Q. A few months ago, one of your readers wrote that he lowered his cholesterol by 40 points with a change in diet. His breakfast consisted of yogurt, blueberries, walnuts and cinnamon. I am not sure if there were additional ingredients.
Would it be possible to get that recipe? For years I had walnuts every day in my salad. Unfortunately, I have developed an allergy to walnuts. Could different nuts help with cholesterol?
I currently am taking a statin, but I’d really like to stop eventually. I have been on the medication for a year and take no other meds.
A. It is possible to lower cholesterol with dietary measures. The reader with the breakfast recipe wrote: “I began each day with a quarter-cup of coarsely broken English walnuts, one cup of frozen blueberries, 1.25 cups of plain Cheerios, 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon with 8 to 9 ounces of 2 percent organic milk. All layered in a cereal bowl in that order.” The flaxseed and the Cheerios (or better yet, unsweetened cooked rolled oats) contribute to the cholesterol-lowering effect.
Since you can no longer enjoy walnuts, consider almonds. They too can lower LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease (BMC Public Health, April 25, 2020).
Take care not to sweeten your cholesterol-lowering breakfast. Sugar can raise triglycerides and undo the lipid control benefit.
You can learn more about dietary approaches for lowering cholesterol in our eGuide to Cholesterol Control and Heart Health. This electronic resource can be found in the Health eGuides section at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com.
Q. My wife and I recently moved into our new house. By early April, the yard had become pretty overgrown. I spent an entire day pulling out what I thought was just ivy. However, it turned out that it was poison ivy.
Over the next few days, my arms and shins were covered with an itchy rash. Suffice it to say, it was pretty unpleasant.
I tried the normal stuff to treat the symptoms: Benadryl tabs at night and Ivy-Dry spray in the morning. I noticed that the spray wore off around 11 a.m., making for a rough afternoon at work. I did a few searches on poison ivy remedies and found that some people reported using banana peels to relieve poison ivy.
Since I always pack a banana as part of my lunch, I figured I had nothing to lose except for a couple odd stares from workmates. Surprisingly, it was pretty effective. Immediately after I rubbed the peels on the affected area, the skin turned red, and the itch subsided a few minutes later. The relief lasted about three hours. I wouldn’t call it a miracle cure, but it certainly worked at least as well as some of the drugstore remedies I was paying for.
A. You are not the first person to share success with banana peel for poison ivy or oak rash. As far as we can tell, dermatologists have not studied this remedy. They are more likely to prescribe a corticosteroid cream. Bad cases may require oral steroids.
It is always wise to wash thoroughly with soap and water whenever you may have been exposed to poison ivy or poison oak. Getting the urushiol resin off the skin as soon as possible reduces the chance of a reaction.
King Features Syndicate, Inc.