Treating High Cholesterol

Diet Changes:

  • Avoid coffee, alcohol, and high fat meats (Beef, Pork, Lamb – avoid the high fat cuts if you continue to eat these meats)
  • Reduce or avoid foods with high fat content: potato chips, snack foods, nuts
  • Choose low‐fat versions of dairy products: skim (or 1%) milk, yogurt (low fat), soft cheeses (e.g. mozzarella)
  • Increase vegetable consumption: 3 to 5 servings per day. Onions and garlic (raw preferred over cooked) are known for lowering cholesterol and improving the integrity of the cardiovascular system.
  • Increase fruit intake: 3 to 5 servings per day
  • Increase fiber intake: eat oatmeal for breakfast or add oatbran to a cereal or smoothie in the morning (1 Tbsp per day)
  • Increase consumption of lentils and legumes: this adds to dietary fiber and is an excellent source of low‐fat protein. Hummus or low‐fat nut‐butters are great snacks. Soy foods (tofu, soy cheese/milk) is highly recommended in a cholesterol‐lowering diet.
  • For detailed diet ideas, the following books should be consulted: Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease, or Eating Alive II by Jonn Matsen, ND

Exercise:

  • Aerobic exercises are probably the best approach to lowering cholesterol. Walking, cycling or swimming are good examples of aerobic exercise.
  • Your goal should be to exercise at least 4 days per week for cardiovascular benefit, 6 days per week if desiring weight loss.
  • Measure your pulse rate (if possible) before, during (midway), and after exercise. The pulse can be found near your wrist (thumb side, called radial pulse) or on the neck (carotid). Count the number of pulses in 15 seconds, then multiply by four (4) to give the number of pulses per minute.
  • If you choose walking as your exercise, you should gradually work up to 45 to 60 minutes per session (or per day: exercise has a cumulative effect). Your pulse should reach 60‐70 per cent of Maximum Heart Rate (calculated by subtracting your age from 220, then calculate the percentage). For example, a 50 year old person would target their pulse rate