A Cholesterol-Lowering Approach to Food and Exercise

Menopause and Heart Disease Risk

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Did you know that the hormonal changes associated with perimenopause and menopause can affect your heart health?

At a recent visit with my gynecologist, I learned a great deal about how heart health is adversely affected by declining estrogen during the menopause transition. There are many myths and misunderstandings about the role of estrogen therapy as it relates to heart health after menopause.

Midlife women, as well as their healthcare providers, are still confused about the results of the Women’s Health Initiative, a study from the 1990s that concluded that hormone therapy is inherently dangerous. It’s important to know the facts.

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Healthy Guacamole

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Avocados are a heart-healthy food, proven to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. According to the American Heart Association’s article, An Avocado a Day May Keep Bad Cholesterol At Bay:

“Eating one avocado a day as part of a heart healthy, cholesterol-lowering moderate-fat diet can help improve bad cholesterol levels in overweight and obese individuals, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Researchers evaluated the effect avocados had on traditional and novel cardiovascular risk factors by replacing saturated fatty acids from an average American diet with unsaturated fatty acids from avocados.“

What some find confusing about declaring avocado a heart-healthy food is that avocados are,

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Cholesterol Results Through 2018

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In June, when I spoke about The Low Cholesterol Cookbook and Action Plan at the Westport Library Cookbook Club, an audience member asked if I post my cholesterol test results. While individual test results are only relevant to that individual, I get this question often enough that it seemed a good time to update with my latest lab scores.

Because I’m a data nerd (and like to discuss cholesterol trends with my doctors…and a visual makes a recap easy!) I’ve graphed them over time.

 

These latest results were heartening (sorry, pun intended) and indicate the lo-co change I made in mid-February is working.

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How to Throw a Heart-Healthy Cocktail Party

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On Thursday, June 14th, I’m delighted to be hosting the Westport Library’s Cookbook Club. The topic will be how to lower cholesterol with diet and exercise and I’ll be demonstrating a heart-healthy side dish/appetizer from my book, The Low Cholesterol Cookbook and Action Plan: 4 Weeks to Cut Cholesterol and Improve Heart Health .

As my husband and I are then hosting a book-launch party immediately following the event, I needed to plan a heart-healthy cocktail party. Clearly, two hors d’oeuvres mainstays—a cheese board and charcuterie platter—are off limits as both are very high in saturated fat.

It took a little time to plan,

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Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken

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Last weekend I made Dana White’s Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken and even my husband—who does not care for any slow cooker recipes—LOVED it. Which is remarkable given the rather large cooking error I made (it cooks for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high setting—if you accidentally set it 4 hours on low and don’t notice until 3 hours in, you can save it by pouring into a large saute pan and setting it on a medium flame for about 45 minutes!)

Two lo-co adjustments I made:

  • As I do not cook with coconut oil,

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