If your husband is already doing the right things, and it sounds like he is, and he is in good shape, his high cholesterol levels are probably genetic and meds are really his only choice. Normally you can lower your cholesterol by changing your diet and exercising, which he is already doing.
Why is he against meds? I've been on them for years with no side effects and my cholesterol has dropped down to TC151, LDL 58, HDL40. What are his numbers for LDL and HDL?
I would take another look at the meds, sounds like his best option.
I'm agreeing with erijohn, it sounds like a genetic issue. He should try Omega 3 fish oil, I think 2 to 4 grams a day is the recommended dose to raise the HDL (good cholesterol levels) and to lower the Triglicerides, assuming they are high.
We all have reasons why we do or do not take certain medications, and I respect that. However, I'll just mention that I had a cholesterol level about where his is, and I was trying to lower it with a strict diet and 'natural' stuff from the health food department. After a couple of heart attacks and seven stents, I decided my way wasn't working. The fears of the meds were trumped by the reality of the condition, I went on a statin (Vytorin) and my cholesterol is perfect. I've had no side effects whatsoever. I know Jon exercises daily, I do to, and maybe that is why we don't have side effects. I can tell your husband that high cholesterol equals Cardiac Artery Disease.
I don't agree totally, I was on what I thought was a healthy diet . No dairy, eggs, meat. I still developed vascular disease. It turns out that two thirds of the cholesterol is made in the liver from saturated fats, and trans fats, So take away animal foods and you are still at risk to produce large amounts of cholesterol These fats are found in many of the vegetarian foods. I poisoned myself with Thai and indian food which I thought were ok to eat because the dishes I ate were vegan. They contain coconut milk, and other highly satureted fats, which will drive cholesterol levels way up. Check nutrition labels on packaged foods, and if you eat out a lot, check with the kitchen as to what is in the food.
I got life saving help from the advice of Dr Fuhrman.com. and his book I believe was a God send. I take 10 mg lipitor my Dr says not for the cholesterol lowering but for the anti imflamitory benefits, because my t/ cholesterol is 142 ldl 71, hdl 57, tryg/ 68.
Extended release niacin is arguably just as good as any drug on the market in terms of HDL and LDL effect. It can be tough on the liver but if you have normal liver function then its a legit alternative to statins (my father in law's cholesterol used to clock in at about 270 and he had the same reservations as your husband about drugs - niacin has worked very well for him - his cholesterol is now sub 150 and has been for 10+ years). You could say that extended release niacin is sort of a drug in itself but btw that and a statin I'd personally try the niacin first. There's a pretty good book called the "8 week cholesterol cure" with several natural alternatives for lowering cholesterol - I was impressed with the content and suggestions. In terms of natural alternatives, the two best/simplest options I'm aware of are: oatmeal every day and regular exercise. The oatmeal will help your LDL while the exercise helps boost hdl. I doubt those two adjustments will pull a 270 down to 200 but they might help you by 10-20 points which is a start. Read up on the niacin - let us know what you decide!
Niacin is great for raising HDL, which is very imprtant to protect one's arteries from CAD, however from my research I have not read anything that shows niacin helps lower LDL, I'll have to look agian. I agree wioth exercise, everything I have read shows that regular exercise will help incease HDL, plus it is beneficial to your heart health as well.
NIACIN IS AN IMPORTANT B VITAMIN THAT MAY RAISE YOUR HDL "GOOD" CHOLESTEROL: A Mayo Clinic doctor discusses niacin, including its benefits and side effects.
"......What impact does niacin have on cholesterol?
Niacin can raise HDL — the "good" cholesterol — by 15 percent to 35 percent. This makes niacin the most effective drug available for raising HDL cholesterol. While niacin's effect on HDL is of most interest, it's worth noting that niacin also decreases your LDL and triglyceride levels. High levels of LDL and triglycerides are significant risk factors for heart disease."...