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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

Dietary changes will take longer to work than statins, Josh. One month of fish oil probably won't show a huge difference. Probably between three and six months is more realistic.
Flaxseeds are the seeds of the plant grown to make linen. The whole seeds must be ground into meal in order for the body to digest them. Once ground, they deteriorate pretty quickly, so only small amounts should be ground in advance of consumption. Both the whole seeds and meal should be refrigerated to keep the oil content from becoming rancid. The benefit of the omega-3 oil is gained only from eating the meal uncooked, but if cooked into muffins, bread, or some other dish, you'll still get the benefit of the fiber. The recommended amount to eat for health benefits is about 2 tablespoons per day. The oil is available in capsules, but there's no benefit from the soluble fiber in those.

You're probably wondering about the taste, right? Once you add it into another dish, like cereal or salad, you might not notice a flavor at all. If you do, it's slightly nutty, and not at all unpleasant.

Speaking of nuts, they can also be beneficial in raising HDL. They're high in omega-6 EFA's, which need to be balanced with the omega-3's. Walnuts and walnut oil are a good source of both, but almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, and hazelnuts are richest in omega-6.

The thing you should be careful of if you plan to boost your intake of nuts and flaxseeds, is that because they are high in oil content, they're very caloric. Only an ounce of nuts a day is needed for health benefits. I began eating nuts every day about three months ago, and I expected to gain some weight from that. To my surprise, I've actually lost two pounds. They seem to curb my appetite, so that I no longer have such wicked refined carb cravings.

Edited to say -- I, for one, would never suggest that you not follow your doctor's advice about the Lipitor, most especially since there is a history of CAD in your family. But your current numbers really aren't so awful, and you seem to be leading a very healthy lifestyle. All I'll say is that if I were in your place, I would feel there's time to see whether more a natural approach would improve the situation enough to do without the drugs. If that doesn't happen, and you still feel there's unacceptable risk, you can always start on statins then. For myself, I'm not rushing into it.

[This message has been edited by midwest1 (edited 02-13-2003).]

[This message has been edited by midwest1 (edited 02-13-2003).]

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