Cholesterol Management

Cholesterol is a scary word.   It has become synonyms with heart disease and death, and with good reason.   Heart disease is the number one killer in this country, and cholesterol is a direct contributor.

Most of us now know that there is a good cholesterol and bad cholesterol, or HDL and LDL respectively.   We want to increase our HDL by eating healthy fats like nuts, and lower our LDL by avoiding un-healthy fats like cheeseburgers served on Krispy Kreme doughnuts.  

There is also Lp(a) cholesterol, which is a genetic variation of LDL.   When you hear about heart disease running in the family, this is, more often than not, the cause.

There are 4 ways to lower cholesterol, and they are pretty obvious.   Eating right, exercise, lowing weight and drugs like Lipitor.  

But before you can really start a routine to lower cholesterol, you need to know what it is.   The last time I had mine checked was in Southern California at a doctors office right next to an Irvine teeth whitening clinic.   Surprisingly, it wasn’t bad, despite the fact I was overweight.

My score was 215, which is the high side of normal.   If it’s over 220, that’s when you should be taking very active steps.  

The best defense against high bad cholesterol is, in part, good cholesterol.   So on top of cutting out obvious foods that you know are bad for you, try eating a handful of nuts everyday for lunch, and having fish.   And plan on cutting red meat out of your diet, or at least significantly reduce it.   I don’t eat red meat more than once per week. (yet I’m still fat)

As for exercise, a simple light walk in the evenings can do almost as much to lower your bad cholesterol as a strict workout regiment.   How working out hard can give you better endurance, strength, and make you look better naked, it’s not really much more effective in lowering cholesterol than a 30 minute walk each night.  

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