Can you lower your hereditary cholesterol? Naturally?

Yes, absolutely you can!

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I never thought it would be, because my doctor told me –

“young lady, you have the hereditary kind of high cholesterol and that means no matter what you do, you will never be able to lower it naturally. The only way for you is medication.” 

So, for the past 10-12 years, I have been on statins – every single day I popped a pill, to help me to keep a low count on my cholesterol.

However, other health problems inspired me into changing my lifestyle.

And today, I can celebrate 3 years with normal cholesterol levels and no medication!

So does that mean you need to be on a really restricted diet? No desserts, no streaks on the BBQ, no butter, no cheese, no life…….no fun ?

Nope – I eat everything and I have lots of fun!

Even cream cake

Even cream cake

So how do I do it?

It’s really simple and if I can do it, so can you!

(Please don’t go off your medication without talking to your doctor!)

This is how I do it:

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  • I shifted the balance on my plate. So 80% of what I eat is plant-based. This means 80% of what I eat is vegan, plant-based, green leaves, lettuce, salads, spinach, kale, nuts, seeds, lentils, grains, roots, all kinds of veggies, and lots of fruit.
  • I eat plenty of food that contains natural cholesterol lowering agents, like nuts especially walnuts and almonds, oatmeal, berries, avocado, fish, tomatoes, etc.

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  • 20% is whatever I like to eat – it can be anything.
  • Every day I exercise, except for one day of rest!  45 min. to an hour! Yes I know, you don’t have time! I didn’t either, but you can find time! Exercise is brutally important when it comes to lowering cholesterol naturally. I get up earlier in the morning. I wake up and have millions of excuses for not going, but I tell myself that I only have to tie my shoelaces, get out and run to the end of the curb. If I still don’t like it, I can go back home……. but it has never happened, once I am out there, once I have taken the first breath of that beautiful morning air, the last thing I want is to go back home.
  • Meditation – When we are stressed and tired we are more likely to make unhealthy choices, eat fatty foods, drink too much etc. Also research shows that the release of stress hormones can damage the blood vessels, so plague sticks more easily. I find mindfulness meditation is a great way to unwind.

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A great article about food writer Mark Bittman and his concept VB6 – Vegan before 6 

Stay tuned for the VVP – The Virtual Vegan Potluck, taking place this Saturday! 160 + bloggers will bring their delicious food to the virtual party 🙂

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38 thoughts on “Can you lower your hereditary cholesterol? Naturally?

  1. I love this, so many people don’t realize that the right balanced diet combined with exercise is what can do the trick. Good on you for being medication free.

    • That is it – so many people think they are doomed and that they have no choice. I know I did for too many years……. I am very grateful for finding out I had choices and could do something different 🙂 Happy weekend my friend!

  2. This is very inspiring. I found out I had high cholesterol a couple months ago – I’ve changed my diet. Now I just have to work on exercising more. It is comforting to know that the steps you’ve taken have led to lower cholesterol 🙂

    • So great you found out about your high cholesterol in time, so you can do something about it!
      You have taken action right away and have changed your diet – way to go, that is wonderful!
      Exercise is so important when it comes to lowering you cholesterol! What kind of exercise do you do?
      When I was diagnosed with high cholesterol many years ago – I was put on a restricted diet, low fat products and lean meat. I started running too, but after 2 months – my cholesterol was still too high and I was put on medication. Very discouraging!
      It was not until I shifted the balance on my plate to be mostly plant-based, that I saw the results.
      Lots of plants and exercise is the trick!
      Good luck with it – please keep me posted I would love to hear how you are doing 🙂

      • I started running a few weeks ago, but I’ve since stopped. I can’t seem to keep myself going with it. I think it will be easier when I get into a routine. I have to make the time for it each day. I don’t do any weight lifting though and I’ve heard that is heart healthy. What type of exercise helped you lower your cholesterol? I will definitely let you know what happens when I go to the doctor in August. Hopefully there will be a lot of good news 🙂

      • You are SO right – it does get easier once you get into the routine! When your body knows that it’s good for it, then it’s easier to not listen to the monkey mind and all the “great” reasons for not going out 🙂 When you have actually experienced the wonderful benefits again and again and again …… you just do it, because you know how great you feel once you are out there in the fresh air.
        I run and I teamed up with an experienced runner to begin with. I knew she was waiting for me out there, so it made it much easier to get out and harder to make excuses.
        I think it’s important to make it as fun and enjoyable as possible!
        It took 2 months and I was hooked – I still wake up and my mind is making excuses, but I ignore them and get out there and always end up loving it.
        I’d love to hear what the doctor says in August – you are doing all the right things to lower your cholesterol! Way to go!! 🙂

      • Hi Anne,
        I just wanted to update you after going to the doctor earlier this week my cholesterol is finally in check! I am so happy 🙂 My overall cholesterol went from 239 to 183 and my LDL went from 140 to 95! It just proves making healthy changes can help manage high cholesterol without even using a pill. Thanks for all of the cholesterol lowering tips!
        Sam

      • Wow that is such wonderful news!!! I am so happy for you girl – way to go!!!!!
        Thank you so much for taking the time to update me – I really appreciate that 🙂
        Yes you did it!!

  3. Wonderful and very helpful post.Thank you so much. I also have hereditary high cholesterol. I exercise a lot and eat mostly healthy food, but I’ll definitely take note of what you said about 80% plant-based foods. 🙂

  4. Anne,
    I’m 28, have been a vegetarian for 9 years and live an overall healthy lifestyle. I just found out two weeks ago that my genetically driven high cholesterol is at 350 with an LDL of 262. My doctor has basically labeled me a ticking time bomb and tells me that I’m 200% more likely than all others in my age bracket, to have a heart attack. I’m lost. I feel like I’m already so healthy that I’m short on options. In the last week I’ve decided to go vegan and try to cut sugars out of my diet as well and am jumping up from 3 days a week of exercise to 6 days. I’m excited to hear that you were able to get yours under control with out the need for medications. I have family on statins who have had nerological issues and kindey issues after taking statins and I don’t want to go that route. Any helpful tips are greatly appreciated and I’m going to continue to follow your blog.

    Thank you for the inspiration.

    • Hi dear Kristin,
      Im so glad you found out in time and that you are now on your way to getting your high cholesterol under control! That is fantastic! It sounds like you are on the right track, doing all the right things! You say you are a vegetarian – do you eat cheese and drink milk? I used to drink lots of milk and I was a cheese addict – cutting that back has helped me a lot.
      Please be careful and have your cholesterol levels checked often so you know where you are at, along the way. I am convinced that a plant based diet, green smoothies, which all gives you lots of fibre, exercise like running to get your heart working, stress reduction are keys to reducing high cholesterol naturally.
      Have you seen the documentary “Forks over Knives”? And have you read “The China Study” ?
      I recommend both of them!
      Wishing you all the best – good luck with conquering cholesterol naturally 🙂
      I would love to hear how you do?

  5. My husband was just put on Crestor and it has lowered his #’s a lot, but he has recently been getting heart palpitations and we believe it is a side effect of the statin. I’m so worried and scared. His cholesterol is the hereditary kind, and he is fit physically. I’m thinking it should now be my job to feed him how you are describing. Yet, I worry and have a hard time believing it will work for him. How would you suggest I start?

    • Dear Susan – I am so sorry your husband has been diagnosed with high cholesterol and that he is experiencing heart palpitations! It could be a side effect, but it’s important to go to the doctor and have it checked. I understand your worry, I was really scared myself when I was diagnosed, I didn’t know that I could do anything myself to change anything. I thought I was doomed and I was terrified! The good news – there are so much we can do!
      I suggest you start with green smoothies – greens smoothies nourishes you and makes you feel content. When you drink greens smoothies your taste buds change and you start to crave more green food and stop craving the “wrong” food. Serve meat as a side dish. Exchange some meals with plant-basede meals.There are so many delicious recipes out there and here on the blog. I eat only plan- based/vegan food during the day. I enjoy eating like this so much that I go days without eating any meat and dairy. In general cut back on animal-products, dairy such as milk, cream, butter, cheese, meat, eggs, processed foods and refined sugar.
      Check out food writer Mark Bittman- and I recommend reading his book “VB6″ – Vegan before 6. He eats only plant-based/ vegan food until 6pm, and doing just that has had a profound impact on his health.
      Your husband is fit – that’s wonderful! Exercise is a very important key factor when it comes to lowering our cholesterol naturally.
      I recommend you see the documentary ‘Forks over Knives” here is the trailer http://www.youtube.com/embed/O7ijukNzlUg
      and I also recommend you watch “Raw for 30 days” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vG3V22cLUF0 – those two documentaries show, just how powerful food and life style changes can be! Both advocate for people going 100% vegan. I think it’s about finding a balance.
      In the beginning I worked closely with my doctor who monitored my cholesterol levels often. I know that I have to watch it and I know that if I go back to my old life style my cholesterol levels will shoot up again and I will need medication. But I enjoy this way of living so much that there is very little risk of me ever going back 🙂
      Good luck, let me know how you progress!

      • Ann, the heart Palps were not heart palps at all, they were muscle spasms…. which I guess is a related side effect of crestor. I am buying the books you suggested for my husband. I have to work on keeping the ingredients in the house for green smoothies. I buy almonds and nuts in bulk for him to snack on and oatmeal is a big part of his diet.

  6. I knew about your 80 to 20 ratio so I was sure I had commented on this post before. It is good to be reminded. I hope you are well enough to exercise now. Good luck, dear Anne.

  7. Reblogged this on Honk If You're Vegan and commented:
    I don’t like to reblog too many posts, but I had to share Anne’s inspiring story. I have several friends and family members who have high cholesterol, and I want them to see this. You really can lower your cholesterol through diet. My husband did it, Anne did it and you can too! Congrats Anne – you’re doing great chica! 🙂

  8. Thanks for sharing this Celeste, my mum has hereditary high cholesterol, she’ll be very intetested to read this. And I suppose future me might be too, considering it’s hereditary! 😉

    • Thank you – I hope your mom sees this, it really is possible to lower your cholesterol naturally. Have you had your cholesterol checked? You might not have it, but it’s good to make sure.
      Thanks for visiting!

  9. This is amazing! My brother is 13 and has high cholesterol due to heredity. He is incredibly active (and I mean multiple hours a day with lacrosse, wrestling, etc.), but that has still not helped. My mom has helped him transition to a more plant-based diet, but I mean the kid is 13… he has a hard time turning down a burger when he goes out with his team. He has not been put on medication, but I worry that that will be the next step.

    • Oh I’m sorry, that is really tough when he is only 13!! Great he is active and that he is transitioning to a more plant-based diet, that will make a big difference and I hope he eventually will be able to win the battle over high cholesterol! Does he drink green smoothies?
      Thank you so much for visiting and for your comment!
      Good luck to your brother I would love to hear how it goes!

      • Green smoothies would be a great addition, but first to see if he will try it haha thank you again for this post and your encouragement!

  10. Yep! Green’s where it’s at. Thanks for the inspirational post. I don’t know why more people don’t jump on the wagon! Pills are so flavorless and not very satisfying…

    • Thank you so much, I do feel fabulous 🙂
      That I was able to lower my cholesterol naturally was one wonderful thing, but that I could feel this good from eating right and exercising, was really surprising, another great benefit from changing my life style!
      Thank you for your comment!

  11. I was started on Lipitor last year. I was told years ago I have hereditary high cholesterol. I’m actually getting it re-checked tomorrow (on Lipitor)-it was still kind of high last time, but since then, I’ve added working out 5 days/week to my healthy diet and I’m hoping it’s lowered enough that I can go off Lipitor. Statins are so bad for our body! 😦

    • I will keep my fingers crossed for you! Doing cardio – and getting your heart rate up is very good. Sounds like you are doing all the right things! I found that cutting down on eating meat and dairy, replacing that with plant-based food, combined with running helped me so much! Keep me posted 🙂

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