Prevention The Natural Way: High Cholesterol

Hey folks,

As mentioned last week, here is the second part to the Natural Prevention mini-series from Marcea.  Today, we are looking at preventative care for high cholesterol. 

Prevention The Natural Way: High Cholesterol
by Marcea O'Brien Esq.

On a recent trip with a very close and dear relative, (whom shall remain nameless to protect the innocent), she had embarked on a mission to get her prescription filled because she was unable to do so prior to taking the trip.  Not realizing what the medication was for, we obliged in taking a detour to the pharmacy to accommodate her need to get this medication.  I thought this medicine was for something very necessary, and even when she disclosed what it was; I still wasn’t moved.  Something was very familiar about the name, Lipitor, I just had to ask, what was she taking the medicine for?  I almost fell over when she told me it was because she had high cholesterol, and this pill was supposed to lower it.
Cholesterol levels are measured by a blood test.  High cholesterol levels are 240 or above; borderline-high is 200 to 239; best is less than 200.  Americans have the highest cholesterol levels in the country, and today, more children under 12 have higher cholesterol levels than adults.  The major causes of high cholesterol are eating foods that contain higher levels of cholesterol like eggs, kidneys, some seafood, red meat, sausages, hard cheese, a lot of processed foods, lard, and some pastries, to name a few.  Lifestyle choices like smoking and large consumptions of alcohol can also trigger high cholesterol.  Being overweight and not exercising are culprits as well.  There are certain risk factors, which are out of your control, but not deal breakers.  These are your genes, your sex, men tend to have higher levels than women, your age, women who experience menopause at earlier ages, and certain ethnic groups.  The good news; however, is once you have identified yourself as being in one of these risk factors, you can still work with your doctor to develop a healthy plan that can still be devoid of medication.

Now back to my "relative" and her medication.  It is not my intention to beat up on Lipitor.  It is my intention to bring awareness to you about the solutions we receive from people who are supposed to keep our bodies healthy so we can live longer.  On the official Lipitor website, you are given a plethora amount of information of how this drug brings you many benefits and how the results of taking the drug should motivate you.  It offers comfort of research studies as well as the millions of people who use the drug, as a way to entice you to be one of the  happy people who have lowered their cholesterol levels by taking the drug.  Of course, they list the side effects, which they are required to do, but these side effects didn’t motivate me at all when I was reading.  Since there are side effects, there must also be something devastating and unnatural that I must be doing to my body in taking this medicine.  They also describe a plan where you marry the drug with your “healthy lifestyle” and smart diet.  Stop right there.  Healthy lifestyle and smart diet?  Can’t I achieve these without a pill and side effects?
So, I wonder, why would a doctor prescribe a pill to lower your cholesterol?  Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t the result of having high cholesterol brought about from certain foods that we eat?  So wouldn’t the logical solution be to either stop eating those foods or start eating certain kinds of foods that will lower the cholesterol?  Now, as mentioned above, there are other risk factors that attribute to high cholesterol. However, if you know you are at risk, then the additional things you do, (i.e. things you eat), that you can control, should be thought through before indulging.  That’s all I’m saying.

I would like to offer any of you reading that may be struggling with high cholesterol a different view.  The money you spend on the prescription, (especially if you are like my relative and must have the brand name) can be spent at the farmer’s market buying healthy greens and luscious fruits to begin to combat the problem.

The road to success is to get plenty of exercise, sleep, maintain your weight at a normal and healthy range for your age and size, avoid alcohol, and no smoking. 
As for your diet, avoid foods with saturated fats, and make sure you have a diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and good quality fats. 
High cholesterol levels are very dangerous and can lead to heart disease or heart attack, stroke, angina, or other cardiovascular conditions.  Something as little as changing your diet, exercising, and worshipping your temple that is your body, can work wonders in preventing or reversing high cholesterol. 
Nowhere did I list a side effect or a risk associated with the natural ways to deal with high cholesterol.  The only side effects you should expect are more energy, a happier and calmer mood, and a longer life and great relationships with yourself and others.  Now isn’t that better than a pill?