I was trained academically and clinically that elevated serum cholesterol level, especially LDL level (aka bad cholesterol), is one of the primary risk factors for the onset of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), the number one killer in the United States.
This whole dogma was built on the studies from the 80s’, which found a correlational relationship between elevated cholesterol levels and CVDs rather than causational. What about lack of exercise, stress, poor diet, and sleep? Why were those factors taken out of the equation and cholesterol got all the blame?
Then this idea was picked up by the pharmaceutical industry and for decades, we have had treatment in place – statins. The side effects of statins are underrated! I think we will have a whole generation of people dealing with health issues related to statin use. I worked at the nursing home where I saw hundreds of residents on statins, with “controlled” levels of cholesterol, living with Dementia and yet still dying from strokes and heart attacks.
We need cholesterol. It is an essential component of each cell’s membrane, it is a base ingredient for many hormones, and our immune cells rely on it in fighting off infections. If you are concerned about your lipid profile and considering statins, please feel free to reach out, so we can together come up with lifestyle modifications that can help you stay healthy and enjoy the foods you love!
Hormone fluctuations during your menstrual cycle affect many aspects of your life, such as your mood, appetite, and energy levels. I specialize in mid-life woman’s nutrition and would like to share some tips on optimizing your well-being and possibly reducing PMS symptoms by aligning your diet with your menstrual cycle.
Our menstrual cycle (typically 28 days) is divided into menstrual (day 1-5), follicular (day 6-14), ovulatory (day 15-17), and luteal (day 18-28) phases. I recommend avoiding alcohol, fatty and salty foods, and caffeine during the menstrual phase. Drink soothing herbal teas like red raspberry leaf, peppermint, chamomile, and thyme to reduce menstrual cramping.
The follicular phase and ovulation are governed by estrogen, which is metabolized in the liver. During this time, increasing plant foods intakes, such as green leafy vegetables (dandelion greens, swiss chard, endives, microgreens, mustard greens, beet greens, spring mix, etc.), fruit, berries, nuts, and seeds, along with fermented foods such as yogurt, kombucha, scoutcraft, and tempeh will help your liver and gastrointestinal tract to detoxify estrogen metabolites.
Progesterone is peaking around day 21 (luteal phase), and foods that are rich sources of Vit C and B, zinc, and magnesium will be beneficial one week before your period. These are whole grains (oats, quinoa, buckwheat), greens (arugula, kale, broccoli, watercress), nuts, and pumpkin seeds. Eat foods promoting happy hormone serotonin synthesis, such as organic grass-fed beef, poultry, wild salmon, eggs, and cheese.
See if these recommendations affect how you feel throughout your cycle. I always ask my client to listen to their bodies because all the answers are within.