Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cholesterol 101

According to the Merck Manual, Lipid levels from blood testing for Blood Cholesterol levels are:
Total Cholesterol—less than 225 mg/dL (for ages 40-49; it increases with age) - goal less than 200
High Density Lipoproteins (HDL) good 30-70 mg/dL—goal more than 40
Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) bad 60 mg/dL—goal less than 100
Triglycerides (fat in blood plasma) 40-200 mg/dL (higher in males) - goal less than 150
For those with higher than normal levels it is recommended to intake 200 mg daily of cholesterol from egg yolks, organ meats, meat, poultry and non-skim dairy products; as well as limiting saturated fats to less than 7% of total calories and increasing polyunsaturated Omega 3 & 6 fats to up to 10%; monounsaturated fats to 20% of total calories daily.
Eliminating fatty meats, whole dairy products, commercially baked goods, saturated fats & oils (chocolate, coconut oil, palm oil, lard & bacon), Dressings made with egg yolks, and fruits and vegetables prepared in butter, creams & sauces with saturated fats.
This is the most practical approach...without medication!

Metabolic syndrome (aka: insulin resistance) includes high triglyceride levels, a low HDL cholesterol level, high blood pressure, resistance to the effects of insulin, a high level of sugar (glucose) in the blood, and an increased tendency to form blood clots. All of which increase the risks of coronary heart disease which afflicts one-fourth of US, mostly overweight population (particularly accumulated in abdomen).
Cholesterol is a vital chemical for our well-being, your body cannot build cells, or nerves without it and it makes up several essential hormones, as well as helping to break down fats in our food to be absorbed in our intestines. Our liver actually produces cholesterol, however Americans eat on an average of an extra 500mg of it daily in our commercially baked and prepared ‘quick’ food sources that actually are the culprits to artery-clogging deposits, much different than the naturally produced cholesterol.
LDL’s or the “bad” cholesterol delivers to all our body cells, including to the artery walls—as our body tries to dispose of the excess, the gunk accumulates, thickens and hardens the arteries.
HDL’s or the good cholesterol works in reverse, carrying away the accumulated sludge before it can harden into plaque in blood vessels and arteries. It also moves the excess to your liver to pass through your digestive system as bile acids—having the right HDL/LDL combination matters more than the total cholesterol level.

Saturated Fats: These fats RAISE cholesterol levels and are primarily found in Meat and animal by-products like dairy, but also found in vegetable oils like coconut, palm and palm-kernel oils, the most popular ingredients/fats found in processed and fast foods. They are also found in non-dairy creamers, cookies, crackers and chocolate’s cocoa butter. If you have high cholesterol, eliminating these are your only defense, your body not only has no need for them, but medications do not release these toxins from your body.
Polyunsaturated Fats: These fats can change from good to bad, depending on the circumstances—the good side is corn, soybean, safflower, sunflower, and cottonseed oils and clarified butter (ghee) contain linoleic acid, which can actually lower blood pressure; the bad side is the hydrogenation process or chemical transformation which turns these oils into trans-fats in margarines and other saturated fat substitutes.
Monounsaturated Fats: These fats are the GOOD/BEST fats which include olive, almond and avocado oils, even peanut butter—these fats bring great benefits, as they actually lower cholesterol levels, sometimes by 50%, lowering LDL’s and leaving HDL’s alone.
Fish Oils: Fatty fish contain Omega-3 fatty acids and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) which lower triglycerides and cholesterol and raise HDL levels. They have also found these oils to retard thrombosis, the deadly blood clots that cause strokes. Other studies have proven that these oils also relieve migraines, arthritis inflammation and psoriasis symptoms.

Fiber is one food ingredient that most US people ignore in their diet, while our rate of heart-attack deaths are seven times higher than most countries. Fiber helps absorb ‘fats’, so your body can eliminate it, it also reduces the amount of artery-damaging cholesterol molecules, produced when our body processes fats which raise triglyceride levels, blood pressure and blood sugar in bloodstream.
The very best source of ‘soluble’ Fiber passes through your system and digestive tract more or less intact. These are: Whole grains like organic flax, wheat germ/bran, oat bran, brown rice; Vegetables like spinach, sweet potato, Brussel sprouts and corn; Legumes like lentils, kidney, white, lima & pinto beans, split and green peas; Fruits like dried (unsulphured) apricots, stewed prunes, Blueberries and most all berries, apples, dates & figs; Nuts like almonds, peanuts and walnuts. These are all the highest fiber-containing examples.

* Unlimited WHOLE Grains
* 5 servings Vegetables—Fresh, Frozen
* 5 servings Fruits—Fresh, Frozen &
unsweetened juices
* up to 3 servings dairy—skim
* up to 2 servings seafood
* Unlimited beans or legumes
* 1-2 TBS Nuts or Seeds
* Up to 3 tsp Olive oil
* Minimal added sugars
This is daily intake and excludes bread, cookies, chips, crackers, pasta, white rice, flour, corn meal, cake mixes, cereals with refined sugars/grains, butter (except clarified), margarine, Crisco, lard, hydrogenated oils, meats (including poultry) and eggs, whole dairy milk, ice cream, cheeses, salad dressings, mayonnaise or any prepared/frozen foods that contain afore mentioned that have fewer than 3 grams of fiber per serving!
If you follow these guidelines, within 8 weeks you should see an amazing improvement and reduction in blood cholesterol levels, without medication and/or side effects.

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