Ever since I had to get my blood lipids checked for my Nutrition 101 class in college, I've known I have an issue with high cholesterol! I think when I first got it checked at that time, it was 272. Yikes! Of course, my HDL at that time was 91, so it wasn't as bad as it sounds....but still, I kind of wanted to make it a mission to see how I could lower my total cholesterol just by changing my eating habits, etc.
I managed to get it as low as 190 in the past 8 years since, mostly having it hover around 210-230. Mostly by decreasing the saturated fats in my diet (beef, chocolate milk, processed foods), and focusing on high fiber (oatmeal, fruits/vegetables).
Well, this Sunday I donated blood, and you get a free cholesterol check. It was 248. :( Shoooooot I'm back up again! I know this is because since I eat for free at work (breakfast, lunch), I've been making some more lax nutrition choices in the past 2 years since I've worked there.
Time to put my foot down and get my total cholesterol back down to 200-ish again!
1) High-fiber oatmeal with ground flax seeds for breakfast 4x/week. (I had been doing fried potatoes for breakfast a lot....or sometimes bagels....so now back to a high-fiber oatmeal with omega-3 FA-rich flax seeds most days of the week)
2) 5+ servings of fruits/vegetables daily. This is always a goal, but based on the past few weeks, it looks like I've been getting around 3-4 servings/day. Time to up that number!!
I'm already pretty good about my dairy and meat intake, as far as choosing fish and chicken over pork and beef, and drinking/eating low-fat dairy (low-fat string cheese, skim milk, 2% milk for my cappuccinos lol). I know the breakfast thing is the main issue! Greasy potatoes with greasy scrambled eggs = a no go. Oatmeal, flax seeds, berries/nuts/seeds = yum and yes.
Anyway, I think I can donate blood again in 12 weeks....(I think its every 12 weeks?)....so this will be a little science experiment, if you will! Going to see if changing the above 2 things, along with continued weight loss and regular exercise, will make a significant change in my total cholesterol.