The Trick to Lowering Your Cholesterol
If you’re one of the ninety-three million Americans with high cholesterol, you’re probably always on the lookout for tricks to achieve healthy cholesterol levels. “It’s not about lowering your cholesterol to a number, it’s about sustaining low cholesterol throughout a lifetime,” says Millennium Physician Group Family Medicine Physician Nektarios Demetriou, D.O.
Dr. Demetriou cites the Blue Zone research and findings, where researchers identified several places in the world where people live the longest and are healthiest. “Their blood was phenomenal,” says
Dr. Demetriou. He goes on to say that when researchers looked at their diets, they were predominantly plant-based. “Basically beans, legumes, and very little meat and very minimal seafood, very minimal dairy,” explains Dr. Demetriou. “ And as a result of that, we’ve come to the conclusion that we’re probably better off with a plant-based diet versus a heavy meat, animal-based diet.”
Diet is the first, and often easiest, way to control cholesterol, but for some patients, it’s just not enough. Dr. Demetriou says there is often a genetic factor that can make it more challenging to control cholesterol. For these patients, prescription medication can be very successful, but it’s not a magic bullet “It can’t just be prescription medicine,” he warns. “It has to be lifestyle as well. So you have to start changing what you do.”
Those changes include exercising regularly, attempting to be at a goal weight for your age, and avoiding eating late late at night. “You want to think about when you’re eating,” advises Dr. Demetriou. “I always say eat breakfast like a king, because you’ve got the rest of the day ahead of you to burn it off. At lunchtime, eat like a prince, and then in the evening, eat like a pauper.”
Little changes can make a big difference, and it goes beyond the numbers on your lab work. “Controlling cholesterol is a work in progress. And we find that a lot of our patients who get it under control find themselves a lot more energetic, find themselves just a lot happier.”
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