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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let's lower our cholesterol naturally.: The Cholesterol Challenge


You just had your yearly check-up and your doctor announced that your cholesterol is 220 milligrams. You thought your high fiber diet would have been enough to take it down to under 200 mg; but no, you are hit with 220 mg. So what do you do? How about going meatless on Mondays and eating only fish on Wednesdays and Fridays? I'm doing it so why not join me?

Cholesterol is a lipid(fat) like substance that is naturally produced by the liver. Your cell walls contain cholesterol and your body uses cholesterol to make some hormones, vitamin D and bile salts to help you digest fat. Cholesterol is found in foods from animal sources such as, milk, cheese, high fat meat, and foods high in saturated fat. So, contrary to what most people think, foods like potato chips have no cholesterol but if they are cooked in animal fat, they could be high in saturated fat. This is depended upon the oil they are cooked in. Always read the labels; they are not perfect, but they are extremely helpful.

The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends a consumption of less than 200 milligrams of cholesterol per day. Too much cholesterol can lead to plaque forming in your arteries, which in turn can lead to heart disease. Those for whom heart disease runs in the family, should take these recommendation seriously. Use an online food diary to track your calories, fiber and cholesterol intake. Daily monitoring is very helpful as it helps you stay on track. Besides, when you watch what you eat, you tend to eat less; therefore, you are addressing cholesterol and weight issues at the same time.

You can give yourself a few months before revisiting your doctor to get your lipids rechecked. Because I am also cholesterol conscious, I invite you to join me in this challenge. Simply subcribe to Fat Secret online food diary to track your calories, fiber, cholesterol and etc. http://wwwfatsecret.com/





Egg yolk
No fried foods
High fat cuts of beef
Organ meats such as liver
Processed and luncheon meats
High in fat milk, cheese and butter
Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils
Baked goods/candy make with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils


The Challenge Rules:


Meatless Mondays
Fish on Wednesdays and Fridays
Track your daily cholesterol intake on an online food diary.
Report back here with your results.
 

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I cannot commit to specific days, but since DH's diagnosis we are essentially doing the same thing here. Last night's dinner was baked fish and vegetables. Tuesday will probably be our vegetarian night, and there's tuna sandwiches planned for Wed. I need to pick up more tuna steaks for grilling while the weather is still good.

DH has been able to get his down, but not enough. He needs to exercise more, too. Fortunately our 100F+ days are behind us and we can get out more this fall.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm doing this for 2 weeks. Ever since my thyroid was radiated my cholesterol has gone up. @Contrary Housewife a 30 minute brisk walk 4 days would help your husband a lot.
 

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Well, you know the old saying, you can lead a horse to water...

We went out to the fair today for 4 hours. Walked 30 minutes. Sat 30 minutes and watched some entertainment, walked 30... etc. We'll both sleep good tonight.
 
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I had a shock when my cholesterol was 230 in March. I went because I was tired all the time and they did a full blood panel. The dr suggested more exercise and the usual schpeel. You know how I got it down AND stopped feeling tired and napping all the time? And lost 30lbs to boot? I started taking extra Vitamin D daily. We already only use skim milk (I do not drink it nor eat much cereal) and low fat cheese. Eggs are once or twice a month. We have a meatless meal 3-4x a month. AND I walk 2 miles 5-6 days a week. I didn't ask my dr what my vitamin D levels were, he wasn't very receptive to me that day. But I bet if I asked they would have been low.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@YankeeMom
My vitamin D is low. I will want to see if my cholesterol drops via watching my intake. I'm planning on redoing my lipid work at the end of October and if it doesn't drop, I will take the vitamin D.
 

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We started taking D about 2 years ago. DH noticed a big improvement in his energy levels and a few other hormone related things. It has helped keep him from being completely inactive. I can't say I've noticed a change in myself, but it's supposed to help fight the pain and fatigue of RA. I know my level was low, borderline acceptable. It was very easy to get the test, I just asked the nurse to have it added. You generally do not need a doctor's order for a blood test.... unless you need insurance to pay for it.

MsFrugal, I hope you try it. It can be like a miracle drug for some.
 

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I treating thread. I need to go check what my last report said. Can you have too much vit D?
 

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Mauimagic, yes you can have too much Vitamin D. If you take 50,000 IU daily for a long time it can cause vitamin D toxicity. I take 2000 IU daily and it helps immensely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm doing great on my quest to lower my cholesterol. Two weeks ago, I wasn't eating enough foods high in fiber but I adjusted that quickly. I can't until I take my cholesterol test in October.
 

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Speaking of Vitamin D...I was going to post this in another thread, but here will work, too.

For the past few months, I've had severe hair loss. I've read everything about it on the internet, talked with my doc and of course, got the story of normal hair loss of 100 hairs/day, yada, yada. Tested thyroid, all the routine stuff. Well, I'm talking markedly severe loss. Shampooing my hair would result in hair everywhere in the shower. Falling on my shoulders non-stop. I could just gently run my fingers through my hair and come out with 15-20 strands of hair. Hair clogging my brushes. Changed all hair products. Took Biotin and other B vitamins. Did everything I could think of. Bathroom floor continuously covered in hair. My hair is shoulder length and even clogged the brush thing on the vacuum. I was looking into getting a decent wig. My hair had always been extremely thick - almost too thick. It would take me 35-45 minutes to blow it dry. Now I can dry it in 10-15 minutes. You should see it. It's really bad. Depressingly bad.

About a week ago, I heard something about V-D and hair loss. Thought I might as well try that. Started taking 2000 IU AM, 2000 IU PM. Withing a couple of days an absolutely, astounding, incredible difference. I can't even begin to tell you the difference. From my reading, the hair I've lost may not come back, but at least I won't lose more.

Additionally, my nails had started splitting/breaking and again, my nails had always been hard as...nails. I used them to screw things in, pry things apart, but suddenly they would break with me filing them. Well, already I can tell a difference.

And finally, a headache. I had this mild but irritating headache almost every waking moment for several months. I've probably taken more Tylenol in the past few months than I've taken total in my lifetime. Well, the headache is gone. And yes, definitely increased energy levels. I sleep better, too. Vitamin D is my miracle drug.
 

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Speaking of Vitamin D...I was going to post this in another thread, but here will work, too.


And finally, a headache. I had this mild but irritating headache almost every waking moment for several months. I've probably taken more Tylenol in the past few months than I've taken total in my lifetime. Well, the headache is gone. And yes, definitely increased energy levels. I sleep better, too. Vitamin D is my miracle drug.
If you also have a magnesium deficiency, taking Vit D supplements can cause headaches. I was dxd with low Vit D and have to take mine with extra magnesium or else it gives me a dull headache that lasts all day.
 

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I had the headache before I started the D. Not now. However, thanks for the heads up on the magnesium. I'll certainly keep that in mind if they recur. I'm convinced my D levels were low since the response to taking D for a few days has been so dramatic. Only thing that concerns me is why, all of a sudden, they got low. I get plenty of daily sunshine, drink lots of milk. How much D do you take daily? I'm taking the total of 4000 IU's right now, thought I'd continue for another week or so then cut back to 1000 IU's AM and PM.
 

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I had the headache before I started the D. Not now. However, thanks for the heads up on the magnesium. I'll certainly keep that in mind if they recur. I'm convinced my D levels were low since the response to taking D for a few days has been so dramatic. Only thing that concerns me is why, all of a sudden, they got low. I get plenty of daily sunshine, drink lots of milk. How much D do you take daily? I'm taking the total of 4000 IU's right now, thought I'd continue for another week or so then cut back to 1000 IU's AM and PM.
The nurse said to take 10,000 IUs three times a week. I need to go back in to check my levels now that I've taken it for 2 months.
 

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This is interesting. I was put on 2000 IU D3 Nov. 2011 for mood stabilization...and it's worked for me. More energy too! I love the stuff and have been telling everyone about it. I take it with a Magnesium supplement.

My DSIS#1 is a doc in Atlantic Canada and she says they recommend up to 4000 IU/day for everyone. Part of the problem is that, while people are getting lots of sun, they are also using high SPF sunscreen that is blocking out the rays that help metabolize vitamin D. At least, that's her guess what's going on.

As for lowering cholesterol naturally...that's what I've been doing this last year. I can't give you my reading because it would make not sense to you. Americans and Canadians measure cholesterol in different units of measurement and I don't know how to convert them. But my ratio of bad to good cholesterol was 4.6, which is really high I've been told. Using diet and supplements alone I was able to drop it to 3.9 in 3 months. I stopped eating gluten, dairy, and sugar. My family physician was happy with that, so my bloodwork won't be repeated until next year sometime. She does it once a year.
 

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The nurse said to take 10,000 IUs three times a week. I need to go back in to check my levels now that I've taken it for 2 months.
That's about what I'm taking right now 4000 IU x 7 days = 28000 IU. I've had friends in the past that took it like you are- 2-3 times a week. I wonder why.
Now that peanut has chimed in with the comments on magnesium, I may just go ahead and take that, too. If my hair stops falling out my mood will stabilize! :lol: First thing this AM I brushed it...no loss. So far, so good. Sun? I never use sunscreen and generally get an ample amount of sun daily. Not like I used to, of course, but you can't live in Texas and not be in the sun during the summer. Who knows?!? When you get to be my age, things just get weird!

As for cholesterol lowering capabilities, I don't know. I'll have to research that. I do know that about 2 years ago, my chol had elevated - along with my weight. I dropped 10 pounds by healthier eating and increasing exercise and the chol values came down. Healthier eating simply involved staying away from fast foods and sweet, sugary foods. I find it so interesting that Vitamin D may be responsible for elevated chol values. That would be good news for all those taking those expensive chol lowering drugs.
 

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Oh SueBee, I didn't mean the D was responsible for lowering cholesterol...I think it was the gluten free, dairy free, sugar free diet. My doctor was very happy to find I was off all three of those.
 

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Oh! OK! But I have been reading about Vitamin D and cholesterol and there is some "evidence" that low D levels can result in elevated cholesterol. The jury is still out, tho'. Your diet is somewhat similar to what I did to lower mine - very little bread, wheat products, nothing with added sugar. I still continued to drink lots of milk, tho'. Exercise combined with diet can do wonders.
 
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