I was tested in April of 2009 and my cholesterol was 220 and since then has jumped to 251 on the 3rd of November 2009.I am a full time employee as well as a full time student I have very little time for sleep or exercise. How long does this medicine take to start working and how long is it generally taken? Is there something else I can take to prevent my cholesterol from being so high? I am a 41 year old black woman, I lost both my parents to heart disease, I am not sure if they had high cholesterol or not. What type of foods would be safe to eat to reduce my weight as well as my cholesterol, with the schedule I am currently on?

So far, I have started out by trying to include more nuts and dried fruit, along with fresh fruit in my diet, with the exception of citrus (grapefruit or oranges). Are there really any nuts to safely lower my cholesterol? I hate taking medication. Thank you in advance for your help.