You know I personally don’t get too worked up over LDL cholesterol. But your doctor? Well, that’s likely another story.
And let’s be honest, if you’re like most people, you don’t want to let your doc down. Which means you can feel caught in the middle.
On the one hand, the doctor is lecturing you about your LDL and total cholesterol. And maybe he’s even pushing you to take a cholesterol med.
On the other, you know the studies. You’ve read the science. And you know, the last thing in the world you want to do is start taking a statin drug.
Now, new research shows an easy way to make everyone happy. An actual win-win situation if there ever was one.
You can whittle down your cholesterol a bit without a drug. It may be just enough to make your doctor happy. But it won’t drive your numbers TOO low, causing you to worry about low cholesterol issues.
Best of all, you can get this “everyone’s happy” benefit from something that genuinely DOES make nearly everyone happy. And that’s delicious strawberries.
The strawberry secret to cholesterol control
Again, slightly elevated cholesterol levels should be no sweat for most folks. Because it’s simply not the big, bad risk factor, it’s been made out to be.
More on that… as well as what you REALLY need to watch for… in a sec.
But if you’re in that middle zone where you’re looking to cut your LDL levels a little to get your doctor off your back and avoid the push for cholesterol meds, you’re in luck. Because the key to achieving that could be as simple as making strawberries a regular part of your routine.
In the new study, volunteers with moderately elevated cholesterol were given either the equivalent of one serving of strawberries (13 grams) … around three servings of strawberries (40 grams) … or zero strawberries.
Surprisingly, the group that did the best was the single-serving folks.
A single serving of strawberries a day (in the form of strawberry powder) was linked to around a five percent drop in LDL cholesterol and a three percent drop in total cholesterol. That’s not quite high enough to be considered significant – but it’s close.
Normally, “close” wouldn’t cut it for me. But this has been studied before. And the results have been pretty consistent. Strawberries do appear to cut cholesterol… sometimes with impressive results.
In one study that looked specifically at obese folks with elevated LDL levels, a strawberry powder was associated with an 11 percent drop. And because of the repeated positive results with this favorite summer fruit, I suspect there’s something to this strawberry effect.
It may not be a HUGE drop in your numbers. But it is a measurable one. And that could make a real difference for folks on that borderline where their levels aren’t super high, but their doctors are concerned anyway.
The right approach to cholesterol
Again, the hyperfocus on LDL alone IS a mistake. The real problem isn’t LDL in general but rather small and dense LDL particles that are damaged by oxidation and can stick to blood vessel walls.
Statins don’t target those specifically. So conventional medicine folks simply hope that they’ll knock out some of those small and dense particles along the way by focusing on overall LDL.
That might be wishful thinking more than anything else, given that statins have never proven to save or extend lives. But there is another option that could be worth trying.
A couple of years back, one study found that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can simultaneously…
- CUT those small dense particles
- SLASH deadly triglycerides
- RAISE essential HDL cholesterol
In addition, you should avoid ultra-processed foods… especially refined sugars and other empty carbs… which can also mess with blood lipids and raise triglycerides.
Plus, last year, I shared the inside scoop on a dynamic dream team that naturally reduced LDL, raised HDL, AND tamed soaring blood sugars all at the same time. If you missed that issue, you can catch up on all the details right here.