Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The HDL of the LDL of Cholesterol...

   Taking the journey to lower my LDL {Bad Cholesterol} has brought me on a web search mission.  I wake up in the morning searching, I spend the afternoon searching, and I relax on the sofa in the evening with my laptop in tow, searching.

  So much information out there, so much to learn and absorb.  So many dos and don'ts  It is leaving my head spinning at times.  No matter what, a high LDL is not a good thing.

  I have learned over the years, each physician has their own range for 'high' and 'lows' of lab work.  The results I have are from the lab the research clinic uses.  I am going by their 'high' and 'low' range, and by the advice of my Research Nurse and Physicians.  I feel comfortable with their guidance and knowledge.   I might add, it is a good thing to request a copy of your labs.  Why?  Why not??   I want to physically see the results, read them, see what the lab calls high and low.  I want to be active in my health care.  I mean, you know that commercial of the Dr playing in the performance while the violin player buys her own heartburn medication? It rings true.  The Lab knows blood work.  They do it for a living, day in and day out.  So why not trust them with the highs and lows of your blood results?

  While my blood pressure has always been out of control, sort of, I cut out all added salt a long time ago, so it is not a big deal to me not to add salt in my cooking or at the table.  I have been doing it for so long already that at the slightest bit of added salt in food, I can taste it in the first bite.  My lips feel chapped right away, and my mouth becomes very dry.  Later on in the evening, my ankles and calves begin to swell.  My hands feel tight when I close them.  My face swells and my eyes become heavy.  That doesn't even include the massive headache I get and the seeing things through goggles while underwater vision I have.  Not a good feeling.

Cholesterol, Total    187       Flag     {  }        Range 0-199
Triglycerides            134       Flag     {  }        Range 0-149
HDL ~ Cholesterol     39      Flag     {L}       Range   40-59
LDL ~ Cholesterol     122     Flag    {H}       Range   0-99

  These are some of my lab results.  Well, the cholesterol ones anyway.  The point of showing them is so you can see just what I am talking about.  While my Total cholesterol is within the 'range', it is still on the high side.  12 point from the highest range and possibly going over the range is high; to me it is.  Why wait until some one tells me it is too high and out of control?  Same with my Triglycerides, only 15 points from reaching the highest range and possibly going over.  Again, why wait?  The tricky part was understanding what the HDL does and why it is so important for it to be higher then the current level it is.   I turn to my lap top and RESEARCH again.  Google loves me by now I am sure.  Within minutes of my search, there was the answer I was looking for and in plain understandable English.  I am all about easy understanding.  Here is what  I found out, I am going to copy and paste it right here, and then I will post the link so you can read it for yourself.

"Technically, any condition that negatively affects the heart can be called heart disease. Heart disease can strike a person at any moment in the form of a heart attack. One of the most diagnosed forms is coronary heart disease, which involves a clogging of the arteries. Your arteries deliver oxygen to the heart, which in turn pumps the blood throughout the body via the veins.

Hard Arteries and Cholesterol

  • If the arteries become clogged, the heart must work much harder to pull in blood. Hardening can be caused by plaque. Plaque is made up of dead fibrous tissue from damaged arteries, and fatty deposits known as cholesterol. Those deposits come from the foods that you eat.
    As mentioned earlier, there are two types of cholesterol: Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL), the "bad" cholesteroll and High Density Lipoprotein (HDL), the "good" cholesterol. The LDL is the type that lines against your arteries and traps other fatty deposits, narrowing the blood-flow path and adding stress to your heart. According to Americanheart.org, you shouldn't have more than 100mg of LDL per day.

    What clears away LDL is the HDL cholesterol. Doctors believe that HDL takes the LDL out of plaque and down to the liver. The liver then breaks it down and passes it through the body. That helps fight heart disease, because it slows down the growth of plaque."

    Here is the link I was speaking of... http://www.ehow.com  In their search bar, type in How Does HDL Cholesterol Help Fight Heart Disease?  That should lead you right to the article I have quoted here.

  In other words, bringing up my HDL will help lower my LDL some.  Too bad there isn't some type of food to help you bring it up, right?  I mean, stopping eating certain foods will help bring down the bad but wont bring up the good.  I have planned on walking, as exercise will help and bring up the HDL, but right now I have to make sure to keep my blood pressure down and not stress myself in anyway.  Yesterday was the last day of my Lisinopril/HCTZ medication, and Wednesday will be the last day of my  Metoprolol medication.  Relaxation is the name of the game these days, well for the next 4 weeks anyway.

  What I have also learned these past few days is that egg  whites aren't so bad.  Oatmeal makes a pretty good breakfast.  1 cup of grapes, strawberries, and oranges make a really good addition to any meal.  Whole Wheat bread is dry regardless if it is toasted or not.  1/2 Tablespoon of peanut butter isn't enough to dip apple slices in.  4 days of no red meat seems like a life time.  The only crunchy snack I like is Snyder No Salt Pretzels and I can have 20 of them {because that is 1 serving}.   

  The learning thing will increase as the days go by and I find out more and more what is or isn't allowed.  Now remember, I am following a No Salt * Low Cholesterol * Healthy Heart diet plan.  Keeping track of the Salt in foods, the Trans Fats, and Sat Fats.   

Here is what I enjoyed for my meals yesterday.. Yay me!!!

Brunch  {Cause I ate at 10:40am}
2 Packages of Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
2 slices of Premium Honey Wheat bread {toasted& dry}
Calories = 400  Carbs = 80  Fat = 3 Protein = 10

1 cup grapes
2 servings egg whites
1 serving english muffin
2 servings whole wheat bread
1 small tangerine
1/2 cup of strawberries
1 serving apple sauce {Motts}
Calories = 483  Carbs = 104  Fat = 4  Protein = 25

  My daily calorie intake is 1230-1580, I didn't even reach the calorie intake goal.  This isn't a good thing.  I have always heard that a person should eat more little meals, than to skip one meal all together.  I never understood the reasoning behind this type of thinking because I always felt More eating = weight gain.  Right?  Well, researching my daily intake taught me that if I can not reach my daily calorie goal my body will think it is starving, and therefore it will store more FAT.  Resulting in a slower metabolism.  Causing Weight GAIN and increased Cholesterol.    


   More small meals + reading labels + meeting calories + exercise = Low LDL high HDL skinnier Healthier ME.  

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