Celebrity Cholesterol-Lowering Secrets

How do celebs control their cholesterol? We’ve rounded up the best healthy-living tips from Hollywood.

By
Diana Bierman

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.

Marie Osmond
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.”

Brenda Strong
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.”

Jessica Alba
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.”

Mark Spitz
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.”

Bill Clinton
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.”

Published
June 2012