I am currently rededicating my diet (and exercise) with an eye toward lowering my cholesterol. I had a high reading recently (following a very low reading previously) and have my doctor's blessing to try diet and exercise first, before going on a statin. Research has me eating beans, apples, oatmeal, almonds, garlic, ground flax seed, metamucil, plant sterols, and lots of fruits and veggies. I had started sliding off my nutritarian diet (Dr. Joel Fuhrman), especially in these recent holidays with my chef daughter home, but even before that I was eating cheese and more processed foods than I knew I should. I also have been on the low side of my exercise regiment... just swimming 3 times a week and weights if I got up early enough. Now I have my Wii hooked up and have done 30 min. both yesterday and today.
The one thing I'm really confused about is coconut oil. It's on my doctor's list of saturated fats to avoid, but if you google it, there's an uproar about how bogus those claims are and that it is really one of the best things you can do to raise your HDL. Right now, I'm having a spoonful of it in my oatmeal in the morning with craisins and ground flaxseed. Yum! I used it in a stir fry just now instead of olive oil.