While there are no dearth glossy-looking health and fitness apps that promise to make you thinner, lighter, and more beautiful, most of them seem to miss out on user experience. ‘Cholesterol Down on the Go’ skips the Gigabyte-eating graphics and gives us one simple interface.
This app makes it clear that it has a very specific goal. That goal is ostensibly to bring down our cholesterol levels. But considering the fact that high cholesterol levels are responsible for plaque deposition in the arteries carrying blood, the benefits extend to reducing the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke.
Based on the Best Selling Book
Cholesterol Down is based on the book of the same name by nationally renowned and well-known TV nutritionist and fitness expert, Dr. Janet Brill. She juggles a Ph.D. on one hand, with numerous certifications, including one for a Registered Dietician Nutritionist. The basic idea behind this app is simple – Combine superfoods known for a plethora of health benefits with mild exercise. And in that respect, the app succeeds in being moored on a solid scientific platform.
The app begins with a soothing purple and white background promising to help lower your cholesterol in just 4 weeks. It asks you to follow 10 easy steps daily. No prescription drugs like statin are required to achieve your cholesterol goal.
An Easy Ten Step Plan
Following this intro, appears a screen where you’re asked to select from among 9 healthy food items that include almonds, and flaxseeds – once a day, and psyllium seed husks, and phytosterols – twice a day. Now, if you’re like me, you would wonder what the last two items are. So right next to the item icon, there is a link that just says – ‘Benefits’. If I click on that, a page opens up that tells me that Psyllium is a “powerful soluble plant fiber that is highly effective in lowering LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and in improving digestive health. The page goes on to tell me how much of this article to consume each day to help me reach the Cholesterol Down goal. It also tells me the precautions I ought to take and possible allergic reactions such intake could cause. Similar pages exist for each of these items.
The tenth item is walking for 30 minutes a day. It is well-known that walking is great exercise. It doesn’t stress you out too much, and you do it anyway. Nor do you have to all 30 minutes at once.
Daily Checklist for Daily Logs
After you’ve chosen the items that you plan to consume for the day, Cholesterol Down will begin with a Daily Checklist. The checklist will show you which items you intend to eat and you can put a tick on the items that you’re done with after consuming them.
At the very top is a sliding button that says, ‘Start Walking’. When turned ON, the app uses geo-locational sense built into your smartphone to detect movement and will record the amount of time you spend actually walking. This way you don’t have to worry about carrying a timer or fiddling with your smartphone to find the clock settings.
LDL Goal Setters
There’s also a link to add your LDL goal for the day. Apparently you can use this to check your LDL level once in the morning and another at the end of the day. I wish my smartphone could tell me my LDL levels just by looking at me. Unfortunately, the technology doesn’t exist yet. Checking your cholesterol levels the standard way involves drawing blood and test strips. Cornell Engineers supposedly created a camera application that could take readings from the test strip and interpret the findings for the user. However, for reasons of hygiene and lack of training among the lay population, that app has not found nearly as many fans.
Consistency is Key to the Cholesterol Down on the Go Plan’s Success
Anyway, once you add your LDL readings, you can have reports generated. You can view a statistical graph of your progress after you’ve entered readings for different days. I skipped this part because I think it’s impractical to have your thumb pricked every day. You can just record your LDL levels for the first and the last day in the 4-week period if you like. You can also have reports generated for the foods that you consume. Each food item that you chose in the first step will be displayed along with the percentages of consumption-days. This is helpful to tell you how consistent you’ve been over the exercise period.
The app isn’t bereft of information for those looking for a deeper insight into losing bad cholesterol. These are written by Dr. Janet herself. So there is clear scientific depth with the familiar conversational and readable tone that is typical of a bestselling author.
Delicious Recipes on a Low Fat Diet
One of the most interesting things about Cholesterol Down is its recipes section. An earlier version had recipes next to each food item. This was very helpful except for the fact that it appeared as if some recipes were being repeated. In fact, one user review goes on to mention that he could see only 5 recipes. After the latest update, the developers seem to have put all the recipes in one place. I counted 35 of them. However, you can still access recipes distinguished by the food category if you click on the ‘spoon and knife’ icon at the top of the screen.
Have an Apple Pie!
The recipes are really good. As a sample, there’s apple pie with an oatmeal crust. All you need to make this delicious meal is a one-third cup of rolled oats, some sugar, flour, salt to ensure the dough sticks together, and some light margarine for the crust.
The filling is formed by 2 pounds of baking apples, cored, unpeeled (clearly the peels have lots of needed nutrients), and thinly sliced to fit into little bites. Dr. Janet’s recommendation is to put the juice from one medium-sized lemon into the filling. Use a combination of both ordinary table sugar and dark brown sugar. Then add more grated lemon peel, some ground cinnamon, flour, ground nutmeg, raisins, and an egg substitute (eggs are fatty foods, particularly the yolk) such as eggbeaters.
Please buy the app yourself to read the instructions for copyright reasons. For the sake of completion, Cholesterol Down mentions nutritional information from this recipe at the end of the page. Why these recipes are interesting is because one wouldn’t ordinarily associate meals like apple pie and grilled veg sandwiches with low-fat meals. However, Dr. Janet has considerable experience in this field. She assures us, and educates us at the same time, that delicious meals extracted from her famous curated Mediterranean meal plans, fit our purposes. That’s what makes sticking to the Cholesterol Down 10-step plan so easy.
The ‘Cholesterol Down on the Go’ app does tick all the boxes. I am already feeling better and lighter after a week. I highly recommend.
Priced at Just $4.99
At a measly $4.99 for a one-time purchase with full access, ad-free content, and simple unambiguous navigation, this app is certainly worth your time. Check out Google’s PlayStore or Apple’s iOS store for Cholesterol Down on the Go today!