Funny thing is after all of the diet changing the totals cholesterol did not drop much until I began taking 2 gr niacin/day.
Total cholesterol is meaningless.
You are interested in LDL (if possible, pattern A and B), HDL and Tryglicerides.
You need to have low Trygs, high HDL, and low pattern B LDL. 3x lower HDL is 3x bigger risk then 3x higher LDL.
The fact that your total didn't change means nothing cause your LDL might went down and HDL up which is a good thing.
About glycemic foods, this one might get tricky.
Dr Davis from Heart Scan blog recommends everybody use sugar metters to check sugar pre-meal and one hour post meal. You should then not use foods that substantially rise your sugar.
The same thing is there in 4-h body book. Author used it for fastest fat loss, but the principles are the same - you want no sugar spikes. Depending on your genetic history, you might have inappropriate levels of amylase enzymes so some low glycemic food might spike the sugar in you more then other people.
BTW, do you take Coenzime Q10 (around 300mg, Ubiquinole form is the best)