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Thread: Super fast cholesterol lowering plan??

  1. #1
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    Default Super fast cholesterol lowering plan??

    OH found out in September that his cholesterol is quite high. We have been going the diet and exercise route (well, exercise in theory anyway, that hasn't been consistent). We just received word that we'll be sent an ITA, and so that means that we'll have until about the end of february to turn it in... He goes in December for a re-check of his cholesterol levels, and we hope that it will be significantly lower.

    I'm thinking we should delay the medicals for as long as possible to give his 'official' labs the best shot at passing muster. If we do them in mid-january will that be enough time to get the results in with the ITA? (we're in the US)

    For those of you who have dealt with lowering your cholesterol, did you go on medication? Were there any special supplements you used? What is the threshold at which you are considered 'acceptable' to nzis? OH is not excited about the thought of medication, but it is a minor thing in the long run... don't want him dropping of a heart attack when we get our blue stickers

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenMeansGo View Post
    We have been going the diet and exercise route (well, exercise in theory anyway, that hasn't been consistent).
    I would suggest that you just have to find and maintain the discipline to achieve your goal in whatever way. Health issues are not just barriers to immigration, they are first and foremost health issues, and you should take them seriously. And whether or not you find that an exercise regime helps the cholesterol level in the short term, it will have mental and physical benefits long into the future, not least because of the dedication and self motivation it requires.

  3. #3
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    Some people will have high cholesterol regardless so I doubt this alone would be a problem. My father had high cholesterol of most of his adult life besides being very fit (working out 3-5 times a week), eating right, taking cholesterol lowering medications, etc. There was one thing that lowered his cholesterol in the end, that was cancer (a treatment I do not recommend!).

    I second ourquests sentiments above though.

  4. #4
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    After 10 weeks on Simvastatin my cholesterol dropped from 260 to 160. Your mileage may vary.

  5. #5
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    If you wish to drop your cholestrol levels very quickly, then the only way is to take medication while delaying your medical exams for the ITA.

    Statin is one way. The other medication fenofibrate is better than statin because it not only lowers cholestrol levels but also triglycerides levels while increasing your HDL. And it works fast. Within one month, your cholestrol levels would be reduced remarkably.

    However both medications are prescriptive and you would need a doctor/specialist to recommend the medication to you.

    The other thing you can do is eat a very healthy diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, fish etc and very little oil/ to no oil in your cooking. Oats is also the miracle food which should be in your diet-- it has properties which help to reduce cholestrol levels of course naturally.

  6. #6
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    Thank you for your thoughts. Yes, it is primarily about health, and while I feel like we are on the right track as far as implementing new routines and eating habits into our(his) lives, we do now have a bit of an arbitrary timeline to work with.

    It is strange, cause DH is relatively young, and as a family we eat much better than most Americans we know. There are genetics at play as well in this case, as we know his grandmother has always had cholesterol issues. His cholesterol was borderline high a while back but he was able to get it back down through diet and exercise... consistency is something we are working on that and his love of baked goods

    I'm doing (mostly) low fat cooking, eggs are out, as well as most dairy (I do cook with non-fat milk occasionally), we've added steel cut oats and oat bran to the menu, he's taking omega-3 supplements and working on the regular exercise bit. We've also increased the vegetable content of meals, only use brown or wild rice. We've always done at least a few vegetarian meals a week and whole grain breads, so that's something easy to continue. I really think snacking will be a hard but useful habit to break. We also used to enjoy pasta regularly, but are trying to reduce/eliminate use of such refined foods (haven't found a really great whole grain pasta yet).

    Regarding the medications, he gets his labs retaken at the beginning of December and will meet with his doc just before Christmas to get the results. If it's not significantly lower I'm pretty sure we'll need the meds as we will need to get the medicals done by mid-january I think. We will look more into the statin (same thing as simvastatin?) and fenofibrate to discuss that with his doc if needed, thank you batgirl and jdbob.

    Any other supplements/meds/foods/routines that you all found helpful?

  7. #7
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    A friend of mine lowered his cholesterol by 50 points in a month by cutting his diet to salmon and green beans. Obviously this is not a blanket prescription for success, and your mileage may vary - if it's a genetic issue, then you will most likely need medication for it. And it sounds like your attitude about the big picture is healthy (pun intended). But be encouraged, it can happen. And try not to worry so much about the medical certificate. Worrying doesn't help anything, and increasing your stress level can have an adverse effect on a lot of things, including your medical tests.

  8. #8
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    Snacking can be fine depending on what you snack on! This is good to know if a person has a habit of having something in his/her mouth every so often, and it may be just as much the habit calling, as hunger. Just regard snacks as small extra meals which count towards the day's total consumption, and make sure they're healthy, e.g. raw fruit or vegetables, dried fruit, a few nuts or seeds (not a salted mixture). Also, keeping a water-bottle close at hand throughout the day is a good plan - a few sips of water help to content a stomach that is accustomed to having 'something' land in it fairly often between meals, and so starts contracting in expectation and causes growling.

  9. #9
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    Yep, statins= simvastatins and it is used to lower bad cholestrol. Fenofibrate is used to lower triglycerides and when that is lowered, bad cholestrol falls too. So it is either one or the other.

    If you are already on a healthy diet, that's 70% of the battle won already. High cholestrol levels are usually the result of poor food nutrition. If he has been on this diet for quite some time with little results then genetics may play a huge part as to why his levels remain high.

    The only thing further to recommend: reduction of red meat and more on oily fish like tuna and salmon etc to increase Omega-3 intake. There is also another medication to take but that is only after your cholestrol results are more normal--> after taking statins/fenofibrates.

    I was on fenofibrates for like 6 months when I had high cholestrol issues and when it fell right down, I was taken off it. I now only take Xenical when I've eaten some really unhealthy food.

    Borderline high cholestrol results don't determine the outcome of your medicals for the ITA. There are many other medical tests and results during the process to look out for.

  10. #10
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    Sorry I saw this post just today.


    From personal experience I can attest that eating at least 2 cups of oatmeal a day lowers cholesterol by a significant amount.

    One of my biggest worries for the medicals for the WHV was that I have been treated for the past 3 years for triglyceridimia.. a condition which usually is accompanied by elevated levels of cholesterol (the trigs are a form of cholesterol too anyways). Normal levels are 150 mine were almost 1000 .. lets just say my doctor actually told me she wondered why I wasn't dead if this had been going on for a year or more.

    My cholesterol level back then turned out to be just a bit under the 'too much for your good' level but it wasnt in the danger zone.

    I was given a medication for the trigs which I was told does not affect the levels of cholesterol... I had to lower those some other way.

    So aside from taking that trig medicine I started taking Omega-3 supplements (fish oil), changed my diet to be omega-3 rich (salmon, tuna) and Niacin rich (pasta) with low fats (meaning beef and pork twice a month only).

    3 months later the blood test came back with much better levels of trigs and my cholesterol had gone down a bit but not much. Bear in mind I do zero exercise which I know is part of a problem. Im a stubborn idiot anyway.

    After that, I started taking oatmeal twice a day on top of the above changes. 3 months later the cholesterol came back slightly LOWER than normal levels. Talk about a shocker.

    So now I very happily can have beef and pork once a week and my cholesterol level remains normal. The trigs have been under control since then and thankfully the NZ immigration officer didn't give me hassles about it for the WHV.


    Note you have to consume the real oatmeal.. meaning the flakes.

    This one:


    Most adults have issues with milk products so you can eat it with orange juice (tastes rather good if the orange juice is warmed up.. no joke), you can put them in a blender and whirl them into fine powder and use it as condiment for your foods or salads.. just get creative. The whole point is to get that in your gut so the cholesterol goes down.

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