High Cholesterol off the Map!


Heres the problem, a family member has really high cholesterol. I know the obvious things to steer clear of, Butter, fats, sodium, but is there anything else to avoid?
I dont want to appear nosy and I dont want to be controlling but if I know more I will do my best to make a mental list of what should be taken into consideration with regard to items that might be “trigger” foods.
This family member is an adult and not sharing with me the instructions from the doctor. I will go to American Heart Association and stuff, but I want to hear it from real people who have experience with this.


I just got off the phone with the nurse who runs the help line for my insurance company, she calls every 2 weeks to track my sugar, bp etc, and my lab results get pumped into their data base to, she does health education for my various multiple problems. anyway our topic today was cholesterol, some of this is from her and some from their website. my chol. numbers (lipid profile, breakdown and quantifiable measurement of various fats in the blood are 80% heredity, 20% food and other lifestyle (exercise etc.). the jury still seems to be out on what fats to limit, because the amount of fat I eat is only part of the story.

the makeup of the rest of my diet is also important, for instance a lot of carbs can raise triglycerides. The actual cholesterol number is important, but so is the breakdown beween good (HDL High density lipoprotiens) and bad (LDL low density), and their rations to total chol, and the ration of chol to trigl.

so my printout from labs shows all those ratios as well as the actual numbers.

for me statins, the standard chol-lowering drug, are out because of grave side effects.

DH has family history of hi-chol (over 500) and keeps it down below 280 through diet and exercise (vegetarian, golf and other sports daily).

what has changed in my diet, since going lo carb lo fat moderate protien, maxi veggies due to diabetes is lower trigl., which improves overall ratios, also HDL rose, LDL stayed the same, was not too bad to begin with, so the ratios are better.

bottom line, changing one element of diet like fat will not have the desired effect unless the total diet is good, and diet will not have desired effect unless other lifestyle factors, smoking, drinking, exercise stress etc. are also addressed.

If your family history is hi-chol you will only get so far with lifestyle changes, and meds may be necessary, usually statins, niacin works for some people not all, and in amounts necessary to lower chol. should not be tried w/o doctor’s care.



Did not know about the carbs thing. That would be Pastas and breads, grains and the like? Thanks. That does give me an idea about whats missing in the overall picture and of course, I had no idea how serious this whole thing was.



There are also foods that help to lower cholesterol. There is a butter - Total Control. And, a candy bar - Cocovia. My daughter’s nutritionist recommended them to us.

We lost my husband to heart disease at the age of 33. My daughter has his cholesterol genes. So, we’re trying to control it through diet. She was only 5 when we discovered her high cholesterol. My daughter, who is 15 now, became a vegetarian nearly two years ago. With that new eating life-style and the addition of the things mentioned above, we have been able to keep her levels just below 200.


Foods with soft fiber, such as fresh fruit and oatmeal, will help with cholesterol. So will moderate exercise: 20 minutes a day/3 days a week.


One ingredient to try to cut out of your diet as much as possible is all of those partially hydrogenated things that they seem to fill processed foods with. It wreaks havoc on your HDL vs. LDL numbers. It’s kind of nice to shop at Whole Foods or Traders Joe’s where everything isn’t loaded with it.

A good cookbook that I really recommend is:



Thanks all who participated!

May you all have a blessed day with the ones who truly love you.

Count on Mary being that one!:smiley:


this from the health newsletter I got as part of this program from insurance co., no trans fats, there is no safe level, no high fructose corn syrup, that takes in a lot of processed foods. some writers say no saturated fat, others say it is partially hyrdrogenated (processed) fats that are bad, that naturally saturated fats are neutral. I don’t know enough to know who is right. Diabetes diet says an extremely low fat diet is dangerous because fat is needed to properly metabolize what I eat, and diabetes is a metabolic disorder and ultra-low fat diet makes it worse.

I found to my chagrin that if I buy a book on how to beat cholesterol, and one on heart disease, and one on diabetes, and one on say reducing cancer risk, I am likely to read 4 different diet theories. I feel better talking to my doctor, or through this program, to someone who knows all of my health history, doesn’t go after one disorder at a time.

a family history was part of my intake interview, very informative, how they rate the various risk factors.

see if your doctor or insurance plan offers some kind of patient education program, I have really learned a lot on their website.


Here’s some stuff to avoid:

A List of High Cholesterol Foods

Food Serving Size Cholesterol Level

Boiled egg 1 225 mg

Cream cheese 1oz 27 mg

Cheddar cheese 1oz 19 mg

Butter 3.5oz 250 mg

Lamb 3.5oz 70 mg

Beefsteak 3.5oz 70 mg

Chicken 3.5oz 60 mg

Kidney, beef 3.5oz 375 mg

Liver, beef 3.5oz 300 mg

Ice Cream 3.5oz 45 mg

Sponge cake 3.5oz 260 mg

And of course cooking any of these foods in grease just adds more cholesterol. I hope this helps! Good luck! :slight_smile:


Thank you also, Mrs Abbott!:slight_smile:

It seems that many of the things you bring to my attention here need some consideration.

Thank you so much!

You have no idea how helpful this is!

I am going to think about what to do with my Fry Daddy.

Its been used a lot.

Lord, have mercy on me a sinner!


yup the fry daddy has to go, fried foods in general are bad because frying at high temperatures changes the fat chemically for the worse.

there are now lower cholesterol eggs on the marketplace, ask your doctor what is allowed. bear in mind that what works for one person, cutting down on bad fats etc, might not work for someone with a genetic problem, you have to work with your doctor to find a plan that works for you. that will probably mean statin drugs eventually. but the drugs won’t work as well without the dietary changes, and the diet won’t work as well without exercise etc.

there is also, according to the people who peddle grass fed beef for instance a difference in the amount and type of fat in their product and supermarket beef, if you are a confirmed meat eater that might be research you want to follow up on.

also remember what the popular media advises, is based on a writer, who is usually a free-lancer with no medical background, distilling for the popular press in capsule form research from medical journals, they don’t always get it right so you can’t base a plan on your basic drugstore magazine rack advice. for years heart doctors have been pushing margarine as a healthy sub for butter, now they say the trans fat in margarine is far far worse than butter.


The body produces cholesterol and the jury is still out on the effects of consuming foods which contain it. In one study, cholesterol was totally eliminated from the diets of the test subjects and their blood levels actually went up.

In my case, bad cholesterol level is in the good range, good cholesterol is low, and triglycerides (caused by excessive caloric intake, regardless of the source) are high. All the numbers have improved with exercise, eating less hi cal foods, and taking 4 grams of fish oil and 1 gram of niacin daily.

Improvements have been slow but steady over several years and I have done nothing drastic. My main dietary changes were to reduce sugars and refined carbs and increase complex carbs, fruits and veggies. Meat consumption has stayed about the same. Note that I have placed no foods on a “forbidden” list, merely adjusted how much of each type I was consuming. Progress is slow but measurable, and making further adjustments is becoming easier as I wean myself from Little Debbie and soft drinks. I’ve gone from drinking two sodas a day to about one every other day and find my desire for sweet drinks fading as I drink more and more water.


geezerbob is right on with his post.
the link between bad fats and cholesterol is pretty much accepted., but there are a lot of links that nutritionist have NO CLUE about…you have to remember most nutritionists are not researchers, they just read what is written and regurgitate it to patients… they are NOT in the business of trying new things. they stick with archaic and outdated modalities because they do not want to get sued and they are taught to follow the research in school. they are not so good at thinking for themselves, unfortunately.

We have a tendency to think of diet as a balancing scale… IF i do A then B will happen.
thats not the way the body works, the body is more like…
If i do A, while doing L, cutting down C and increasing X… then R might change a little to the positive side, that is only if i also include F and E.
Its complex and changes are systemic and synergistic.

My Mom has really high cholesterol… my dad is almost 80 and his cholesterol, with all the butter and Polish food you can imagine… is a whopping 77. He is genetically blessed.

My diet is two cups of slow cooked oatmeal every morning, with a little honey, a quarter cup of cinnamon and a handful of pecans and almonds tossed in.
my cholesterol is 72.

My mom does the same thing as i do (half the amount, though) - and her cholesterol is 300. I told her to add soluble fiber (metamucil) twice a day last year, and doing that plus eating healtier helped drop her cholesterol almost 100 points in a year.

unfortunately, a lot of it IS luck of the genetic draw.

[LEFT]and geezerbob, next to my cup of coffee i have my vitamins ( twinlab multi without iron, b complex 100, 2 grams of C, Fish oil capsules x2, and flax seed capsules 2x, Coenzyme Q-10 100mg and Grapeseed extract 100mg) - i space them out through the day and i completely believe they are one of the reasons i enjoy such great health.

next time you talk to a nutritionist and they tell you the average american has no need to take vitamins because the standard diet has enough of everything. RUN. get your tail away from them as fast as possible and find a naturopathic doctor.
Or stay at that nutritionists office and take their advice,the phamaceutical companies need people to put cash in their coffers.

God helps those who help themselves…



I will ask again if medical advice is being taken here, thanks puzzleannie.
I have a feeling a doctor’s care is going to be needed sooner or later if its not happening now. The additional problems you mentioned I see are Stress.
That seems to be the big problem around here now. I am going to have to key in on that one.

Geezerbob and Christmyster - we have vitamins in the house but what concerns me is the self medicating with them, randomly guessing how many milligarams of whatever and combos that seem nutty, like too many a vitamins. I think that can be dangerous with vitamin a?

If the person is about 20 pounds overweight to boot, and will not excercise, is this going to ever get better? I really think its going to be a battle.


taking vitamins is hardly self medicating, as they are not medicines.
all things in moderation. fat soluble forms of vitamin A can be toxic in large amounts (over 10,000 IUs), however, most multi’s fall FAR short of toxicity levels, and the carotenoids are simply stored when taken as vitamin a precursors…you can take 100,000 IUs of beta carotene and the worst that would happen is your skin may turn a tad orange from storing it in subcutaneous fat.
You have to read up a little on it, but Doctors would LOVE to have everyone off vitamins and on pharmaceuticals.
If you were a car mechanic, wouldn’t you love to see everyone stop changing their oil… you’ll make $30 for an oil change versus a $2000 engine repair…

Do i trust doctors?.. for emergencies they are great… break a leg, have a stroke, ebola… yes, they are great for those.
When my baby is born in a few weeks… i want a doctor to deliver in case an emergency arises with either my wife or child, for sure.

Daily eating habits, nutritional advice, holistic approaches to everyday life??.. find a naturopathic doctor or holistic healer. thats my advice.

The medical community knows one thing… medicine.

If you want to be on meds, go to a doctor. if you want to be well, there are other avenues.

good luck with whatever you choose.


Wow. Did not realize but did have an inkling the vitamin A thing was dangerous but, now that you cleared it up I am going to tabulate how much total is being taken in this case.

I have to count it out from over 20 bottles of different vitamins!

Plus, is A also in omega 3 stuff too? And Cod Liver Oil? I think toxic A is a real concern in this case. Plus a half bag of those horrid little mini carrots per day!

You helped me in ways you will never know!

Thanks. I must look into this A thing.


the mini carrots are fine!

Cod liver oil 1 teaspoon 4,500 IU
true vitamin A toxicity is usually found in practice when a person gets over 25,000 IUs for 12 to 18 months.

this is from university of oregon nutrition information on vitamin a toxicity… the cholesterol part is interesting… i’ve bolded it

[LEFT]The condition caused by vitamin A toxicity is called hypervitaminosis A. It is caused by overconsumption of preformed vitamin A, not carotenoids. Preformed vitamin A is rapidly absorbed and slowly cleared from the body, so toxicity may result acutely from high-dose exposure over a short period of time, or chronically from much lower intake (2). Vitamin A toxicity is relatively rare. Symptoms include nausea, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, dizziness, and dry skin. Signs of chronic toxicity include, dry itchy skin, loss of appetite, headache, and bone and joint pain. Severe cases of hypervitaminosis A may result in liver damage, hemorrhage, and coma. Generally, signs of toxicity are associated with long-term consumption of vitamin A in excess of 10 times the RDA (8,000 to 10,000 mcg/day or 25,000 to 33,000 IU/day). However,** there is evidence that some populations may be more susceptible to toxicity at lower doses,** including the elderly, chronic alcohol users, and some people with a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol (9). In January 2001, the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) of the Institute of Medicine set the tolerable upper level (UL) of vitamin A intake for adults at 3,000 mcg (10,000 IU)/day of preformed vitamin A (18)


my suggestion would be go to the bookstore and read up on general nutrition and supplements.

anything by rodale press or the vitamin ‘friendly’ folks out there.


I love these forums! Everyone here is so smart!

Oops. That must mean I am pretty daft. :o

Well, if I hang out here longer some of its bound to rub off on me!:smiley:


you better hope all the ailments we have aren’t catching

I can also tell you from experience what does NOT work in helping someone stay on a diet, exercise or otherwise adopt good health habits: nagging.

the thing with vitamins and supplements you have to read labels, you have to show everything you are taking to every doctor you see at every visit.
you could be taking a multi-vitamin, then see a “lower your cholesterol” supplement, which has more V-A, then your heart doctor tells you to take fish oil supplements, more V-A, a guy at the gym swears by the muscle-building supplement they sell, more vitamins, you end up o-d-ing worst case, or flushing a lot of expensive supplements down the toilet.

ask doctor about herbal supplements and so called all natural products, some interact with Rx drugs, for instance St Johns wort, pitched as anti-stress anti-anxiety supplement reacts badly with some blood pressure medications. Ginseng is also prescribed a lot by natural healer type people, but certain varieties raise BP or react with meds. On the Grape-fruit diet? Too much grapefruit juice can react with statins and some BP meds.


You are right! I just found out someone in my family cant eat spinach because of some reaction with their heart meds! Goodness- It most likely pays to have lots of patience to sort through all this carefully.

Can you believe that this person has now just finished 2 choc malts with whip cream and coaco sprinkled on top after a dever omlet with cheese and a side of bacon for brunch with a pot of coffee with heavy cream in it and is foraging for more snacks? All this and I know I am not seeing even more! There was a McDonalds wrapper in the car after “getting some gas” and fries all over the interior floor.

I dont know how It can get worse!

BTW, its meatloaf for dinner with mashed and veggies. I dont think this is a good idea. I think cereal would be better.

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