Can you lower your cholesterol without drugs?

A bowl of my heart-healthy Best Granola swimming in some Almond milk can be helpful in lowering cholesterol.

A bowl of my heart-healthy Best Granola swimming in some Almond milk can be helpful in lowering cholesterol:  lots of whole grains, nuts and seeds will make your heart very happy, indeed!

A dear friend and I got into a conversation about cholesterol.  She had recently been diagnosed with high cholesterol, and was trying to avoid having to take the cholesterol-lowering drugs.  Yes, Gentle Readers, I am approaching the age in which I spend quantities of time chatting about cholesterol–weight loss–sun damage on my skin–and the like.  Oh well. (What are you going to do?)  The clock ticks and the days pass one by one–there’s no stopping them–at least if there is, I haven’t figured it out yet!

We live in an affluent country and we typically indulge in rich and tasty foods, and too many of them.  Who can blame us?  But as a consequence of this indulgent diet, we are fatter, and less healthy, than any body else on the planet!  Most of our serious health problems–obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and the like–can be traced to our rich, fatty diet and our reluctance to exercise.  High cholesterol is a problem, and tens of millions of Americans are taking cholesterol-lowering drugs—mostly statins—and many health “experts” have the opinion that many millions more should be taking them. I couldn’t disagree more.

Statins are HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, that is, they act by blocking the enzyme in your liver that is responsible for making cholesterol.  They are a mixed bag, though, as most drugs (in my opinion) are.  There are now nearly a thousand studies that show their adverse effects, and undesirable side effects include:  muscle problems, immune dysfunction, cataracts, memory loss, anemia, and increased cancer risks.

Here’s a novel idea:  if your health problem has been caused (and many times, this one has) by lack of exercise and the wrong diet, how about getting out there and exercising and changing the diet?  What an idea! 

Here’s an excellent article written by Helen Aitkinson, from EZine articles, which I hope will be helpful for you if you are trying to lower your cholesterol.  And here’s a link to my Best Granola on the Planet, if you get motivated and want to make some for yourself!  If you want to add foods that will lower your cholesterol, granola full of whole grains and nuts and seeds should definitely be in your arsenol!

Now–onward, Gentle Readers!  Get healthy!





12 thoughts on “Can you lower your cholesterol without drugs?

  1. Victoria

    Great informative post Amy! I’m working on getting off those darn cholesterol meds, I can’t stand them! The granola recipe looks awesome, but I’m allergic to a few of the ingredients. Might I change it up a bit?

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      You certainly can change up that recipe–in fact it started as something different and I changed it up quite a bit, myself. I think the only really crucial ingredients are the oats and some sort of sweetener–you can add different types of dried fruit if you like, or omit that, and ditto with the nuts and seeds. Best wishes to you on lowering that cholesterol naturally–you can do it!!

  2. Stella Scott

    I have excellent health but then I always catered to it with a healthy diet, exercice, lots of cultural experiences, laughter and great relationships.

    I think the biggest problem for many is that you will have to give something up to be able to reach results. Most people want a result by doing noting. That is why prescription drugs come in so “handy” and are consumed like candy.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      I agree, and yet when I read the potential dangerous side effects that could result from so many of the commonly-prescribed drugs, I just shake my head. How much better it would be to just concentrate on improving one’s diet and getting plenty of exercise, in my opinion.

  3. Bonnie Gean

    When you figure out how to stop the clock… let me know. 🙂

    I’m going to visit your Granola link. The partner likes to make granola bars here and anything that’s healthier to eat (versus ice cream) sounds good to me!

    Thanks for the great article.

  4. Alana (@RamblinGarden)

    My husband has had the muscle problem side effect with every statin his doctor has had him try. Why do they keep having him try? (incidentally, he has a physically active job and has had one for years.) We are both now actively using lifestyle changes to lose weight. We will see what happens.

  5. The Great Gordino

    Here’s something to add to your outrageous idea of exercising(!) – once you start, it feels great!
    Yes, things may ache all over the place when you first begin, but the endorphins released bring a great feelgood factor, which combines with the increased blood flow to create a real vibe.
    The more the exercise, the more the vibe, which is added to by the progress to be seen.

    Exercise also brings its’ own attention to diet as you begin to realise that certain naughty foods means xx amount of time exercising to burn it off.

    It’s something that should be started small and it can then build onwards and upwards – thanks for the nudge!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      GGord, Yes, I’m such a devotee of exercise that I’m afraid I have the tendency to come on too strong about it! I’m a runner with an injury, and I miss those endorphins! Thanks for the good additions to my points!

  6. Anita-Clare Field

    What a fabulous blog, I love ideas for creating better lifestyle choices, I am blessed with very low cholesterol, however, it’s a a gentle reminder to me that a well nourished heart is a healthy heart. I have been very immobile for nearly 3 years because I snapped my arm in two and have had lots of extensive surgery, the last lot in Dec 12. When I get passed fit by my Surgeon next week – my physical fitness is TOP of the list !

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      I do hope you can get out there when it’s pleasant outside again and take in some activity! I have an ankle injury that has kept me from exercising much and it is driving me . . . slowly . . . insane. I’m not very patient with the healing process, but oh well. 🙁 Thanks for your comment!

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