out that I have genetic high cholesterol.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can purchase Izumio hydrogen water.
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You are therefore advised to consult your registered medical physicians as a matter of due diligence.