Q. The secret for lowering my hubby’s cholesterol about 100 points was to eliminate all unnatural oils.
I wouldn’t allow him to take the medications. I’d been brainwashed about using vegetable oils years ago and they made his cholesterol numbers worse.
Finally I decided we would go all natural. I’d hoped that adding all these saturated oils would lower his numbers, and they did!
We use only organic oils–coconut, palm, olive, butter and regular rice bran oil. I also save the drippings from our organic bacon to use in cooking. I make mayonnaise using almond oil or other natural oils such as avocado. I have a wand blender that makes it easy to whip up the mayo in a jar.
The other benefits of eating these natural oils is that it does wonders for our skin. I’m 66 and people often comment on how good my skin looks. I don’t use commercial creams either.
A. Avoiding trans fats found in shortening and some commercial mayonnaise can help get cholesterol under control. It comes as a great shock to people to learn that saturated fats such as coconut or palm oil don’t necessarily raise cholesterol levels. We have been so accustomed to hearing that sat-fat is bad that we take it as an article of faith.
A study several years ago demonstrated that consuming palm oil did not raise blood lipids or LDL cholesterol (Archivos Latinoamericanos de Nutricion, Jun, 2002).
One study of medical students in Brazil suggested that palm oil might actually lower triglycerides (Nutrition, Jan. 2008).
Even more surprising was a study comparing dietary soybean oil to coconut oil. The group of women who were randomized to coconut oil had higher levels of good HDL cholesterol and a lower LDL:HDL ratio. They also had a better waist circumference after weeks of consuming coconut oil. Those consuming soybean oil experienced an increase in total cholesterol and LDL:HDL ratio and had reductions in good HDL cholesterol. The authors concluded, “It appears that dietetic supplementation with coconut oil does not cause dyslipidemia and seems to promote a reduction in abdominal obesity.” (Lipids, July, 2009)
We recognize that this flies in the face of conventional dietary wisdom. Because we do not know exactly how your body will react to palm oil or coconut oil, we think the best approach is to pay attention to your lipids with periodic blood tests. That way you can track the approach that offers you the biggest benefit.
We have collected many readers’ favorite tactics for lowering cholesterol and triglycerides naturally in our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies from National Geographic. For more specific recommendations and heart-healthy recipes such as our Favorite Fish Platter, Fish Tacos with Radish & Lime, Spicy Fresh Tuna Salad, Lentil Nut Loaf with Red Pepper Sauce, or Cinnamon-Almond Oatmeal, have a look at our book, Recipes and Remedies From The People’s Pharmacy. Healthful eating can be delicious!