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Thursday, January 22, 2009 Maggie, Community Member, asks

Q: What are alternative ways to treat high LDL?

I have an LDL of 185 and an HDL of 46 with Triglycerides of 109. I have always had an LDL that seemed abnormal for my age, size and lifestyle, even when I was in my twenties. But recently, the numbers have moved significantly into the high category. I have read that this can happen with hormone shifts and also with thyroid issues.


I have hypothyroidism and am on medication for that. My blood pressure and heartrate are considered low.  I am at a normal weight, exercise regularly (teach fitness classes), do not smoke, sleep 9 hours each night and eat healthily (try to follow the Mediterranean diet), etc.  My doctor wants to put my on a statin but I do not wish to take medication, I am already taking medication for hypothyroidism and bio-identical hormones for perimenopausal symptoms. 


I would appreciate any insight.

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Answers (1)
1/24/09 6:41pm

Hi Maggie,


Here are two options to lower LDL cholesterol:


Soluble Fiber


Increase dietary fiber, especially soluble fiber.  Eat 25-35 grams of fiber daily and of this at least 15 grams should be soluble fiber.  Research has shown that for every 1-2 grams of daily soluble fiber intake, LDL (bad) cholesterol is lowered 1%.  Learn more here: Dietary Fiber: 4 Tips to Lower Cholesterol with Fiber


Eat plant sterols everyday.  Eating 2 grams of plant sterols each day will on average reduce your LDL cholesterol 10%.

Plant Sterols

Plant sterols occur naturally in foods at low levels, so some foods have been fortified. Here is the amount of plant sterols in some foods:

Avocados, 1 small 0.13 grams
Corn Oil, 1 tablespoon 0.13 grams
Sunflower Seeds, 1/4 cup 0.19 grams
Oat Bar with plant sterols, 1 bar 0.4 grams
Orange Juice with plant sterols 1.0 gram
Vegetable oil spread with plant sterols, 1 tablespoon 1.0 gram


You're doing a great job following a well-balance heart healthy lifestyle!  The Mediterranean is a great diet to model as you strive for heart health.


All the best,


Lisa Nelson, RD

Lower Cholesterol Naturally

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By Maggie, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/24/10, First Published: 01/22/09