If you have diabetes, it’s especially important to take steps to control your cholesterol levels—both kinds. The lower your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and the higher your HDL (“good”) cholesterol, the healthier you’ll be.
People with diabetes are more prone to unhealthful cholesterol levels, which can significantly increase the risk for stroke, heart attack and heart disease. But everyone can do their part to control cholesterol—even the rich and famous. Take a cue from these celebs, and start applying their advice to your own health situation today.
Singer and actress: The Marie Osmond Show
Tip: Get smart.
“My mother and grandmother died of heart disease. My dad died of it, too. I attacked my health and weight-loss issues by doing homework and educating myself and then working that knowledge into my life. Work with a doctor to know your numbers—cholesterol, blood pressure, weight—and to find an action plan that works.”
Actress: Desperate Housewives, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Tip: Take up yoga.
The otherwise-healthy Brenda took a natural approach to lowering her high cholesterol and eliminating stress: She does yoga. “There are yogic breathing exercises I practice that can stop stress and elicit the relaxation response in a couple of minutes. It’s my secret weapon that’s available to me at any moment of the day or night. I’m also mindful not to push when my body is ready to stop. I tend to be a go-getter, sapping my energy. Napping or stopping to meditate for 5 to 15 minutes helps.”
Actress: Dark Angel, Fantastic Four
Tip: Eat healthy.
“High blood pressure and cholesterol run in my family. From a young age, I knew that these conditions could be fixed through diet and exercise. I altered my diet by eating lean protein, like chicken or fish, and lots of fruits and veggies. During the day, I’ll have some dried fruit, or a chocolate or strawberry frozen yogurt, but I try to steer clear of desserts and bread.”
Athlete: Olympic swimming champion
Tip: Be active.
When Mark Spitz was diagnosed with high LDL cholesterol, he was put on a statin, a drug used to lower cholesterol levels. But Spitz says he didn’t rely just on medication: “I can’t be sedentary. A statin is not a cure-all drug, and an inactive lifestyle can lead to increased cardiac problems.”
Former president of the United States
Tip: Consider veganism.
Bill Clinton underwent quadruple-bypass heart surgery, and afterward, had two stents put in his heart to open clogged vessels. So what did the onetime junk-food addict and meat eater do to help his cholesterol? He went vegan! “I went on essentially a plant-based diet. I live on beans, legumes, vegetables, fruits. I drink a protein supplement every morning. No dairy; I drink almond milk mixed in with fruit and a protein powder.”
Television and radio host
Tip: Do an innovative work out.
At 53, Larry King suffered a heart attack. He changed his poor eating and smoking habits and tried something more healthful—and fun! “All movement, whether it’s dancing, swimming or walking, helps health. People don’t think of it, but when you go out dancing, you’re helping yourself. And you have fun.”
Former television host: Live! with Regis and Kelly
Tip: Look for psyllium fiber in cereals.
“I had an angioplasty in 1993, and it scared me a lot. So I keep an eye on my cholesterol and on my exercise and on the things that I eat. As I understand it, psyllium fiber in a cereal can reduce your cholesterol level by up to 10% within four weeks. I think that’s pretty darn good, so that’s why I’m trying it.” As long as you’re maintaining a low-fat diet, cholesterol reduction is indeed credited to a diet rich in psyllium fiber, found in many high-fiber cereals, according to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Actress and comedian: Frasier, Six Feet Under, The Geena Davis Show
Tip: Exercise, even if you’re not overweight.
“I work out and I’m muscular. I’d like to lose some weight for health. My cholesterol is a little high and that’s not cute! You can be thin and have high cholesterol, too, you know.”
Author: Rutshire Chronicles
Tip: Keep the weight off.
After a stroke, Jilly switched to a low-cholesterol diet to help lower her levels and lose weight. “I can’t eat anything fun and interesting such as prawns or avocado or blue cheese—basically everything I love,” she said. “Although I really miss salt, bacon and cheese, my arms, which previously looked like elephant’s legs, are now much better, so that’s a compensation.”
Sources: Everyday Health, LifeScript, Good Housekeeping, CNN,
Info 4 Your Life, Curvey Confidential, Yorkshire Post