Cholesterol — and how to reduce it — has a special place in my heart, literally… pun intended! Because I have a family history of high cholesterol and heart disease.
However, even though I grew up knowing I had a family history of heart disease, I made some pretty big missteps when I was younger.
What happens when you eat pizza every day
When I was in college, I ate pizza pretty much every day.
I'm not even kidding. Every damn day.
Well, sometimes I ate Wendy's hamburgers. But mostly, I was passing right by the dining hall to go have pizza at the on-campus snack bar.
My self care back then really sucked. It was obviously before self care was a thing — especially for college kids. Back then, the concept of self care was basically relegated to those old commercials for bubble bath: “Calgon, take me away.”
I thought, as I'm sure everyone else my age did, that self care was for moms. You know, old people. Ha!
Back to the daily installment of pizza… I hated the food there at the dining hall and I was stressed about my studies and I was medicating with food. And alcohol of course. College!
And when I finally graduated and came home, I ended up working for the Portland Trail Blazers. As part of our work perks, we got to have a big, fancy annual exam from the team doctor and his staff.
The annual exam involved doing a stress test on the treadmill — which I was very stressed about since I'd been sedentary pretty much the whole four years at college. And then we did some strength and flexibility testing, blood work, a food journal review, etc.
I think it might have been the very first time I had my cholesterol tested.
The cholesterol levels of a fifty year old… at age 21
Long story short, my results came back and the doctor was just flabbergasted.
And he said to me, you have the cholesterol levels of a 50 year old. And you're 21 years old — how is this possible?
At the time, I was as puzzled as he was!
But eventually I made the connection between nutrition and cholesterol levels, and I was able to get my levels within a healthy range. This was easier to do in my 20s and 30s, but then as I got older, that cholesterol started creeping back up again.
So, I had to make some dietary adjustments once again.
Years later, I have a pretty good system down — a diet that's mostly plant based, and focused on fruit, vegetables, beans and legumes, grains, nuts and seeds.
That said, today's video post is all about the top 5 foods to help get those cholesterol levels down.
Video: 5 Foods to Help Reduce Cholesterol
Listen to the Audio Version
I hope this episode helps you (or someone you love) get those cholesterol levels into a healthy range.
If you have a question for a future live chat, please connect with me over on Instagram at @mospo.
In the meantime, I hope you're feeling great, and getting plenty of healthy plant foods onto your plate.
Wishing you peace, love and broccoli,