a pink smoothie with a straw

Q. My 15-year-old son had low HDL and a poor cholesterol profile at his checkup. (Total cholesterol was 146, HDL 29 and LDL 96). So for ten months I have had him drink my version of the cholesterol-reducing smoothie I found on your website. He had the smoothie 4 or 5 days a week and loved it. I use frozen unsweetened strawberries, orange juice, ground flaxseed and oat bran.
In June I asked the pediatrician if he would order blood work so I could see if the smoothie helped raise my son’s HDL and improve his other blood work. It did. Now his HDL is 34 and his total cholesterol is 138, with LDL of 92. That makes the ratio of LDL to HDL much better, under 3.
It would be great to get the HDL even higher. Do you have any ideas?

A. A surprising range of dietary choices can help improve cholesterol profiles, from beets to cinnamon to fish oil to a low-carb diet. We are sending you a copy of our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies so you can learn more of the details about these cholesterol-controlling foods and a delicious new smoothie recipe.

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  1. DoctorDave

    I mean this sincerely….. there is no reason to be checking the cholesterol profile of your 15 yr old. It’s great that he likes the smoothie and I would encourage that he pay attention to his diet and eat a well balanced diet with an emphasis on plant based foods. But it is a reflection of the absurdly overblown fear of cholesterol (a fear intentionally created by the purveyors of medications to treat high cholesterol) that you or your doctor would feel compelled to have your son’s cholesterol checked. In fact, there is really no reason for a healthy 15 yr old to see a medical doctor for anything. Teach him the foundations of good health and keep him away from doctors unless he has a specific problem

  2. Lavone

    I have been making smoothies for years. OA and Weight watchers recommends them as an alternative to ice cream. My smoothies are made with no-fat yogurt (tried
    Greek yogurt wont work too thick.) They used to have you add ice cubes with the fruit to thicken it. I use frozen strawberries that I made – cut them up & pack
    flat in freezer -easier to break off amount you want. I add 1 capful of vanilla,
    and sprinkle from packet of Stevia. Ground flax seed is good too. I have used
    various fruits that I sliced up & froze – blueberries, and peaches.
    My favorite is still the strawberries. I use a blender & amounts I never measure just by sight & past experience. I also make enough to have cup now & fill 2 small containers for the freezer. The ones from the freezer can be thawed or good just
    to scrape with spoon to get the really cold taste. The smoothies like this are
    very satisfying & healthy. ENJOY

  3. PattiC

    Not meaning to be rude, but that’s not much of a change in #’s. However, the cholesterol particles may have changed for the better.
    What I wanted to mention is that our Vitamin D (25OHD) storage level “may” affect our HDL. When I was younger I had my HDL tested in the high 90’s & later, much later it was only 60ish. I’ve been taking Bio-Tech Vitamin D 5000 IU or more for a few years, been tested & wondered how I got my HDL up to 94 or so when I read Dr William Davis’s theory of Vitamin D raising his patients HDL levels.
    I believe it helps but of course you need to test the Vitamin D level, if you’re taking that much.

  4. CFW

    There are all sorts of variations possible but this is my starter smoothie. (my version of the People’s Pharmacy smoothie)
    Fill your cup for your Magic Bullet or Hamilton Beach Single serve blender to 1/2 to 2/3 full of strawberries (Best price will be Cosco or Sams…they have them frozen and sliced but make sure they do not have sugar!)
    Pour orange juice to cover strawberries (I use the pulpiest oj I can find)
    Put lid on it and pulse until blended.
    Put 2 spoonfuls of ground flaxseed (I use Red Bob’s ground flaxmeal)..I am starting to use golden flaxmeal now.
    Put 3 heaping spoonfuls of oat bran (I use Red Bob’s brand) I pour a little more oj over the flaxseed and oatmeal and pulse again and serve with a straw.
    (my mom adds plain yogurt…my guys eat a lot of yogurt and drink a lot of milk so I do not) It is hard to find milkshake straws…the stores sell the thin ones.
    Any time you have bananas that are starting to turn…cut them up and put them in your freezer in a small ziplock bag. You can throw a couple of bite size chunks in the smoothie with the strawberries. I also keep blueberries in the freezer and I will sometimes add them. Sometimes I buy tart cherries with juice (in a can) and add them with the strawberries….with all of the above variations; I usually use strawberries as my base.
    My mom uses the Hamilton Beach Single serve blender at Walmart for 15.88 but the Magic Bullet or the less expensive Turbo Chopper will do the same thing. Both the Magic Bullet and Hamilton are easy to clean, if you thoroughly rinse it out after making the smoothies. The oatmeal starts sticking to the sides of the cup and makes it hard to clean if you let it sit in your sink. You can use a full size blender too. If all of us are having smoothies at the same time, I will use our full size blender.
    This is the Peoples Pharmacy Version of the Smoothie:
    Put orange juice (8 oz?) and a diced banana or peach into a 16 oz jar, cap tightly and shake. Then add 1/3 cup raw rolled oats and 1 Tablespoon ground flax meal. Cap once again, shake, and let sit for 15 or 20 minutes. The smoothie can be frozen and will stay cool for hours after coming out of the freezer. Julius reports that consuming this smoothie 5 days a week for a year lowered his cholesterol by 40 points.

  5. Barb

    Hey you all, as a reading teacher I suggest “read the fine print”
    “He had the smoothie 4 or 5 days a week and loved it. I use frozen unsweetened strawberries, orange juice, ground flaxseed and oat bran.”
    I suspect any combination of fresh and frozen fruit plus the mentioned
    bulk would be helpful for your health.

  6. sharryn

    Link to smoothie recipe does not function. It comes up “page not found”. Please fix the link so all of us can get the recipe promised in the newspaper. Thanks.

  7. Rick S.

    I have the following smoothie daily. My [K-Tec Champ] blender’s odometer is over 3000…
    1 cup / 225g plain yogurt
    1 cup / 241g soy milk [Cold]
    2 Oz / 50g [Frozen] Orange Juice Concentrate
    50g Oat Bran [Frozen]
    50g Hulled Hemp Seed [Frozen]
    1 frozen banana, 1/2 inch slices
    250g Strawberries [frozen]
    Put all ingredients except the strawberries in the blender pitcher [on a food scale, makes it simple].
    Fire up the blender, and when stable speed is achieved, start adding the berries as fast as the thing can assimilate them without stalling.
    Makes about a quart. After four years of this daily regimen, it still took a 10mg Lovastatin Rx to get the lipids dialed in… But they started out REALLY bad!

  8. Mary

    One sure way to raise HDL is to exercise regularly!

  9. Chester R.

    As the other people are asking where can we get this recipe for the smoothie?? Thank You Chet
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: THE MOM IN THE QUESTION SAYS: frozen unsweetened strawberries, orange juice, ground flaxseed and oat bran
    THE ORIGINAL RECIPE IS AT: http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2006/10/21/juliuss-cholest/

  10. Amy

    I agree – wish the poster would have put their smoothie recipe in the post. I tried the tag also and it didn’t go anywhere. Please please share this smoothie recipe. Thanks a lot. Amy

  11. jeanmarie

    Where do I find both smoothie recipes to help reduce cholesterol?

  12. EL

    Where can the recipe that this mother speaks of be found? Is it on this website?

  13. MGD

    Where do I find the above recipe for smoothie and the new recipe?

  14. vicki

    I need the recipe for the smoothie that helped the 15 year old with his HDL & LDL. vicki

  15. Wendy

    Sure would be nice to get the poster’s version of the recipe for this delicious, helpful smoothie.

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