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Lower Bad Cholesterol, Lose Weight and Live Longer

bad cholesterolIf you’re old enough to remember, eggs had a bad reputation for quite a few years. If I’m not mistaken, it started in the early 1990s. To this day, there are doctors that recommend limiting the consumption of eggs. While eggs may contain bad cholesterol, they’re not as evil as they’re made out to be.

I recently became interested in how to lower bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein or LDL) for both my wife, Josie, and I. She had blood work done and her doctor told her that she needed to reduce her bad cholesterol and triglycerides. Since I eat less plant-based food than Josie does, the doctor’s advice would probably go doubly for me. I haven’t seen a doctor myself (about cholesterol) in 25 years.

How to Lower Bad Cholesterol

There are supposedly two ways to reduce bad cholesterol, without using statins. The first is to consume food without cholesterol. The other is to consume more food with good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein or HDL). It’s very difficult to avoid cholesterol entirely and that tactic only helps about 20 percent of the people who try it.

The best way to fight the bad cholesterol, in my opinion, is to increase good cholesterol. That means eating specific types of food. An article at Medical News Today mentions some of them. My takeaway is this:

We already cook with extra virgin olive oil, now we need to see if we can find other ways to consume it. Neither of us like oil and vinegar salad dressings. We like coconut oil, so that shouldn’t be an issue. I can’t stand eggplant (Josie likes it) and I can only eat cabbage (any kind of cabbage) raw, in a salad or something. Boiled cabbage gives me too much gas.

Berries are expensive and don’t last long. I don’t know if it’s because this is Hawaii or not. Most food in Hawaii is more expensive than on the mainland. Fish is expensive unless we catch it ourselves. We’re not prepared to do that and it probably wouldn’t be a good idea for us to try. The doctor prescribed 4000 mg of fish oil a day to compensate and help lower Josie’s triglycerides. I’ll take as much myself.

I didn’t mention the other items in the article, like losing weight, quitting smoking and avoiding trans fats. Most of it simply requires common sense. If we add more good cholesterol food, both of us should automatically lower our bad cholesterol levels and lose weight at the same time. After all, we can only eat so much food. We both quit smoking in 2016. We already avoid trans fats and have been doing so for at least as long.

Filipino Food and a Vegetarian Lifestyle

Neither one of us wants to entertain the idea of a vegetarian lifestyle. There are too many things we like that are good for us, aside from the cholesterol itself. To be honest, there’s also a lot that isn’t good for us. Filipinos (and Josie’s one of them) like to use soy sauce and it’s not a good idea to use it if you have a lot of bad cholesterol.

The only thing we really intend to cut out intentionally is fast food. It’s expensive here anyway. We’ll eat more fish, if we can, and limit how much of the other kinds of meat we seem to eat regularly.

References

Photo Attribution: moiranazzari at Pixabay

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By RT Cunningham
March 9, 2020
Food and Drink, Health