After following the 8 steps to lower cholesterol for 6 weeks, I couldn’t wait to find out if my cholesterol had gone down. I had booked in another health check with Lloyds pharmacy straight after my first health check in February, so that I had something to work towards. I was really hoping I’d at least have got my cholesterol below 6.1, so that I’d be in the ‘Borderline-high’ instead of ‘High’ category.
To my complete surprise, in just under 6 weeks, I’d actually managed to get my total cholesterol down from 6.2 to 4.4, putting me in the ‘Desirable’ category.
I’m actually amazed that it’s possible to reduce your cholesterol so quickly in such a short time frame, especially as my cholesterol has been high for so long. It just goes to show that statins aren’t always the answer.
My dad recently started taking statins (he’s 65). I asked him about it and he said “Everyone my age takes them“. Obviously this was a slight over-generalisation, but it made me think: what if people like my dad made the changes I made to my diet instead of resorting to statins?
Unfortunately I don’t think I could convince my dad to try my cholesterol diet (he’s an old fashioned meat-and-potatoes kind of man), but I think if more people were made aware of the benefits of eating certain foods regularly from a young age, then maybe we could reduce the number of people who hit my dad’s age with high cholesterol.
In most cases, once you start taking statins, you have to continue taking them forever, as stopping the medication causes your cholesterol to return to a high level within a few weeks. Some people who take statins experience side effects, and they sometimes interact badly with other medication, so I’m really hoping I won’t ever need to take them.
As high cholesterol runs in my family, I’ll have to take care with my diet, and keep monitoring my cholesterol regularly. Eating cholesterol-lowering foods can get a bit boring, so I’m going to work on finding new, simple and tasty recipes to incorporate them into my diet and keep things interesting. I’m going to continue writing this blog to share my experiences, recipes and tips, and keep me motivated in the process.