Take Metamucil to lower cholesterol (health tip of the month)

Tips for saving money

I realize most of my readers are here for investment-related tools rather than health tips, but I’ve got a helpful one that I thought worth sharing.

I went to my doctor last week for my regular checkup and found my cholesterol level had risen to 223. Just to give you some background, I’m 5’3″ and about 110 lbs, I do exercise regularly and I tend to eat home-cooked meals, so this isn’t a case of needing a major lifestyle change. Actually, I think it’s largely genetic in my case. I sound like some sort of perfect candidate for those cholesterol-lowering medications you see on TV, right? The truth is, I’m pretty averse to taking medication if I can help it, what with all the potential side effects, especially if there are all-natural alternatives.

What’s my solution? Well…it’s, uh, Metamucil. Two years ago, my cholesterol level was at 243, and the nurse practictioner who was working for my primary care physician told me to lay off the refined starches (pasta, potatoes, rice) to lower my triglycerides (which were also high), and to take Metamucil for the cholesterol, which many of her patients had discovered was very effective.

Though I had never heard of this before, it’s apparently fairly well-documented and a solution that’d been around for at least a few years. Anyway, I was definitely willing to give it a try. After taking the recommended dosage daily, six months later, my cholesterol levels had dropped to 184, almost a 25% decrease. Still sort of high, but at least below the threshold for unhealthy. Of course, like most people, I promptly quit taking Metamucil as soon as I’d reached my goal.

So, it looks like I’m back on it for now, and maybe for a while. You can get huge cans of it for $10 at Target that last a month or two, and it’s all natural — supposedly it’s the psyllium fiber that does wonders for cholesterol, or you could probably also take the pill form (something I haven’t tried yet). The only downside is that some people are allergic to psyllium, so this solution wouldn’t work for them. If you’re not allergic, what’s not to like in comparison to taking cholesterol-lowering medications? It might even be considered a frugal solution.


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