Log in
Cholesterol Support
7,952 members2,255 posts

Diet Plan to avoid statins

Hi, I had a recent blood test which showed my cholesterol as 7.43. I'm a 37 year old female with high cholesterol, heart disease, heart attacks etc in the family. It seems I have been passed it down!

The doctor wants me on statins but I am concerned and am thinking of trying to lower it with diet or supplements over the next 3 months until my next bloods.

I eat generally healthy anyway but do like a fortnightly takeaway. Can I have one monthly or never again?! Anyway, please could someone tell me if they know of the perfect cholesterol lowering diet plan so I can follow it?

Also, I want a scan of my heart/arteries. What should I be asking for? I want checking out as thoroughly as possible.

Thank you

11 Replies
oldestnewest

Get the full printout of your lab results with the lab ref. ranges which should be stated alongside each result. Ignore the cholesterol, and instead see if your Triglycerides were at the lower end of the ref. range... and if your HDL was at the upper end of the ref. range.

Also, see what the result of your HbA1C (blood sugar) blood test was. If it was not tested, ask the doctor to run the blood test. It gives an overview of your carb & sugar intake of the previous 3 mths.

If your thyroid profile blood test was done properly, it would have inc. FT3, FT4 and TSH. And you'd then know if your three hormones are communicating correctly/not with each other. The most important hormone of those three hormones is FT3. Most doctors don't bother inc. the FT3 when they run the Thyroid profile blood test - and so they never get an accurate overview of those three hormones because they never ran those three hormones together. Thyroid dysfunction can cause an array of issues inc. elevated cholesterol/lipids, heart disease, dementia, osteoporosis, etc.

There is a lot of misinformation about what is/not a "good" diet. I suggest you watch the documentary 'The Magic Pill' (released in 2017) which you'll find online. It will provide some dietary and wellbeing ideas.

Good luck.

1 like
Reply

Thank you so much for that. Very useful. I'll pop into the doctors and get a printout this morning. And I'll look up the magic pill.

I have an appointment on 22nd with the doctor so I will ask them to run more tests and see what else I can access.

Thanks

1 like
Reply

Please look at the websites for doctors Esselstyne, Ornish and McDonald. It was only through this forum that I found out about them, this was after I had a coronary artery scan privately where I came out as high risk. I have been on WFPBNO whole food plant based no oil diet fo nearly three years after looking at the web sites.

Reply

Human body produces 80 % of cholesterol on demand and 20% from what goes into out mouth! There is no simple cholesterol lowering food, I am afraid. Controlling how much we eat and regular exercise can help towards a healthy life.

You need to fully understand your blood lipid numbers and risk analysis. You doctor has a duty to fully explain risk analysis numbers.

You can ask for a 12-lead stress test start with, an elector and echo cardio gram as well. thee are external rests. Check your height to waist ratio. Life style change, regular exercise, small food portions, please buy a smaller plate, smaller dish, eat 1/3 food,1/3 water and 1/3 empty. This is hard but can be achieved.

Please ask your doctor for an explanation (why?) your body is producing high cholesterol on demand!

Reply

Thank you, I'll ask for all of that. Not sure about my height to waist ratio but I'm not big. I'm a size 10, weigh around 9,11 last I checked and am about 5' 4. I do eat healthily I think but whether I can eat better cholesterol wise....probably. If I knew the right foods. Not sure what you mean by 1/3 empty, 1/3 water plate. Could you tell me more? Thanks

Reply

From what we eat in controlled portion we can reduce wright and it turn blood numbers can come down. normally we wet a full palate. if we want to reduce blood numbers, we have to control portion on good quality food, small portion, 1/3 of normal portion, 1/3 of water to fill the stomach (2/3) normal and leave the stomach (1/3) empty.

This is very difficult to start with. I started my life style change four years ago and it is under control.

At the end of the day you need to discuss your blood numbers with your doctor to fully understand it and if it is (familial), take the necessary action plan.

Reply

I did ask my doctor and he thinks it could be familial. Which might make sense as there is a long history of heart disease in my family x

Reply

I think it helps to find out about the experience of others. I am diagnosed with high cholesterol since 2017. The doctor believes it to be genetic in my case. In 2011 I suffered some chest pains that bad I was referred to the cariology department at the hospital,

where I had a heart scan. I was told by that doctor that I had nothing to worry about.

Those words stick in my mind bearing in mind the view of the doxtor at the lipid clinic.

You would get some piece of mind if you get a heart scan.

Reply

I have already accomplished what you are hoping to accomplish, and I did so by natural means and in the process stopped taking ALL medications.

You can read all of my posts and blood work results here:

healthunlocked.com/user/sos007

In March 2015 I underwent a triple bypass, followed up by the insertion of 4 stents.

Since that time, I have made it my business to learn everything there is to know about cardiovascular disease, including the cause. I also made it my business to learn all about cholesterol.

Elevated cholesterol is the messenger that you are engaging in lifestyle and dietary behaviour that creates an inflammatory condition inside of your body. Your objectives should be to target the elimination of your inflammatory condition and as a consequence, your cholesterol will naturally be brought under control.

I live in Canada and am not overly familiar with your colloquial weight references using 'stones'. However, I gather that 9,11 is about 137 pounds. If so, at 5 feet, 4" in height you are about 17-20 pounds overweight. The lifestyle and diet that created this excess weight is what you must address to get your cholesterol reduced.

The best lifestyle diet - that is, a permanent diet that provides your body with essential nutrients and does not promote internal inflammation, is the 'Mediterranean Diet'.

Adopting this diet along with a more physically active lifestyle will allow your body to gradually shed your excess body fat and your weight will level-off at a point that is consistent with your optimal state for your bone structure.

The Mediterranean Diet is essentially a WFPB (Whole Foods, Plant-Based) diet. Unlike the Esselstyn and Ornish Diets, the Mediterranean Diet encourages the use of extra-virgin olive oil among a limited number of other healthy oils. Olive oil is high in essential Omega-3 fatty acids which your body needs for both energy and proper functioning of your endothelium (inner lining of your arteries). Cardiovascular disease is sometimes referred to as 'endothelial dysfunction'.

This diet also restricts animal protein consumption. I personally have 2 meals per week that include skinless chicken breast and 2 meals of cold-water fish such as wild-caught salmon, trout, or arctic char. I have red meat infrequently, on average once every 3 months.

There are in fact foods that will lower your cholesterol naturally - blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, nuts, dark leafy greens, legumes (lentils, chick peas, peas, beans), fruits - especially apples and oranges, and whole grain products such as oat bran, psyllium and oatmeal. All of these foods provide your body with fiber which causes food to move efficiently through your intestines and binds to LDL cholesterol to remove some of it.

Your biggest dietary enemy is sugar and simple carbohydrates which when ingested are converted to glucose. Therefore you must immediately eliminate all added sugars, including honey, agave, and any other such sweeteners, as well as the following simple carbohydrates:

- white flour products such as - white bread, white pizza dough, white pasta;

- white rice, white potatoes

Watch this video:

You also therefore must eliminate all soft drinks, including the diet versions, as well as strictly limiting alcohol consumption to no more than one 6 oz. glass of red wine per day. Red wine contains resveratrol which is an antioxidant and thus protects your body's tissues and cholesterol from oxidation (in simple terms - rusting).

Eliminating dietary sugar and avoiding simple carbohydrates also enhances the functioning of your thyroid. It will also lower your triglyceride levels which are the most important blood metric among the standard lipid panel. The lower your triglycerides, the lower your LDL-C and more importantly, your LDL-P.

Fried foods cause oxidation therefore you must avoid frying any of your food. Baking, boiling or grilling (avoid charring) are preferred forms for cooking.

You don't need to worry about your plate portions - if you follow this diet, you can eat as much as you want and lose weight. The only thing you should limit is the portion size of your animal protein - no more than 3 oz and you should limit animal protein to no more than once per day, and optimally to once every other day.

Dairy is also an inflammatory food but you can have limited amounts of fermented dairy products such as Greek yogurt, kefir, and some cheeses. In general, goat and sheep milk dairy products are healthier than cow-milk products.

When choosing your food you should look for organic produce and grass-fed varieties of beef. Choose chickens that are fed healthy feed and have lived in open spaces. Always try and choose wild-caught fish over farmed fish.

From an exercise perspective, you should walk 30 to 60 minutes daily, without exception. Exercise lowers cholesterol and improves the efficiency of your cardiovascular system. Your walk must be at a brisk pace. Once you body adjusts to this exercise you will want to challenge it more by incorporating other forms of exercise including resistance training using weights. However, even if you just stick to a daily walk and nothing else - you'll do yourself much good. Get yourself a 'Fitbit' or other similar device to measure your steps and keep yourself accountable. I target 15,000 steps daily with 10,000 being an absolute minimum. Daily exercise will also increase your thyroid function.

Vitamins and Supplements - Vitamin C and Niacin lower cholesterol. Contrary to the myths on the internet, vitamin C is harmless up to 10,000 to 15,000 mg per day. After that point you may get diarrhea. Vitamin C also causes your body to retain iron. As a pre-menopausal female, I doubt that iron retention is problematic for you.

I suggest you start with 1,000 mg of vitamin C after each of your 3 main meals per day. Niacin (full-flush variety) also known as vitamin B3 naturally lowers your cholesterol levels. In fact, it was the 'go-to' treatment for elevated cholesterol prior to the creation of statins.

Niacin causes the small blood vessels in your skin to dilate so when you take it, it causes a warming sensation and turns your skin red. This effect is completely harmless and dissipates with use especially after the first 2 weeks. To minimize this effect, it should be taken on a full stomach and a full glass of cold water. I take 500 mg after breakfast and 500 mg after dinner.

Other essential vitamins - Vitamin B6, B9 (folate) and B12; Vitamin D (1,000 IUs in summer and 2,000 IUs in winter); Vitamin E (400 mg per day); curcumin (60-120 mg per day); Omega 6 fish oil (I take 900 mg twice per day).

The Dr. Linus Pauling Therapy for cardiovascular disease also promotes the use of Proline and Lysine in combination with vitamin C - read this:

practicingmedicinewithoutal...

If you haven't figured it out by now I will tell you explicitly that 'whole foods' means you do not buy packaged foods other than frozen fruits and vegetables. Most, if not all, packaged foods contain hidden forms of sugar, salt and oils that are high in artery damaging Omega 6 saturated fats. You must therefore avoid, chips, crackers and other packaged foods.

You can find great recipes and a general dietary guideline here:

pritikin.com/healthiest-die...

and here: ricardocuisine.com/en/recip...

I know this must all seem overwhelming - implement gradually starting with the elimination of all sugar and simple carbohydrates. Fill your plate with vegetables and legumes and you'll never go hungry. Snack on nuts and homemade popcorn (drizzle with olive oil not butter) and of course lots of the fruits I noted above. Apples are best for a quick healthy snack.

I have organic, unsweetened, unsalted almond butter on whole grain German bread every morning. I drizzle 1/4 of a teaspoon of honey on it and dust it with cinnamon (make sure it is Ceylon or True cinnamon). Coffee and tea are fine. Try and have at least 1-2 cups of Green Tea daily - it increases your metabolic rate and is loaded with antioxidants.

I encourage you to get a blood test every 3 months to hold yourself accountable for your dietary regimen.

Changing habits is very difficult, to help you do this watch this brief video:

Good luck and if you need anything else, you can message me privately.

1 like
Reply

Thank you so much for that. All very helpful. When you put it like that I suppose I must be overweight! I have lost 3 stone over the last few years after having my children.

The vitamins are all difficult to get my head around. I will write down a daily regime and stick to it.

I am trying to eat the right things. I can avoid crisps, sweets etc without issue as well as sweetened and fizzy drinks. I usually drink water, coffee and alcohol. I'll cut that right back and will add in some green tea.

It is a lot to get my head round but I will try. I've got a Fitbit and will do a minimum of 10000 steps per day. I'm also going to start swimming with a friend some mornings.

I will ask the doctor for the 12 lead Stress test, a scan of my heart and an ECG. I have blood tests booked in for 3 months time and will continue with that.

Is it wise/safe to take aspirin in the meantime? I know family members are on a daily aspirin for their heart problems so I wondered if this might be wise for me? I'm terrified of dying before I can be seen and am convinced I can feel a constant pain, tightness (almost like scratching or stretching) in my chest. Although this must be psychological surely? Or have I just not noticed before?

Thanks for all replies

Reply

I would not start taking an aspirin just yet. Aspirin can cause internal bleeding for some people and long term use is also associated with hearing loss among other things. Some type of internal bleeding can be fatal like a brain hemorrhage.

I mentioned the vitamin curcumin and vitamin E in my response above. Those two have anti-inflammatory properties and also act as blood thinners and anticoagulants - as does the Ceylon cinnamon (1 teaspoon daily in your coffee or tea - you must stir well as it doesn't dissolve). If you incorporate those vitamins and supplements you may not need aspirin. You can take Vitamin B9 (folate) available as supplement but it also readily available in green vegetables.

To get enough folate, make sure you have at least one of:

- broccoli

- kale

- arugula

- spinach

...in your daily diet. Asparagus, beets and legumes are also high in folate. If you aren't eating these foods daily then you most certainly should take the B9 supplement. I take both the supplement AND eat these foods. I also measure the fibrinogen and homocysteine levels in my blood every quarter as these metrics will tell you if your blood platelets are too sticky or if your blood is prone to clotting too quickly.

Half of all heart attacks and strokes happen to people with normal or even optimal cholesterol levels. Therefore ensuring you blood and platelets aren't too thick or sticky will protect you from these risks.

It's hard to do all of this by yourself so it would be great to get your whole family to buy into the Mediterranean Diet. It is healthy for everybody not just those who may be ill.

The pain in your chest may be unrelated to your cholesterol levels and may have had something to do with the way your body changed after your pregnancy or possibly the way you contort when picking up children and doing other physical work. I wouldn't dwell on that too much especially at your age.

Also understand that a heart scan (coronary calcium scan) incorporates radiation - something that you should minimize exposure to throughout your life. The stress test along with the ECG and some other blood tests will likely provide you with sufficient information regarding the status of your cardiovascular system.

Aside from the fibrinogen and homocysteine tests, you can also ask for:

- myeloperoxidase (MPO) - measures inflammation in the arteries

- CRP (measures general inflammation in the body)

- Lp-pla2 - measures risk of potential heart attack or stroke

- Lp (a) - measures genetic predisposition for early onset heart disease

- hb-A1C - average blood glucose level over last 3 months

All of these can be done with one blood draw. You may have to pay for most of these as it is unlikely the NHA will cover their cost.

Until you can do these things just remember that sugar and simple carbohydrates are your biggest risk factors along with a sedentary lifestyle. If you begin to cut out those inflammatory foods and engage in daily exercise you will put yourself on a path to good health and never have to worry about heart disease and other illnesses associated with excess body fat and inflammation, regardless of your family history.

By the way - ketchup, barbeque sauce and most other packaged condiments contain sugar in some form or another so avoid using them.

One last thing - have a tomato every day - tomato seeds also help keep your blood from coagulating among other healthy nutrients. There's a tomato-seed based extract in the form of a food additive called 'fruitflow' available in Europe and you should consider getting some.

amazon.co.uk/Swanson-Fruitf...

Best of luck.

Reply

You may also like...