I had an “aha” moment during another news flash about the problems with statin drugs. I knew Red Yeast Rice was a natural substance that provided the same cholesterol-lowering properties of statins, but (I assumed) without the side effects of being a “drug.” I’ve been taking Red Yeast Rice for several years and it has lowered my cholesterol from 270 to 171 while actually raising the HDLs. About a year ago I developed a pain in my right arm muscle that I attributed to overdoing it on the weight training, but no amount of tapering off or stopping upper-body weights altogether made the pain go away. I wondered if maybe the Red Yeast Rice was causing muscle issues like a statin. I went off it, cold turkey, last week and 5 days later I don’t have the pain in my arm….So, that’s the good news. The bad news is my cholesterol is probably creeping back up into the 270s again. At this same time (synchronicity at work) I read this article on foods that fight allergies, (my “seasonal” allergies have decided to be year-round) and almost every one of them also lowers cholesterol! So here is my new “diet”: dark red and purple-colored foods, green leafy vegetables, turmeric (hello, curry!), onions, berries, cabbage, cauliflower, nuts, oranges and lemons (especially the pith–I now eat one whole lemon, pith, rind and all, every day!)
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