Don’t – Miss Your Medication
This should be something of a no-brainer, but it does bear mentioning. If you’re taking statins, and other drugs for your high cholesterol, keep taking them. There are a lot of reasons people may fail to take medication. It could be a matter of forgetting to do so, in which case a schedule and reminders should be set in place. However, when it comes to cholesterol-lowering medications, typically the problem is side effects. Such side effects include muscle pain, and occasionally damage to the muscles and organs. These are understandable deterrents, but lowering your cholesterol is important as well.
Do – Talk to Your Doctor
If you’re reading the last point and being put off by statin side effects, you are not alone. The side effects, at a minimum, can be so uncomfortable that people stop their medication within the very first year. Instead of dropping your medication, talk to your doctor about switching to a different kind of medication. Studies show that problems of muscle pains can often be reduced or remedied by switching medications– and serious side effects beyond that are rare. They may be managed by other lifestyle changes. Be vigilant in healthy living, especially if you decide to forgo your medication.
Don’t – Skip All Dietary Fat
When people think cholesterol, of course, they think fat plus salt equals bad. It turns out that this is only partially true; trans fats (baked goods) and saturated fats are definitely to be avoided, however, there are plenty of healthy fats that you should still include in your diet. If you recall earlier, total cholesterol includes HDL cholesterol, which is good for the body. HDL cholesterol comes from different types of fat, namely monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are found in nuts, olives, and some fruit, like avocado. Fish also help, containing omega-3 fatty acids. Just keep track of calories!Related: 10 High-Fat Foods You Can Definitely Eat While Dieting