Tuesday, April 4, 2006

The New 8 Week Cholesterol Cure by Robert E. Kowalski



A year or so ago, after a routine physical, my husband discovered that he had high cholesterol. Family history had a lot to do with it (my husband's father and three brothers all have high cholesterol) so even though my husband worked out and jogged and ate somewhat healthily, the cholesterol problem was something he couldn't beat on his own.

His doctor put him on a statin drug which worked great to lower his cholesterol numbers, but it was also wreaking havoc on his liver enzymes. Because his cholesterol numbers had gone down, however, his doctor suggested that eh go off the statin drug and try keeping his numbers low by changing his diet.

It was at that point that I purchased the book "The New 8 Week Cholesterol Cure" by Robert E. Kowalski. My husband isn't much of a reader (well, except for Sports Illustrated and the newspaper) but he dug right into this book. Anything that ahs to do with health is important and we both knew it. Although I don't have any problems with my cholesterol numbers, I read the book as well so that I could help to enable my husband to make the necessary changes that he needed to make.

"The New 8 Week Cholesterol Cure" is a totally updated book and it claims to be "the ultimate program for preventing heart disease". The objectives of
the book are simple and clearly stated. This book provides tips on how to lower your cholesterol level without taking drugs. It also gives insight on what foods are most beneficial in helping to reduce cholesterol levels and it provides practical tips on exercise, even for those of us who don't like the thought of going to the gym.

This book, originally published in 1987, has been completely updated for today's changing lifestyle. It starts with an n overview of heart health--something all of us should have a little background in. There are then sections devoted to diet: fats, soy, wonder foods like garlic and nuts, and that all-important connection between alcohol (like red wine) and heart health.

My husband and I were most intrigued by the chapter on phytosterols. The book explains that the body can only absorb so much cholesterol at a time-- once it has absorbed the maximum amount, any other cholesterol you eat during hat meal really doesn't matter (yes, you'll still get fat and calories, but it won't affect your cholesterol levels). Thus, if you load up on "good" cholesterols first, then the bad cholesterols you eat later in the meal technically aren't all that relevant. Of course, it's impossible to eat enough good cholesterol in one sitting (the amounts of good cholesterol in most food are too low), so phytosterol supplements, which are made of all good cholesterol, can be taken at the beginning of the meal. The book includes resources on where to purchase phytosterols.

Another part of the book that has proven to be extremely useful is the recipe section. My husband love sweets, so he asks me to make some of the cookie recipes in this book. The chocolate chip and nut cookies are delicious and made with healthful ingredients-- no prepackaged hydrogenated oils here! Some other tasty recipes include the Swedish Meatballs, blackened cajon salmon, Thai chicken with peanut sauce, banana nut muffins and baked apples.

As for the exercise portion of the book, there are descriptions of the best physical activities that anyone can do. One of the best activities is walking, and if done consistently and properly, it can help keep your heart healthy.

Blood pressure controls are just as important to keep check on as cholesterol numbers are, so there is an entire chapter devoted to blood pressure. Ditto for weight control-- losing weight is a great way to lower cholesterol so there are tips and practical advice for weight control.

This book also contains several charts-- from fat content comparisons for different foods to body mass Index charts, these visual aids can help you to keep things in check.

My husband has been very successful in using the suggestions from this book. His cholesterol is lower and he has never felt better. If you are looking for a good book to help conquer your high cholesterol naturally, then this book is for you.

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