Sorry it's been so long - I'm almost never on MDC anymore. Can you tell my youngest is 5 now?! lol (p.s. hi Lesley!
DH decided to go on the statin - lowest possible dose and his doctor redid his bloodwork in Feb., which was about 3 months later. His total cholesterol is now 152, and HDL is up to 84. (Some statins actually do RAISE hdl apparently, which is part of why his doctor wanted him to go on it.) He has made some changes in his diet, following what I like to call "TF lite" - switched to Ezekial bread products and a big bowl of soaked/steel cut oatmeal in the morning. He eats fish all the time now. He also takes fish oil, Vitamin C, B complex daily. (I am SO not a supplement person for various reasons but his doc wanted him on these - the fish oil has been shown to help scrub the plaque and raise HDL and the B vitamins do likewise. And since he cut out his daily O.J. and doesn't eat much fruit anymore, he added the C as a just-in-case measure). Oh and his fasting blood sugar was 94. Better.
His sugar consumption is WAY down, but he likes a bowl of ice cream every now and again (ok, weekly) and he still goes occasionally for his comfort foods such as Amy's frozen pizzas and tortilla chips/salsa. My mantra with him has been similar to my own mantra for health and weight maintenance, namely, it's not the one meal or dessert you eat once in a while that's bad for you, it's how you eat every single day. No one gets sick (or overfat) from the 15 days a year they're on vacation or whatever and eat poorly, it's how you're eating the other 350 days a year that really matters.
Metasequoia I showed him your links and he got 4 major things out of them: 1.) he doesn't drink juice anymore, 2.) he doesn't drink beer anymore, 3.) he joined a gym and now lifts weights regularly, and 4.) he eats only 3 meals a day now. Thank you thank you thank you.
He's lost a bit of weight though he wasn't particularly overweight to begin with (he's 5'10", medium frame, and went from 170 to 160). I look at his diet and think, man, we could make it better, but he's also so averse to - as he delicately puts it - "eating cardboard for the rest of my life" that I don't really want to force changes down his throat when he'll just get sick of eating like that and go back to his old dietary habits.
Basically it's as good as it could get and now the sticky wicket is going to be making these changes permanent. As someone who has not eaten sugar, tropical fruits, or refined/non-TF carbs (except when I'm a guest in someone's house or at a wedding or something!) in 3.5 years, I know a little about this. It's TOUGH.
Thank you everyone for your advice. It's been really helpful. I wish I could be posting that dh didn't have to take the statin and we still got all these great results, but for now at least I think he's going to stay on it.
One quick question - how low is TOO low (re: total cholesterol)? I know something like 120 would be disasterous health-wise, but I'm interested in knowing at what point we should be looking to taper back on the statin. His doc of course wants him basically on it for life, but since dh is only 40, I'm not too keen on that, nor his he. And if the total choelsterol drops too low, it might be the impetus to go back to a 1/2 dose or something or taper off altogether (provided the #s stay good).