I just got back from my Dr. and have cut my total cholesterol in half without drugs. I’m 49, bmi 22.9, pretty good cardio condition. I have a family history of heart disease, so when my cholesterol hit 240 my Dr. recommended statins. I said I’d try diet first. Dr. was skeptical but agreed. I did my research and based my diet on 6 key requirements:
1. Lots of soluble fiber, at least 30 g/day—absorbs cholesterol from bile and eliminates it in feces.
2. Fats from almonds, walnuts, avocados and olives—at least 20% of calories/day.
3. Avoid high glycemic loads—sugar spikes raise ldl.
4. Minimize dietary cholesterol and animal protein
5. 1-2 alcoholic beverages per day.
6. Exercise several hrs per week, preferably on a classic lugged steel bike with phil hubs.
Practically, this means eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains (mostly oats and barley, very little wheat), almonds, and walnuts with fatty fish a couple of times a week and maybe a little meat (2 ounces) once a week. Eat psyllium enriched cereal and take a couple grams soluble fiber when you eat. I have not found this to be difficult.
After 6 weeks my total cholesterol had dropped to 126! Virtually all of the reduction was in LDL.
I’ve noticed two side effects—I don’t have reflux or heartburn, and I climb hills 1.5 mph faster (well, maybe this is psychological).