The Stress-Weight Connection

by Marcie Millar, RD, LDN, Cert in Herbal Medicine & DSHEA Law

When it comes to reducing to cholesterol levels, there are many healthy ways to reduce it successfully. I use a systematic, holistic approach, including lab work, medications, medication history, non-prescription supplements and history, food bits, exercise, lifestyle, genetics.

Most important is what will be therapeutic and realistic for the individual client. Some are not having success with prescriptions, having excessive side effects, or do not want to take medication. Many are overeating fats, sugars, flour-based foods, not getting enough fiber or exercise, etc.

When you think about food, understand that if you cholesterol levels are fasting - you have not eaten for 8-12 hours - those numbers reflect what your liver is making, not the eggs you ate 2 days ago. The number in your fasting lipid profile that can be increased by food is your Trigylceride level from too much sugar, flour, (simple carbs) and alcohol. HDL, the good cholesterol your body needs is increased by exercise, lots of veggies, healthy fats, and if appropriate, a small amount of dry wine with a meal.

I ask clients to bring in a recent fasting lipid profile copy that reflects what they are eating and taking. I review the numbers: Total Cholesterol, HDL, LDL, Trigylderide, and ratios. The total cholesterol number is a combination of the numbers. Maybe your HDL or good cholesterol is high and is raising your total level! Few people have true genetic high cholesterol, which means that your cells cannot take in cholesterol so that it is very high in your blood.

LDL contributes to pleague build-up in your arteries and veins. Some people with a marginally high LDL are on medication. I think diet and exercise should be tried first. Others have medication sid effects- muscle pain or increased liver enzymes. Many are looking for alternatives. Those on low doses of medication with good results should take Co Q10 as uniquinol - 60mg daily to offset side effects and depletion of this heart nutrient.

For those wanting an alternative to medication or not responding to diet and exercise, a trial of Red Yeast Rice Extract (RYRE) with the Co Q10 at researched doses can be a good choice. Use only RYRE that hass been tested for the active ingredients in the raw materials. These include monoclonins, phytosterols, beta sitosterol, campesterol, and sigmasterol - they should be the same in each batch. RYRE has been consumed as food and medicine in China since 800 A.D.

Triglycerides are trouble-makers associated with fatty liver, obesity, and diabetes. Weight loss, no simple carbohydrates, no alcohol, and high-fiber diet are key. Supplementally, purified high EPA fish oil, liver support, carnitine and lipase are very helpful.

Certain foods like garlic, ginger, tumeric, walnuts, fish, steel cut oat meal, flax meal, and green tea can help lower cholesterol, along with a high fiber, plant-based diet.

Together with my clients, we develop a food plan, and if needed, supplement support based on each person's labwork, medication, supplements, and lifestyle. Consistency for 3 months is a must to accurately compare repeated labs with the previous labs and document your success.