Last year I had my routine labs done and was stunned to get a call from my doctor informing me that my total cholesterol was a whopping 213. She told me if my next reading was this high I would need to consider medication. Me? How? I was exercising around 4 days a week and eating pretty healthy other than weekend and vacation cheats.
I talked to my mom who shared that she too found out she had high cholesterol around my age. I wondered if I could even stand a chance against genetic high cholesterol or if it was just part of my destiny. I couldn’t imagine being dependent on a drug for the rest of my life so I did some research and started making a couple minor lifestyle changes.
|Less than 150||Normal|
|150 – 199||Mildly High|
|200 – 499||High|
- Omega 3’s- I read up on supplements that could help me reduce my levels and everyone was raving about Omega 3 aka fish oil. Several studies show that fish oil supplements reduce triglyceride levels.
- Paid a little more attention to my diet- I honestly didn’t have to make any drastic changes. I just used the mentality “How can I make this meal better for me?” most of the time when I would prepare or order a meal. This meant that I might still get a burger but I’d skip the cheese or maybe I’d get one scoop of ice cream instead of two. Of course I still splurged from time to time and wouldn’t think about my cholesterol needs but on the day to day I tried to keep this mindset.
- Added one more workout to my weekly routine- I was already getting around 4 workouts in a week but I figured another session could only help my situation. Even if I’m busy or feeling lazy I force myself to at least run around my neighborhood for 30 minutes. And at the end when those endorphins are flooding through me, I’m always glad I did.
Last month the time had come to see if my efforts had paid off. Since I didn’t do anything super drastic I wasn’t sure if it was enough to tame the beast. I can’t even tell you how excited I was when I read “Total Cholesterol- 170- Normal” on my results. I brought it down 43 points!
If you or a loved one are struggling with high cholesterol, just know that some simple lifestyle changes can have a big impact.