Ever since my father had a fatal heart attack in the 70's, I've always known that I was blessed inherediting his high cholesterol.
It's been a struggle most of my life, until 6 years ago I decided that it was time to let go of animal foods. The meds were giving me side effects and simply not bringing down my levels much. I figure, I have to change my diet anyway, so why take these dangerous pills that could compromise my liver functions?
Since then, I've been on and off a raw food vegan/vegetarian diet, which has significantly reduced my numbers.
Before, on a cooked vegetarian diet with dairy and high fat, my total cholesterol has been 365!!! On a vegan low fat diet, my last check was 225, with NO MEDS. So that is over a 100 point drop with just a change in lifestyle.
I believe the AHA is not giving appropriate cholesterol dietary guidelines. Cholesterol levels do not get lower on an animal and fat based diet!
An excellent book called "The China Study" has really opened my eyes to food and health. The majority of people in China have extremely low cholesterol and they eat very little meat and high amounts of plant foods. The lowest that was recorded in the study was in the 80's! And the highest was around 170!
Also many studies show that heart attacks are rare if not obsolete with cholesterol levels under 150.
I do not miss animal foods at all. I stopped eating all dairy a few months ago, and a couple of weeks ago I indulged in a little cheese. I got a bad cold with tons of mucus shortly after that, and I attribute it to the dairy.
My diet consists of a ton of fruit and vegetables with very low fat. I actually feel better with this diet. I have so much more energy.
I believe The China Study is so right on about diet, nutrition and disease, I highly recommend it!