Healthy Eating
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Hi everyone .. I'm new here and looking for some ways to lower my cholesterol. I also have Diabetes Type 2 but not on medication - been managing to keep my sugars below the threshold at the moment.

However my cholesterol is high and my diabetic nurse wants to put me on statins and I'm not too keen as I would rather do this naturally.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated ... I'm loving all the great recipes here!

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There is no need for anyone to lower their cholesterol, at least not in and of itself, and certainly not with statins (which work by throwing a spanner in the gears of a critically-important synthesis pathway). Starting roughly at the turn of the century, a whole slew of research has shown no correlation between total cholesterol and disease risk of any sort. Statins are contraindicated for women: they appear to have some modest effect in middle-aged men who have already had a heart attack, but do absolutely nothing useful for women.

Have a look at my rants - sorry, introductory posts - in the LCHF forum. A growing number of people have found that LCHF-based diets (which basically revolve around vegetables and meat rather than drugs and stodge) fix a whole bunch of chronic problems, or at least offer a viable workaround for them.

I was quite surprised to come across this on diabetes.co.uk, which (if I remember correctly) has been vehemently opposed to LCHF for a long time:

diabetes.co.uk/diet/low-car...

That's as complete an about-face in diabetes policy I've seen in a long, long time. It's also the most factually-accurate that I've seen on an official (or semi-official) website. Props to them for leading the charge (and not least, for explicitly contradicting the NHS advice).

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Thanks very much Toad? I actually do follow the Low Carb Program designed for those with Diabetes Type 2, which is what I attribute to my sugars staying down. My cholesterol has however remained high, thus the request for advice. I will certainly have a good read of the LCHF information!!

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I'm happy to hear you've got your blood sugar under control! Do you have a story to tell about it? I'm sort of on a crusade to resurrect the LCHF forum and it would be great to have some tales of success on there.

As for cholesterol ... the government has been slowly lowering the bar for total cholesterol such that virtually everyone now has "high" cholesterol. It's bizarre - total cholesterol literally has no physiological meaning, as far as anyone knows. 25 years ago we thought it did, a lot of high-profile experiment were done to test the hypothesis, and it turns out that actually it doesn't. So why the NHS is still worrying about it is anybody's guess. You'd think they'd be happy about the experimental results and move on, but no, they're still tilting at windmills.

What are your LDL-C, HDL-C, and triglyceride readings? These are (slightly) more meaningful that TC, although there are significant errors inherent in the measurement methods which can create unnecessary cause for concern.

There is one possible explanation for your particular scenario: if you were overweight to begin with and you're currently losing a lot of weight, you will get a certain amount of cholesterol released from fat storage (nobody's quite sure what it's doing there, but your fat cells do seem to stash away a small amount of it). As your bodyfat decreases, this will start to level out. This is, incidentally, one reason why doctors are convinced that LCHF causes your cholesterol to rise. It does ... in overweight subjects, for a short period of time. After that, cholesterol subfractions stabilise at levels which are considered "normal", or better than "normal".

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Hi lizhamilton, well you're doing something now and thats whats important in my book so well done for joining is and you're in the right place for all things healthy eating.

There are posts about lowering cholesterol if you use the search box and this post is very informative for any one who wants to lower their cholesterol with useful links:

healthunlocked.com/healthye...

I think that you're 100% right to want to lower your cholesterol with diet, because you then get your diet right into the bargain...so good luck and any questions or queries you have you just ask away. 😊

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Thanks Jerry, this is really useful for me. It's always good to get advice and tips from those in the same position :-)

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I'm also an idealist who thinks we should treat our bodies holistically and I don't know what you levels are or why the nurse wants to put you on satins. 😊

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Hi lizhamilton

Just wanted to say 'Welcome' to the Healthy eating forum, and I'm glad you're enjoying the recipes and posts. :-)

Zest :-)

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Thanks Zest, I'm enjoying reading your posts too! :-)

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Hello lizhamilton & welcome. Great that you’re managing your blood sugars through diet. Not an expert on high cholesterol but I’m trying to manage my health & weight through diet & exercise. I try to avoid medication as it’s often treating the symptoms but not the cause. Of course some people have to take medication for their conditions & that’s different, but I’m enjoying developing a more healthy lifestyle. Had a great conversation at work today about fat (as in foods) not being the enemy! 🙂

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Hi Liz

There is a Cholesterol Support group on HU, if you want to read about the arguments on Cholesterol levels!

You shouldn’t be prescribed a statin on the basis of one number. Risk factors are things like family history, high blood pressure, previous CVD problems etc. Cholesterol levels also go up naturally in women at menopause, if you haven’t got any other health problems, I’m not sure that it matters.

If your cholesterol level is in double digits, you need to see a lipid specialist to check if you have the genetic form of high cholesterol.

Well done on keeping your blood sugar under control. If you want to reduce your cholesterol levels, eating whole oats is recommended, along with high fibre, brightly coloured vegetables. Exercise is also helpful. Would this fit in with your current diet?

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As regulars on this forum here know, I advocate a whole-food plant based vegan lifestyle as the healthiest route for the best life possible. Signs of diabetes should drop quickly (some reports of a few weeks) and as your diet heads for the healthy end of this lifestyle so will your cholesterol. You should also see easier weight management towards your ideal BMI. There is a lot to learn so if interested take it step by step.

Much as I am against drugs statins may be needed in the short term.

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