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Cholesterol Down    by Dr. Janet Brill order for
Cholesterol Down
by Janet Brill
Order:  USA  Can
Three Rivers, 2006 (2006)

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In her Introduction to Cholesterol Down, Janet Brill summarizes some of the side effects of statin drugs and suggests this cholesterol lowering regime 'for otherwise healthy adults who want to lower their LDL or "bad" cholesterol using a safe and effective drug-free approach' and also for individuals who would use it 'to supplement statin drugs in order to keep their dosages low enough to reduce the risk of dangerous side effects associated with higher statin doses.'

Part I of the book explains Everything You Need to Know About Cholesterol, LDL, and Heart Disease: the basics of good and bad cholesterol, cholesterol recycling in the body, LDL regulation in the liver, the rationale for targeting LDL, the link to heart disease, and research results. The author then introduces the Cholesterol Down therapy, a 'combination approach of nine foods plus exercise', recommending use of a Ten-Step Daily Checklist (provided in an Appendix). Sample menus and enticing, healthy recipes (like Walnut-Encrusted Salmon and Eggplant Lasagna) are included, as well as a heart disease risk assessment questionnaire.

Part II goes into the ten components of the plan in more detail, covering what to eat - Oatmeal, Almonds, Flaxseeds, Metamucil, Beans, Apples, Margarine with Phytosterols, Soy Protein, and Garlic - and the importance of exercise (a daily thirty minutes of continuous walking is recommended). Each chapter on a food item covers relevant research, explains how it helps lower cholesterol, discusses alternatives (such as barley for oatmeal), and suggests specific food types (like Navy beans or Chickpeas), and where to find it (including Internet resources).

My husband has high cholesterol, and we have always focused on diet and exercise as well as prescription drugs - it's only common sense to do so. Though we've already made some of the diet changes suggested here, I was very happy to read the detailed nutrition guidelines in Cholesterol Down - as well as the rationale behind them. I will keep this book handy and plan to incorporate its suggestions (and recipes) into our family menus.

Listen to a podcast interview with the author at

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