Healthy diet: New to this site. I am... - Cholesterol Support

Cholesterol Support

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Healthy diet


New to this site.

I am actually posting this question on behalf of my hubby. Who has a very healthy diet, eats lots of veggies,beans lentils cos im a vegetarian so he has what I feed him (and enjoys it)

He had a MOT the other day, and got his results today with a real shocker- his cholesterol was 20. He's a non smoker,non drinker. And cycles to work plus he does a 7 mile cycle after work.

This is a real shocker, he was prescribed Simvatstatin 40mcg at night.

He has family history - his dad passed when he was only 56, his uncles passed away young, I am worried sick, My hubby is 43 in Sept, is this a ticking time bomb?

25 Replies

Hi reikimaster. Welcome to the site. With levels that high there is definitely a genetic component. The good news is that it has been discovered before he has any cardiovascular problems. Statins should lower his levels (may be some trial and error to get the right medication) and he is doing all the right things with his diet and exercise. There is no reason why he shouldn't live a long and healthy life and history doesn't always repeat itself. Tell him not to get too stressed and take time out to relax and enjoy life. Good luck!

reikimaster in reply to Seahorse

What a warm welcome seahorse, Thank you x

He is going to try a get an appointment with the doc on Monday.

His Dad had Cardio- myopathy (my spelling is dreadful)

He needs reassurance and a dieticians help, despite the veggie diet they may be something lacking in there what could help.

Thank you for the positive answer :-)

Don't panic, although it must have been a terrible shock to you all. Traci and Seahorse are right his levels are nothing to do with what he has been eating (although he sounds really fit and healthy!) but it is most probably an inherited form of high cholesterol, such as FH.

HEART UK are experts on this and I think we on this forum are pretty good ourselves, so there is lots of support for you. It can be inherited (50-50 chance) so cascade testing is important if you want it.

I have to say some ares of the country are better at diagnosis and treatment, but you should be referred to a lipid clinic.

reikimaster in reply to Aliwally

Thank you Aliwally.

A lipid clinic, where do I find one of them?

Should I go on Drfoster? To find one. or should the GP refer?

Im loving your koala :-)

DakCB-UK in reply to reikimaster

Find lipid clinics on the HEART UK site at

The GP should refer to one of your choice.

You may find other parts of the HEART UK site like "Been Diagnosed with FH?" useful. Please join HEART UK if you can spare the money. It's a charity with patients and medics as full members, which I think is rather special.

You need to be looking up foods which help reduce cholestrol and fish is one of them but there also some fruit & veg. What has he been told to do? For some time it has been known that a vegan diet is good for weight control but not to give the body all it needs to run efficiently.


Vegetarian is the limit- I could not restrict him to vegan, I know there are alternatives but its a no no.

He has not been told do anything, he explained to the GP that he cycles every where, non drinker/smoker, plus he eats very healthy. We both follow the Slimming world plan so fats are very limited, I cook every thing from scratch so I know exactly what's in there

Concerned in reply to 2squirrels

How does fish reduce cholesterol, please?


I'll add to that. Readings at this level is inherited and is in no way linked to diet. The current thinking is that, due to a genetic defect, the liver is not able to remove enough of the proteins that carry cholesterol from the bloodstream quickly enough. These proteins then continues to circulate until they are used up or removed in another way.

As such, changing what you eat will have little effect. The current treatment is statins which stop the liver making cholesterol so less if it enters the bloodstream. If there is less in the bloodstream, then your body doesn't need to remove as much to keep levels close to average.

Studies have found that people with genetically caused high cholesterol in the bloodstream are at a much higher risk of heart events but are not sure why.

If you have only had one blood test, you'll no doubt be tested again and should be offered genetic testing to check and confirm the original readings.

As your husband is now on the health authorities radar, he'll be offered advice to eat normally (as he is) but I would advise against buying fake products that are marketed to lower cholesterol e.g. some spreads, yogurts etc. The statins will take care of that.

reikimaster in reply to Hidden

Hi Architect

Have you any idea how long it will actually take for the treatment to work?

Thanks for your informative post :-)

Hidden in reply to reikimaster

It may take a few weeks for the statins to start reducing the cholesterol levels but that's not a guarantee your husband will be 'cured' - as high cholesterol levels are not a 'disease' - just a risk factor. It's been seen that people with FH (genetically high cholesterol levels) have a higher risk of heart disease than those of the general population. Your husband is not 'ill' and there is no 'cure'. There is no guarantee that someone with high cholesterol will develop heart disease, and equally, there is no guarantee someone with low cholesterol won't develop heart disease (a lot of heart attack patients have low cholesterol levels!) so all you are doing at the moment is trying to manage the risk. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done in this area to try to work out cholesterol's role (if any) in heart disease.

There are lots of foods that naturally lower chloresterol so look out for them. As you obviously have a computer, go on line and ask Google for chloresterol busting foods and recipes and you will be given lists of foods to add to your arsenal of aids to get your husband on the road to lowering his levels. Did you ask for a breakdown of his figures, his "good" and "bad" numbers. With FH the rules are totally different to those people who have high, but not inherited levels of chloresterol. There are several people on this site who have FH and will, no doubt, be able to give you more information as to how they have been able to follow a regime that has helped them

Don't panic. Your husband has done the first big step. He got his levels checked and will get the advice he needs from those who can help the most. Has he gone to a dietician to get advice?

All the best

reikimaster in reply to patch14

Thank you Patch,

Forgive my ignorance but- what is FH? I actually got the numbers wrong- he told me his levels were 22.3 so its worse still.

I think he needs to join in - this site, - the dietician is on the agenda, hopefully he can get in to see the GP on Monday- so we shall see what that brings.

Hi Traci

No he's not had a referral to see a consultant -but I expect he will be asking this question, when he get to see the GP.

when his dad passed way, the hospital only checked my hubbys heart via a ultra sound, this was to enable him to go ahead with a nose job- not a vanity one- a stop snoring one !- still hasn't cured it!

Thank you for you informative post Traci :-)

Although the foods you listed are low GI, that doesn’t automatically ensure the glycaemic load will be controlled.

Also, beans and lentils weren’t a major part of the Palaeolithic diet; Loren Cordain warns of autoimmune responses.

Hi Concerned,

Are you saying that Beans and lentils cause auto immune conditions?

Do you mind me asking what the Palaeolithic diet is? Im new to this site, Golly this is quite worrying....

Cordain claims there is evidence to support this.

Palaeolithic means pre-agricultural; essentially it's how our ancestors all must have eaten, a hunter-gatherer diet.

Don't panic!! FH means Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) Now you can see why it is referred to as FH!! It has been found that family members whose cholesterol is high have been troubled with it from childhood and could be prone to early heart problems and even, I am sorry to say, death. But now that the medical world is on the ball with this condition things have improved dramatically. When a member of the family is diagnosed with very high cholesterol levels and family history is taken into account FH could then be diagnosed and the whole family, children included, are kept in the loop with regular checks etc.

Get your husband to ask about it on Monday. Go with him. Write down all your questions and get the answers you want. I am sure that if you have a good relationship with your Dr he/she will be more than happy to answer them and give you both the help you need.

All the very best,

Hi Reikmaster,

If your husband's levels are that high he should insist that his GP refers him to the nearest lipid clinic ASAP so that he can get a thorough assessment. Diet and drugs take time to work, and it may be that he needs high levels of drugs to start with.

I really would absolutely insist on it.

I, like your husband have to take statins, 40mg as I make the wrong cholestrol and have always eaten a healthy diet. It shocked me to find this out and have been on them for 7 yrs. My daughter who is 43 has to have further blood tests as she too has shown to have high cholosterol. Does anyone know if this is hereditary

DakCB-UK in reply to sable

It may be. Only genetic testing would show for sure, but you can sometimes make a pretty good guess if the last few generations died young from heart attacks.

Yes quite right . My hubby is now waiting to see a cardiologist who will be testing for genetics- strong link maternal and paternal so despite eating very healthy vegetarian diet with lost of beans,pulses,lentils and veggies it has not made a scrap of difference. Plus he cycles to work and back daily-even going to do a further 7/15 miles depending on time.

His dad died young as did his dad's dad, uncles from his mums side and also dad from his mums side.

Sorry to hear about the shock result!.

I wonder how your husband got on...?

Was the blood tests a 'fasting blood test'? If it was not - Now, ask for a 'fasting' blood test as the result will be much more accurate - He obviously needs a fasting test for diabetes as well! (A glucose tolerance test)- they could be done at the same time!

In the meantime, keep on feeding him the diet you have already, but watch out for that butter and cheese - it is saturated fat - go for an unsaturated, non-hydrogenated lower fat alternative (have a look at PURE spread)

In his case, his inherited risk is the most prominent factor and should be discussed in full with his Vascular/Heart Consultant. His Doctor was right to start him on a Statin.

I wonder if he should be on a 75 mg dose of Aspirin daily as well, talk it over with a joint visit to his Doctor.

Take a list of questions in a note book to the Doctor, each time.

Consider becoming Vegan - the animal fat in your diets is, obviously, not doing him any good.

I hope all has gone well for you both?

Healthy eating isn't about severe dietary restrictions, remaining unrealistically lean, or depriving yourself of the meals that you like. Rather, it is about having more energy, enhancing your prospects, feeling fantastic, and stabilizing your mood. You're not by yourself in case you are feeling confused by all the contrary nutrition and diet advice out there. It seems that for every expert who tells you a specific food will work for you, you'll find another saying just the opposite.

Few healthy diet tips are: Cut back on solid fat, reduce sodium, have low-fat milk, consider on whole grains.

This message can be confusing, LCHF may be the best way forward!

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