Heart Disease Forum
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Avatar universal

Cholesterol and exercise

  In an answer to an earlier post,  I noticed that you said diet and exercise  will lower cholesterol at best by 15%.  
  My cholesterol was at 308 but my diet was horrible.  As an active weightlifter I was consuming about 8 eggs a day and around 1 - 2lbs of red meat.  Since the findings,  I have practically cut out all red meat and begun cardio-intensive exercise 25 minutes 3 times a week in addition to weightlifting.
  Can I expect better than 15% reduction?  The doctors seemed to think that weight loss and diet would fix the problem without medication.
  My internal medicine doctor and cardiologist want me to wait between 3 - 6 months to retest my cholesterol.  Is this a reasobable amount of time to wait to see if the diet is working.
1 Responses
Avatar universal

Dear Tommy, thank you for your follow-up question.  Your diet was indeed horrible.  Red meat is high in saturated fats and eggs are very high in cholesterol - both items should be eliminated from your diet.  You should focus on eating complex carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy products and you should avoid processed foods, foods high in saturated fats, butter, whole milk, fatty cheeses, fried foods, and junk food.  While weightlifting is fine, it is not good exercise for the heart alone.  Generally, we recommend daily moderate intensity aerobic exercise for 30-45 minutes a day which will help to lose weight, lower cholesterol, improve cardiac conditioning, and help to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease.  If you want to weight lift in addition to aerobic exercise, that would be fine.  But, weight lifting alone is not enough.  Since you do not have established coronary disease at this time, vigorous exercise and the proper diet may achieve the cholesterol reduction you need.  So, your doctors are reasonable to wait to recheck your lipid levels after diet and exercise have been implemented.  But, the "ball is now in your court" so work hard on your diet and aerobic exercise.  Also, it may help for you to see a dietician for dietary advice.  
I hope you find this information useful.  Information provided in the heart forum is for general purposes only.  Only your physician can provide specific diagnoses and therapies. Please feel free to write back with additional questions.
If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire online by using the Heart Center website at www.ccf.org/heartcenter.   The Heart Center website contains a directory of the cardiology staff that can be used to select the physician best suited to address your cardiac problem.

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