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Posted by prox, from Charlotte, on July 25, 2013 at 21:50 local (server) time

I'm a little puzzled.  Every year or two (uh, or three) I have a physical and get my cholesterol taken.  It's constantly going down, which I suppose is a good thing and an indication my diet is not horrible:

Cholesterol Plot

This year, though, my HDL levels are lower than they should be.  According to my doctor, they should be 40 mg / dL for men.  Mine is now 38 mg / dL.

I've heard people say I should quit smoking, exercise, and keep my mass down.  I can't quit smoking because I never started.  I swim 2,600 yards ~3 three times per week and, at least according to Garmin Swim, burn 500+ calories every time.  I jog 45-50 minutes every 2-3 weekends.  I suppose I could improve on this, since I used to swim 4-5 times per week.  I think my mass is fine.

Other folks have told me to start taking fish oil.  To be honest, I thought taking fish oil was intended to lower cholesterol for folks who are in the severe red.  I eat fish once or twice a week (mmm.. salmon and tuna), but apparently even if I ate fish every day it wouldn't be sufficient.

What does everyone else think?  I'll have to admit I have done very little empirical research on this topic.

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