Saturday, May 1, 2010

Cholesterol Wars

I'm 26. I don't smoke, I don't drink at all, I exercise regularly, I'm 5'3", 121 lbs. I don't eat deep fried foods or red meat. I drink nothing but water (and the occasional cup of hot cocoa or a mocha), and everything I eat is whole wheat and/or low in saturated fat. I've never been hospitalized, I've never had the flu, and I haven't vomited since 1997. I know you're wondering, "Is she a superhero?" Not quite. Because I have a total cholesterol level of 300+. Time for a little rant: I have a hard time finding loved ones who will acknowledge that this is a serious issue, except for Todd - I contribute the offensive, ignorant, and insensitive reactions I get from friends and family to the appalachian attitude toward healthy eating, which Jamie Oliver documented in Food Revolution this spring. "You're too skinny to worry about your health", "You're too young to worry about it now", "something's going to kill us anyway, I'm going to die happy eating what I want and not worry about it", and my favorite (but not really), "I probably have high cholesterol, too!" WTF? None of those comments make me feel better. Ignoring the problem is NOT the answer. I have a dangerous level of "bad" cholesterol lurking in my arteries, and a family history of heart problems/cholesterol issues. This indicates to me that I need to take some additional action to protect my heart. Side-effect filled Medication seems like the easiest option (since I'm already eating healthy and exercising), but because I would like to eventually have a child one day, it's not an option right now. I've heard of drinking red wine, eating peanuts, taking flax seed and fish oil supplements, eating copious amounts of celery and spinach, etc. to lower cholesterol, but I'm not sure which of these foods/supplements i should start eating/taking, how much, how often, how many, or when. It's hard to research on the internet, because "Scientists believe" or "don't believe" so much crap. What I'm looking for are real experiences, real advice - so I can try something with confidence and a positive outlook, and stick with the plan. For now, I will continue feasting on my Cheerios. Helllp!

4 comments:

Crazy Shenanigans said...

I honestly don't know. So far (and knock on wood) I haven't had problems. Have you tried eating organic products? I know they say those help alot with Cholesterol.

Samantha said...

"Vitamin Shoppe" has a Omega 3/ fish oil drink I sampled last weekend that does not reak or taste of fish. Sorry, that's all I go on this one!

Anonymous said...

*It is Orange flavored*

MrsShoffernan said...

I would try talking to an Herbalist/Herbologist. They can pinpoint what's going on (since you appear to be quite healthy otherwise) and give you a more natural approach to managing your cholesterol.

My family goes to one that will do phone consultations but maybe you can find one in your area? Until then, maybe you can look for hidden cholesterol in your diet. Good luck!