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As you would know, if you've been reading this blog for any time at all, I've been on a mission to achieve lower cholesterol through some simple strategies revolving around my nutrition and exercise.
|Nutrition is important, but so is exercise. You might want to wear something more practical than Sophia, though. (Source)|
It's only one measurement, but the importance of maintaining a healthy cholesterol level shouldn't be underestimated. It is linked to heart health, although it's not a simple correlation - there are many other factors that dictate whether your cardio-vascular system operates like a super-charged Formula 1 machine, or more like a rusty old clunker. There have been some recent changes in thinking about cholesterol too, but I'm not about to ignore a health marker that may have a bearing on how long and how well I live, when I can actually do something about it reasonably easily.
My family history put me on the back foot to begin with in this particular area, with both my mum and one of my sisters taking medication to control their high cholesterol. Me, I'm not much of a fan of the old statins and prefer to manage my health wherever possible by setting my lifestyle gauge a bit further towards the "healthy" side of the dial.
I'm not anti-medication, anti-traditional medicine or anything of that kind, but these particular drugs are really starting to reveal their nastier side... Besides, my test results didn't warrant prescription meds, particularly when I don't tick any of the other risk factor boxes for heart disease. When my test late last year came back with a score of 7.2, my doctor did make vague noises about considering medication, but I just
So, as I've previously documented, I made some changes, upped my exercise, reduced some of the less helpful foods from my regular meals (yes, chocolate and alcohol, I'm looking at YOU) and added in more of the good stuff: veggies, fruit, soluble fibre, omega-3s, all that kind of thing. At the end of March, I took myself off to get another set of blood tests run.
The numbers came back and I'm very pleased to report that my cholesterol has reduced to 6.5. Obviously, that's still too high, but it's a pretty decent reduction in a short period of time. Am I feeling smug? You bet.
I'm not finished yet; there's still plenty of work to be done, but I'm confident I'm on the right track.
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Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion only and is not intended as medical advice. If you have high cholesterol or any other medical issue, please consult a qualified medical practitioner.