General chatter - New high cholesterol diagnosis... could use advice

05-30-2011, 12:59 PM
I feel a little blindsided by this one. I had my cholesterol checked not long ago due to a family history of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Also have a strong family history of diabetes. I was really wary of that one since I have a sweet tooth and was sure that the diabetes was the one that I was needing to work against the hardest.

Anyway, I had cholesterol checked a year ago, was fine. In the mean time, joined the YMCA (downgraded from running to walking and biking since the extra weight was hard on my knees at my highest weight), started walking my kid to school everyday, and eating better to lose weight. I had lost 15 pounds by the time they rechecked my blood work in September. My doc left and never gave me the results. I lost another 15 pounds since then. I had to go in on Friday and casually ask about my test results since I wasn't there for that but figured I get my results. High cholesterol. All my numbers are good except the LDLs. I'm also in the high risk category.

I feel a little blindsided. I'm 33, I'm exercising, and losing weight (15 pounds overweight, now). Where did this come from? I guess I was deluding myself into believing that my efforts were enough, but they aren't.

Doc said to lose weight (on that), "improve your diet", exercise and we'll recheck my levels soon before moving to medications. There wasn't much guidance other than more exercise, a low fat diet, and lose weight. Those are kind of vague. Should I be aiming for time or intensity with the exercise? What foods in this low fat diet? Does anyone have any research links related to the low fat diet vs. the Mediterranean diet and cholesterol/hearth health?

I would welcome any personal experience, websites, information.

Thanks for listening to my ramble. I guess some people would be confused as to why I'm surprised. I suppose my response falls into the surprise that people have because you knew you were getting older chronologically, but where did those gray hairs come from? I know I was overweight but what do you mean I have weight/lifestyle related health issues... it shouldn't happen to me. Also, I have a mom who in her fifties had a pacemaker and defibrillator who is hospitalized a couple times a year. I don't want this test result to become that.

Oh, and on a side note: I hate fish! Anyone know how to learn to like it since everything I've read so far says I need to eat it at least 3 times a week?


05-30-2011, 02:59 PM
It sounds like you are on the right track. Given your family history, you might be one of those folks who need cholest. medication to keep it way down. This doesn't mean that your efforts have been for nothing, it just means that you will need some extra help.

I would check out some of the flax seed and fish oil supplements. Also, oatmeal and related types of food are helpful. Good luck and don't get discouraged.

05-30-2011, 10:10 PM
Take a fish oil supplement to help with that if you don't like actual fish. I like Barleans and since I started taking 2 capsules a day it has helped with my own HDL, LDL, tri's.

How's your saturated fat in your diet? Healthy fats is one thing, too much sat fat is another and that influences LDL. Watch your portions of animal foods for that.

Do you like oats? Adding more oatmeal could help with the cholesterol thing too.


05-30-2011, 10:33 PM
I have been on a low dose Lipitor for at least 10 years. My numbers are fine with the medication.

When my cholesterol was first diagnose high I weighed about 175, hadn't had alcohol in 15 years or so...can't say my eating habits were

the doctor said mine was hereditary and would not go down enough with diet and exercise.

There are plenty of sites to go to for foods and recipes....good luck.

05-31-2011, 06:24 AM
I absolutely hate fish. I thankfully do not eat it anymore since I became vegetarian. But before that I had tricks to manage to eat fish:

1st buy boneless fish. The fuss to clean it and the bones stuck in your throat are terrible.

2nd Put joghurt on it. half a cup of joghurt, a spoonfull of olive oil, spoonfull of pure lemon juice, oregano and pepper, makes a great sauce and it is very light.

If you want to avoid fish like me make sure you get your protein from beans (eggs, fatt free joghurt/cheese), omega 3 fatty acids from almonds or enriched food etc. And make sure you get your vitamin b12 from animal products, vitamin e from fats/oils/nuts and vitamin d from milk.

05-31-2011, 01:23 PM
Thanks for the tips, everyone. The surprise is wearing off a bit and I am piecing together a diet plan based off a few sites. My diet was okay, but I know there is always room for improvement (in my case a little more than others), so I'll start with increasing the oats/whole grain content, trying different fish to see if I can tolerate some more than others, and booting the breaded/fried/or creamy parts of my diet. I'm trying to make a distinction in my head between "no fat" and "cutting down the 'bad' fat and keeping the 'good'". Creamy-bad Fish oil and nuts-good.

EZ, thanks for letting me know that you can be doing most things right, but sometimes you need a little help to counterbalance heredity. I'll try the diet/exercise route, but it's good to know that it's not a big fat "Fail" sign if I can't get my numbers where they should be.

09-30-2011, 06:01 PM
Thank you all for your replies!

I wanted to update everyone as to how things are going. I changed my diet and lost some more weight. When I went back for blood last week and just got my results back. I am in the normal category for over all and LDLs again! Yay! I still have a little ways to go weight wise and I want to see my LDLs a little lower considering my family history of heart disease, but I am so excited.

I was so shocked and overwhelmed at the time of that post. Ask me why with my family history and having been obese and then "just" overweight. Denial in full effect. Thank you all again for the advice, support, and suggestions.

10-01-2011, 01:54 AM
Yay! Good news :)

10-02-2011, 01:32 PM
That is good news.

Those of us with family histories must be ever vigilant.