Cholesterallllll Up In Here

As I recently mentioned, I’ve got high cholesterol.  It’s always been sort of high, but the last numbers were more of a wake-up call for me.

For those of us who aren’t cardiologists, cholesterol is found in all cells of the body, which isn’t so bad since we need at least a wee bit in there.  Too much of it, on the other hand, increases a person’s risk of getting heart disease by building up (as plaque) along artery walls, narrowing the flow of blood.


Image from WebMD

Below 200 mg/dL is generally good.  200-240 mg/dL is moderate.  Above 240 mg/dL is quite high.  I’m at 233.  Yipes!


Image Source

HDL (good) cholesterol can actually lower your risk.  A number greater than 60 is considered good, so luckily I’m at 65.  Woohoo!  The LDL (bad) cholesterol is the stuff that causes the plaque.  Between 100 and 159 is moderately high, and I’m 142.  That’s clearly not good, but it could be worse.


So perhaps less of this……

Reducing bad cholesterol sounds easy, but sometimes the easy stuff doesn’t work for all of us, like myself.  Doctors recommend you increase fiber,  stop smoking, reduce cholesterol in your diet, and eat less saturated fat.  My doctor told me to exercise more.  Hmmm…. pretty sure I’ve got that part covered mmmmkaythanks.


and a bit more of this (fish, brown rice, veg).

So what’s a girl to do when she’s already eating relatively well and exercising?  I could go on medication, but I’m not ready for that yet (mentally).


I don’t feel old enough for this just yet!

I think I’m going to take some of my dad’s advice (after all, excess cholesterol production runs in my family), and increase my consumption of healthy fats.  I’ll also reduce sodium, continue to eat my oats, and cook more vegan meals.  (Cheese is a serious weakness for me!)

Check back tomorrow for a WIAW filled with examples of foods that combat high cholesterol.


  • What’s the thing you wish you hadn’t inherited? Mine’s pretty obvious.
  • What’s one thing you’re glad you got from Mom or Pops?  Great gams run in my fam!

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30 Responses to Cholesterallllll Up In Here

  1. I need to get my cholesterol checked. Like you, it runs in my family (thanks to my dad’s side!). I have always focused less on reducing saturated fat, and more on increasing my unssaturated omegas, like you said. Also plenty of plant foods. yum yum!

  2. My Dads side of the family is prone to metabolic disorders like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc but I know that lifestyles are pulling the trigger… it’s super frustrating to sit back and watch things unfold. It’s easy to manage health & reverse conditions when they’re caught early enough. Good for you for not taking the easy way out! I’m not totally convinced saturated fats are *the problem* with cholesterol – coconut oil, organic butter, etc can have amazing benefits. I think a huge part of our dietary imbalances are omega 6:3 ratios are way off, creating inflammation & all kinds of weird effects.

  3. My stepdad has been working on trying to increase his good cholesterol while also lowering the bad, lots of exercise and healthy eating changes! I inherited long ligaments from my moms side of the family which has caused some problems with knee/hip pain when running. Good luck on your cholesterol reduction journey.

    • Tiff says:

      Oh no – sorry about the running pains. That sure is an interesting problem to have; ya don’t hear about long ligaments every day!

  4. My cholesterol is high as well. I blame genetics on my dad’s side.

  5. Kat says:

    Diabetes is on both sides of my family so I’m doomed to a life of health and fitness forever! 😉

  6. When I was little I had high cholestoral… and I recently go tested and was creeping on the high side, but it was because my “:good” was to high! My trainer said it’s not uncommon in body builders. I’ll take that problem anyday.

  7. I love that the doctor told you to exercise more! Ha!
    My husband is vegan and just had his cholesterol checked. The doctor told him she’s never seen anyone with that low of cholesterol.
    I really wish I didn’t inherit my dad’s hairiness! My sister and I always joke that instead of saving for our kids to go to college, we’ll save for their laser hair removal!

  8. Megan says:

    What a pain! It sucks when you do things right and genes get the best of you! I love that inherited a mix of my parents hair – my moms is super thick and coarse and my dads is super soft and thin – enter me with super thick and soft hair – WIN! The fail that inherited… my moms legs over my dads. We are built like tree with a solid base for sure.

  9. Corey @ Learning Patience says:

    Since there still not sure T1 is inherited…I can’t say diabetes. I know what I’m happy to get from them though…great skin. I rarely wear makeup…can’t beat that!

    Good Luck Tiff w/the C….don’t be afraid to use medicine though….I hate taking insulin, but it helps my body work better…its not a weakness, its a way to be the best you possible. Remember that…

    xoxo from Trinidad

  10. Kacy says:

    I’m with ya girl. And cheese is so my weakness as well :/

  11. I remembered the vitamin my dad was taking. It’s niacin (Vitamin B3). Def. check it out. 🙂

  12. High cholesterol runs in one side of my family (my mom is on meds), but thankfully my genes seem to have gone into the other side, as my cholesterol has always been rather low. That being said, I did inherit some nasty anxiety and stress related problems that seem to run in my family, but that might be more environmental than genetic…

  13. Abby says:

    I also inherited high cholesterol and my doctor told me to “exercise more.” I started taking fish oil and adjusted my diet (somewhat paleo). I am excited to see if this has helped!

  14. I’m part of the High Cholesteral group too. For me, it’s genetic. My dad’s entire side deals with it and my aunt, his sister has had a heart attack which means I’m at greater risk.

    I’m like you..I don’t want to go on medication so I monitor it closely.

  15. I have heard that taking fish oil can be helpful, and I think you’re increase in healthy fats is a great start! I’m impressed with your decision to work on this without the use of medication first. Good for you!!

  16. I definitely appreciate my athletic build, but the one thing I wish I weren’t high risk for is breast cancer. Totally lame. Especially since I have such small boobies to begin with.. it’s like a cruel joke!

  17. I inherited high cholesterol too!! Ughhh it’s so annoying! Even after I went vegan, it was still 280 something. 🙁

  18. especially since there is a genetic component for high cholesterol for you, i don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking statins!!
    they work SO well and the side effects are really minimal for the most part ! (of course it varies between people, but overall side effects are minimal from my understanding anyway!)

    • Tiff says:

      I’m not exactly sure what the dudes in my family are taking, but they seem to be pretty happy with their meds.

      • what i meant was, you shouldn’t feel bad about taking it!! especially since it is proven to help a lot!
        the thing is, there are actually NO HARM from having too little cholesterol and LDL. in fact, it is really good- because cholesterol levels is DIRECTLY correlated with coronary artery disease risks- the lower your cholesterol, the lower your risk for heart attacks. so, i think it is probably a good idea for you to take statins regardless!

        but of course, i am not a doctor so ….

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