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I KICKED CHOLESTEROL'S /\SS!

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Needed a place to brag so this seem to fit. 

 

In a couple different threads I've mentioned that my cholesterol was high enough that they prescribed me medicine.  When they first told me about the meds, I was against it because I was always able to get it my total cholesterol under 200 by dieting and exercise. This time they said it was too high and  you can't move the number enough that way.  I agreed to the meds but when they arrived, I looked at the info sheet and it said "No Alcohol".  I called them back (got the nurse) and told them I'm not taking something that doesn't let me drink.  I don't drink a lot but I like to have a beer or two and the same with wine.  They argued that the alcohol amount I was drinking was OK to still take the medicine.  The issue is that the meds are hard on your liver and so is booze.  I told them I didn't want to take it and I was going back to plan A.  This of course led to a debate about how restrictive the diet would have to be and it would be a lifestyle change.  Obstinate me explained that I had already started (getting the first call from them to go over the result was my wake up call) and have been doing it for about three weeks.  I had already lost weight, was tracking everything through "myfitnesspal.com", researched things through the USDA and AHA and following those guidelines,and it was my body, my life so my choice.  The doctor did call me to make sure I fully understood what I was doing diet wise and made some suggestions.  She was supporting me in this and was happy for me.  This is the doctor at the VA and at 52, I'm usually one of the younger ones there, and I think they are just used to people that are too set in their ways to change. 

 

The labs that triggered all this were run 4/3/2012 and she gave me to the end of July to get it better and said when the results came in we would discuss the medicine again if I hadn't improved enough.  She did say she'd give me another three months if I made enough of an improvement to show progress but didn't get under 200.  So from mid April I've been eating better/smarter (I don't think of it as dieting; just making better decisions) and "sort of" exercising.  I was worried about not exercising enough because they told me I would need to do both to move the number enough.  Mostly I've only been stretching and swimming.  The swimming has only started recently and has been on and off because of the weather.

 

I got the results of my follow up labs today.  Cholesterol was 192!  Down from 229.  I also got my Triglycerides from 258 down to 159 (still needs to be lower but it moved 100 points).  My LDL (bad) went from 140 (borderline high) to 127 (near optimal).  It still need to go under 100 but I moved it enough that the results came with a note from them stating that I don't need to take medicine and to keep exercising and dieting.

 

In the result below you can see that my HDL went the wrong way but that is probably from my lack of aerobic exercise, which I'm now motivated to do.

 

 

  4/3/2012 8/3/2012
Total 229 192
HDL 37 33
LDL 140 127
Triglycerides 258 159
Weight 178 164
Waist 40" 36.5"

 

 

I've lost 13 pounds.  Most of that happened the first month.  Was nice that I had to buy new pants and belt.  I also can wear older pants that in March I was going to get rid of because the button was a couple inches from the button hole!  I do the waist measurement at the belly button for consistency.

 

myfitnesspal was a big help.  Not only does it track foods and progress, but gives you great insight as to what you're getting out of it; sodium, potassium, trans fat etc.  The apps you can get make it uber easy; like scan the bar code from a jar or wrapper and it logs everything.

 

Of course my wife has been a tremendous help.  Buying the right foods and snacks, making healthy meals and logging everything on her account so I only had to copy it over.  She's even weighs out exact portions for us.  She's been dieting and exercising (hard) and is doing and looking great.  She coaches me on nutrition and has no problem giving me the stink eye when I might be getting ready to make a bad choice.  We do however give ourselves days when some of the choices aren't that good and we do it without guilt.  The difference between before and now is now it is a decision and before it was an uneducated mistake.

 

Anyway.  This wasn't hard.  I eased into it and as I got used to certain things I would make more restrictions.  Like I had to first get Sodium under 3000mg, then 2500 and now I have it set at 1500mg, which is the recommendation for my age group.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Ken

post #2 of 25

Ken, Well done, keep up with hard work.

 

I'm about the same age as you, quite a bit lighter but my cholesterol level is on the high side. Fortunately my HDL is higher than average. Nevertheless, by changing my diet, eat less fatty things, eat more veg and have porridge for breakfast, my cholesterol level come down significantly.

 

I refuse to take medication to reduce the cholesterol level even though my doctor said there is no side effect, all medicines have side effect, some less than the others that's all.

post #3 of 25

Keep it Up!!!!

post #4 of 25
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback.  Next is to get my lazy ass in gear and start working out more regularly.  My next target is raising my HDL.  Like Scavenger posted, I made some changes in my diet and in all honesty, I'm happy about it.  I've had a sweet tooth all my life and if there was a healthy way, would live on cookies, cake and Australian licorice; all washed down with Belgian beer.  I still get those things but very little.  They are called "treats" for a reason.  I've gone from eating a 1# bag of Australian in one sitting (about 1600 calories and 193g sugars) to measuring out 1 oz (a serving) and having that for a special occasion. Something other than "because I'm watching TV", like because I haven't had any in 4 months and my results say it's OK to splurge a little.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by loboskis View Post

The real scoop on cholesterol

 

 

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/cholesterol/#axzz22df0mmT7

 

 

Interesting read, thanks.  I still have much to learn about food and its influences on the body.

post #6 of 25

Nice job!

 

I'm trying to use my work "wellness" link to get me moving down.

 

I suspect my choleteroe in not good given 2 yrs ago, but I have an issue with drugs.  I really don't trust em.

 

Anyhow! keep us up to date.  nice!

 

The one thing I have done is work away from a heavy bread and meat to more a veggie and fruit.  If one reads up on how folks feel, most feel really full and not hungry .. I can't disagree.  I can only note that while I don't believe in extremes, my mom had mags like "prevention" years back (15-20 yrs ago) advocating similar diets yet few thought it a significant contributor.

 

nice job!!!

post #7 of 25

I'd also recommend reading "What your Doctor may not have told you about Heart Disease" by Mark Houston, M.D.  He is the Director of the Hypertension Institute and the Vascular Biology and Life Extension Institute at Vanderbilt University.  This is a great book that is well founded in the current literature of heart disease, is easily readible by lay people, and is fascinating for it's insight into how current medicine has the focus all wrong on cholesterol.  Cholesterol can be a problem, but a test of HDL and LDL will tell you basically nothing about whether it is a problem for you.  And in the meantime, you get placed on statins, the health effects of which are just starting to become apparent (such as increased risk of dementia).

 

That being said, good work on your adjusting your diet.  It is most likely healthier than what you were doing before.  And the weight loss is a great benefit!

 

Mike

post #8 of 25

Oops.  Just got my numbers.  Total: 281, LDL (bad): 208.  I refuse to take the statin drugs, so I guess I'm going on a diet.popcorn.gif 

Had to do this 12 years ago and it got my total down to 200.  I already do a fairly strenuous bike ride for one hour, 5 days per week, 8 mos per year.

 

Way to go L&AirC!  I work about two blocks from the Commandant's house.

 

Relevant old thread:  http://www.epicski.com/t/28856/lipitor-tv-ads-strike-cord

post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post


Way to go L&AirC!  I work about two blocks from the Commandant's house.

 

 

That's cool icon14.gif.  Tell him I said hi roflmao.gif

 

The more I read at the link below, the more I believe it. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by loboskis View Post

The real scoop on cholesterol

 

 

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/cholesterol/#axzz22df0mmT7

 

I just started messing with this approach this week and dropped more weight.  For the most part I'm keeping it simple; if it didn't grow or previously have a heartbeat (I know that sounds horrible) I'm not eating it.  Any carbs I take in are in the food already.  I quit eating "eggbeater" and eat real (yolk too) eggs.  Yes they are high in cholesterol but they are also high in Omega 3 and 6 (combats cholesterol).  Changed my Carb, Fat, Protein ratio to 25%, 45%, 30%, based on just enough information to be dangerous (need to buy the book).  Nice side effect is my sodium intake dropped even though I not picking foods based on sodium content.  The norm is 55% carb.

 

I'm sure I'm not doing this right yet but will figure it out.  What I do know, is even if I don't have it perfect, everything I've eaten since Sunday was a vegetable, fruit, egg, fish, meat (beef/chicken) or nuts.  Aside from possibly some seasoning, no food came in a box. or can (except for the tuna).  Curbing the coffee and beer too.  Against my better judgement, I'm leaving the beer and wine for the weekend and plan to only consume my normal daily dose (1 maybe 2).  I'm down to three cups of coffee a day and I don't see that changing until the Olympics are over.  Once I get my weight to where I want it, I'll reconsider beer consumption.  I don't see the coffee going completely away.  Time will tell.

 

I'll get my blood checked in three months (ish) so we'll see how things pan out.  Would like to be 10 pounds lighter by then too.  One of the things I learned years ago is there is a difference between being physically fit and healthy.  I want to make sure I'm both.

 

Ken

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

 

That's cool icon14.gif.  Tell him I said hi roflmao.gif

 

The more I read at the link below, the more I believe it. 

 

I just started messing with this approach this week and dropped more weight.  For the most part I'm keeping it simple; if it didn't grow or previously have a heartbeat (I know that sounds horrible) I'm not eating it.  Any carbs I take in are in the food already.  I quit eating "eggbeater" and eat real (yolk too) eggs.  Yes they are high in cholesterol but they are also high in Omega 3 and 6 (combats cholesterol).  Changed my Carb, Fat, Protein ratio to 25%, 45%, 30%, based on just enough information to be dangerous (need to buy the book).  Nice side effect is my sodium intake dropped even though I not picking foods based on sodium content.  The norm is 55% carb.

 

I'm sure I'm not doing this right yet but will figure it out.  What I do know, is even if I don't have it perfect, everything I've eaten since Sunday was a vegetable, fruit, egg, fish, meat (beef/chicken) or nuts.  Aside from possibly some seasoning, no food came in a box. or can (except for the tuna).  Curbing the coffee and beer too.  Against my better judgement, I'm leaving the beer and wine for the weekend and plan to only consume my normal daily dose (1 maybe 2).  I'm down to three cups of coffee a day and I don't see that changing until the Olympics are over.  Once I get my weight to where I want it, I'll reconsider beer consumption.  I don't see the coffee going completely away.  Time will tell.

 

I'll get my blood checked in three months (ish) so we'll see how things pan out.  Would like to be 10 pounds lighter by then too.  One of the things I learned years ago is there is a difference between being physically fit and healthy.  I want to make sure I'm both.

 

Ken

Great start! go easy on the nuts,its easy to eat to many ,most are high in omega 6. If your looking to shed pounds quickly don't over do on fruit. Read the label on the tuna,most have soy added

If your up for a 30 day challenge,here you go

http://whole9life.com/2012/01/whole-30-v2012/


Edited by loboskis - 8/9/12 at 6:34pm
post #11 of 25

Good sites for recipes;

 

chowstalker.com

momgonepaleo.com

paleomg.com

everydaypaleo.com

nomnompaleo.com

 

Resources:

robbwolf.com

arthurdevany.com

westonprice.org

 

There is much more just start following links you;ll find

post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 

I ordered the book today from MDA.  Downloaded the ebooks too.  My wife is semi supporting this but seems skeptical.  Mostly because we have a lot going on right now (grandson just came back from his summer visit and her brother and three kids are coming out this week and staying a week) and she can't fit in a distraction.  Once things chill out and our lives return to only mostly hectic, I'm sure she'll warm up to it.

 

The one thing that bugs the heck out of me, is that the humans currently walking this earth are the most intelligent with access to countless resources, yet when it comes to eating, Aardvarks are smarter.

post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

 

 

The one thing that bugs the heck out of me, is that the humans currently walking this earth are the most intelligent 

You been to Walmart lately?

post #14 of 25

I think once the Mrs. hears the science behind this she'll be on board.

Also ,that 30 day challenge people can drop 10-15 lbs,easily.

post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by loboskis View Post

You been to Walmart lately?


When I was typing it, the first thing that popped in my mind was, "except for the people of walmart". biggrin.gif
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by loboskis View Post

I think once the Mrs. hears the science behind this she'll be on board.
Also ,that 30 day challenge people can drop 10-15 lbs,easily.


My wife is half Vietnamese. You tell her to back off on the rice and soy. I happen to like my appendages right where they are biggrin.gif

I'm hoping if I leave enough evidence around, she'll discover it.
post #17 of 25

After you're through with "What your Doctor may not have told you About Heart Disease" you might look at "The Paleo Diet for Athletes."

 

Mike

post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

After you're through with "What your Doctor may not have told you About Heart Disease" you might look at "The Paleo Diet for Athletes."

 

Mike

as well as "The Paleo Solution" by Robb Wolf

post #19 of 25

I found Paleo Diet for Athletes too repetitive.  Robb Wolf's book is worth reading.  He's a little too Corny in the way he writes the book, but great information.  Cordain's original book is what I started with.  He has a new book called the Paleo Answer.  I have  not read it but it's probably full of good stuff.

 

     "Also ,that 30 day challenge people can drop 10-15 lbs,easily".

 

I lost 35# on my 60 day challenge and that wasn't even the goal.  If you follow the objectives of the diet the weight just comes off.  but the true benefits are in the health gains.  It's a great way to eat and live.  I have seen people with serious health problems turn it around and it's remarkable to witness.

post #20 of 25

Another great book is "The Vegetarian Myth" by Lierre Keith

post #21 of 25
I guess I am on the other side of this issue. 20 - 30 years ago I entered a lipids study because my cholesterol was 270. I was prescribed a statin and it dropped to 210. Later I was prescribed Lipitor and it dropped to 180. I was 6'1" and 170 then and I am about 5lb lighter today. I have always had an average diet and drink about two bottles of wine a week. All of my tests for liver function come back good. I see no reason to avoid the benefits of new science and technology. I also use a cell phone with no brain damage so far. biggrin.gif
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 

I'm fine with medicine when it is needed.  I'm not fine with medicine because it is easier.  Some times the right thing is hard work; and some times it is easy.  I use a smartphone wink.gif

post #23 of 25

Steve, it's good that statins are working for you.  That being said, you might want to look at whether you really need statins.  You were put on them 20-30 years ago, yet there has been considerable learning about cholesterol and the need for statins in the meantime.  According to Houston, "Elevated cholesterol is not the boogeyman we've been told it is, and having elevated levels of total and LDL cholesterol does not mean you're all but guaranteed to suffer a heart attack -- or that having "safe" levels means you won't.  Unfortunately, the cholesterol myth is so firmly embedded in our minds that sweating over cholesterol numbers had become a national obsession.  Millions of people have been put on cholesterol-lowering drugs unnecessarily, while many more who could benefit from the medicines have not."

 

Houston goes on to state that the standard theory is that LDL is "bad" because it deposits cholesterol and fat in the arteries, while HDL is "good because it acts like a garbage truck, snatching up cholesterol and fat from the arteries and carrying it away.  Thus, you wanted to keep your HDL high and LDL low.  When the theory was devised several decades ago, it was the best way to explain what was known about the relationship between cholesterol and heart disease.  The theory was based on two major assumptions: 1)  that HDL, LDL, VLDL, and total cholesterol were far and away the major risk factors for heart disease, and 2) that every single HDL partical was identical and the same held true for LDL and VLDL.  Since then, we've learned this is not true but the theory has not been revised.

 

Originally, statins were thought to have limited side effects.  There is a growing body of research, however, that shows that not to be the case. 

 

I found the book to be quite interesting.  It certainly has given me a variety of things to discuss with my doctor the next time he suggests I go on statins.  And it's given me some insight into the specific tests and questions I should ask to understand if cholesterol is really an issue for me.

 

Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that many health care professionals, including GP's, have kept up with the research on cholesterol.  Or on heart disease in general.  In my opinion, being better informed and questioning my doctor is a reasonable course in reaching an informed decision.

 

Mike

post #24 of 25
I'll look for the book. Always good to be well informed.
Just read a good one, "The First 20 Minutes" that debunks a lot of "conventional wisdom" about hydration, stretching and aerobics among others.
Bottom line is I have a physician I trust. I read to be knowledgeable enough to ask questions. He may be a little quick with tests, meds and specialist referals but he only recomends slow change and does not like knives and I like that. In the long run I will probably either follow his advice or change to a physician with views I agree with.
My wife who is also in good condition has different cholesterol issues and nothing seems to help her. Bottom line is we are all different and despite what any expert says no one regimine works for everyone. If it did we would not have the healthcare problems we have today.
post #25 of 25

I can't take statins.

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