• Cheryl Cheryl
    August 23, 2008
    how to lower ONLY total cholesterol number?
    Cheryl Cheryl
    August 23, 2008

    All of my other numbers are good, except total cholesterol number.

    Female, age 53 Mother died of myocardioinfarction at age 58.

    Total cholesterol=257





    Cardiac risk=3


    Doctor says only that genetics is explanation. How do I lower only total cholesterol?



  • Lisa Nelson, RD, LN
    Health Pro
    August 23, 2008
    Lisa Nelson, RD, LN
    Health Pro
    August 23, 2008

    Hi Cheryl,


    Your total cholesterol is calculated from HDL, LDL, and VLDL.


    Total Cholesterol = 89 (HDL) + 149 (LDL) + 19 (LDL) = 257


    VLDL is an estimate from your total triglycerides.


    VLDL = 93 (Triglycerides) divided by 5 = 18.6


    I'm giving you this info so you can see that the only way to lower total cholesterol is by adjusting the other cholesterol components.


    Your LDL is slightly elevated.  Ideally it should be less than 130 mg/dL.  I'll give you tips to lower LDL in just a moment.  Your HDL is excellent.  With such a high HDL it may be very difficult to get total cholesterol below 200.  This is not something to be concerned about if your LDL is reduced to within the ideal range.  Your triglycerides/VLDL are also excellent - great job!


    Tips to lower LDL:


    1. Look at your saturated fat and trans fat intake and see where you can make cuts.   Your total fat intake for the day should be limited to 30% of your daily calories.  Of this 30%, only 10% should be from saturated fat and ideally zero from trans fats.  To attain these levels you'll need to select healthy choices when dining out, read food labels, select healthy fats when cooking, select lean cuts of meat, etc.


    2. High fiber diet plays a role in lowering LDL cholesterol (especially soluble fiber).  Be sure to select whole grain products, fruits, and vegetables daily.


    3. Add omega 3 fatty acids to your daily intake.  Here are three articles that explain fatty acids and how they work to lower cholesterol.


    Get a Grip on Fatty Acids

    Top 5 Omega 3 Sources to Lower Cholesterol

    Omega 3's - How much to lower cholesterol?


    4. If you're overweight, losing as little as 10% body weight can reduce your total cholesterol.  You can check your BMI here


    I hope one of the steps above will help you achieve your goal.  Overall, your lab results are in no way terrible!


    All the best,

    Lisa Nelson, RD, LN

    Heart Health and Weight Loss Tips


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