Question: I am 65 years old and, during my yearly physical, my doctor discovered my total cholesterol is 234. What do I need to do to lower the bad cholesterol and triglycerides?
Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
Both are independent risk factors for atherosclerosis, so lowering both makes sense most of the time. A high-fiber diet, containing lots of soluble fiber, will lower the cholesterol by at least 10 percent.
Some people prefer to take one tablespoon of Metamucil — or another fiber supplement — three times daily to lower cholesterol, as well as improve bowel health. Fish oil supplements will also lower triglycerides very effectively. The combination will be a very effective one for mild cholesterol management, and HDL readings will improve with regular aerobic exercise. Of course, management of diabetes or thyroid disorder is mandatory if you want a good lipid profile.
Many women have a cholesterol level like yours, with an HDL of 80 or more, so a total of 234 is not necessarily a problem. As a general rule, your total cholesterol should be under 200, your HDL at 60 or more, and your LDL under 100.
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