My Journey to a Lower Cholesterol Level

High cholesterol is a killer, we all know this. Lowering cholesterol can be accomplished through medication and the Wellbutrin weight loss diet. If your lucky, like I was you may have the option of lowering yours through diet rather than medication.

The first thing you will discover is there are two types of cholesterol. The bad one is LDL or Low-density lipoprotein. This increases your risk of stroke and heart disease. High-density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol is beneficial since it helps remove LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream. It seems simple enough, at least at first glance. The problems for me started when I tried to figure out how to tell the difference, and where some of the LDL was hidden.

As always, the first thing you should do is consult with your doctor. I let mine know that I preferred to change my diet then be put on yet another medication. Your doctor can tell you all types of things to help you on your way, ask them for a dietitian referral. The dietitian was a huge help to me in figuring out what food was good, and what was bad.

It’s now time to go shopping for new foods. Surprisingly enough the foods you should be eating are very similar to the ones you shouldn’t have been. It’s not all that bad when it comes time to feed yourself. Low-fat and fat-free foods are not always what you need, but it is a good place to start looking from. Anything with saturated fats is bad stay away from it. Hydrogenated oils and Trans fats are also horrible for your LDL levels. Just so you know trans fats are chemical, they are used to preserve food so shopping fresh is your best bet. For the snacking we all have to do I stick with fruits, vegetables, and nuts, watch the nuts though read the ingredient labels. One last thing to remember when shopping for food, fiber is your friend.

Exercise is your friend. I know I don’t like it either but the fact is you need to do it. Exercise will lower the LDL cholesterol even in small amounts like walking. More active exercise like jogging or weight lifting can actually raise the levels of HDL cholesterol, so you get more for the effort. Thirty minutes a day is enough to get you on track. Pick something fun to do so it doesn’t seem hard, especially if you normally don’t exercise. I joined a Martial arts class three times a week it’s fun and stress-reducing so I get my exercise, and I get to hit things. A win-win.

Read nutrition labels if you are eating out. Fast food places have nutritional information available to you. Focus on Trans fat, saturated fats, and hydrogenated oils. If the food has them in it don’t eat it. Don’t just assume salads are safe, many times they are not especially fast-food salads. Ham, bacon, cheese all have saturated fat and could have trans fat. The salad won’t help you with those items on it. IN restaurants there is usually a section set aside for heart-healthy foods choose from there. If all else fails go with a nice wrap or a sandwich, or just splurge. Once in a while won’t ruin all your hard work but don’t make it a habit.

Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats are your friends. These wonderful things actually lower LDL and raise HDL. That’s why nuts and seeds are good snacks. Cooking oil is also excellent for these. I use olive oil exclusively in my home now. Keep in mind these are still fats so if you are on a weight loss diet these won’t help with that. Don’t be fooled by the word “light,” they are referring to the color, not the ingredients.

Results will vary and for me, it was a difficult road to pass up on the loaded waffle fries when I would go out to dinner. On the plus side, by paying attention to what I buy from the supermarket, exercising, and following my doctor’s recommendations, I managed to get my cholesterol down from 223 to 181. As an added bonus I went down two pants sizes. It’s worth it in the end. You will feel better, look better, and live longer!