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Health tip: managing cholesterol

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Health tip: managing cholesterol

  #1  
Old 12-13-2006, 06:02 AM
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Default Health tip: managing cholesterol

New York City is right on the money in their quest to ban trans fats from restaurants.

For years I had terrible cholesterol numbers. Finally my doctor got after me about it, I paid attention, and I started an aggressive campaign to manage my cholesterol.

First stop, of course, was Google. Within an hour I had solid leads to pursue. My first and obvious question was what was it about my diet that would cause such terrible cholesterol numbers. The Google search gave me an answer very quickly.

I had been the "cookie monster," eating cookies morning, noon, and night. I also ate peanut butter sandwiches for lunch almost every day. Guess what? All of that was saturated with partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats).

Read the labels. All the cookies I was eating had partially hydrogenated oils, as well as the peanut butter.

The Google search revealed numerous credible web sites which all agreed that partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats) raise LDL, bad cholesterol, and lower HDL, good cholesterol.

This is critical, because your risk factor is a ratio of total cholesterol to good cholesterol. Raising bad cholesterol while lowering good cholesterol is the worst thing possible, and is what trans fats do, without question.

My risk factor for heart attack/stroke was "highest category."

I banned trans fats from my diet, starting taking the lowest dosage of Lipitor (10 mg) and my cholesterol numbers are now perfect and my risk factor has gone from "highest" to "lowest."

If you want to get your cholesterol under control, ban trans fats from your diet. No more donuts, french fries, blueberry muffins, nothing commercially baked, no fried foods, nothing that you cannot verify is free of partially hydrogenated oils.

I have switched to cookies that do not contain partially hydrogenated oils, and peanut butter that does not contain any. It isn't that hard to do...

take care,

Harry
 
  #2  
Old 12-13-2006, 08:04 AM
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Default Re: Health tip: managing cholesterol

Good for you.

I'm in the middle somewhere, but haven't done much to reduce my trans-fat, I'm quasi-atkins and really don't eat much trans-fat, but do consume lots of animal fat. My doctor and I are on the fence on whether to ad lipitor to the mix, but haven't yet.

As to the ban, I'm against it. As our knowledge increases we've gone from animal based products, to the once thought to be better trans-fat. My guess, the new ban will return lots of restaurants to beef tallow. The vegetarians will have to be more attentive.
 
  #3  
Old 12-13-2006, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: Health tip: managing cholesterol

Many people react to proposed government bans on trans fats as an affront on their freedoms. It is not.

You have to understand what trans fats are. Perfectly healthy vegetable oils are subjected to heat and pressure, in an atmosphere of hydrogen, along with metal catalysts, to produce partially hydrogenated oils. These trans fats have no beneficial effects on the human body, and exist only to save food producers a few cents in added shelf life.

The negative health effects of trans fats are staggering. It literally should be a crime to put anything with trans fats in any food. Long-term cholesterol problems lead to hardening of the arteries, cardiac problems, stroke, memory loss and even worse effects in the form of cognitive decline. How about erectile dysfunction?

Your cholesterol numbers matter, and they are critical to your health. It's important that all of us realize this, including young people.

And no, banning trans fats should not increase the use of cholesterol-rich animal fats. There are numerous healthy vegetable oils available. A health-conscious and informed public will determine what's in our food, something that hasn't been happening until recently.

take care,

Harry

PS: avoid french fries like the plague, they are saturated in trans fats!
 

Last edited by Earthling; 12-13-2006 at 01:10 PM.
  #4  
Old 12-13-2006, 11:52 AM
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Default Re: Health tip: managing cholesterol

I have to agree, get rid of all trans fats from everything. It HAS to be as bad or worse than smoking, I say worse because young children have no idea their parents are feeding them artery clogging sludge.

Harry is right, its trans fats that extend shelf life and decrease human life.

Trans fats are man made, not naturally occurring.

I have my chloresterol in check, but struggling with triglycerides.

There should be a major law or penalty for serving folks all this garbage.

Tony
 
  #5  
Old 12-13-2006, 01:12 PM
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Default Re: Health tip: managing cholesterol

Sounds like we are all on the same track. I had high trigyceride levels that weren't controlled by diet so I take medication now and all is well. But trans fats are poison at any level. They actually cause inflammation of your arteries because their molecular structure is jagged, which causes it to stick to the lining of your arteries. We should avoid it at all costs.

Banning it would be fine because then you would know for sure, but I would never trust a food label because I don't know how well its use would be controlled in a food mfg plant.

Also, beware that cooking with certain polyunsaturated oils will result in the production of trans fats associated with the high temps used during the frying process.

 
  #6  
Old 12-13-2006, 01:56 PM
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Hey Ralph,

are you by any chance taking a pill known as Tricor? I used to be on it, but for some reason, stopped taking it.

My diet is soooo free of fats my joints squeek.

I see the doc Monday for some sort of new blood test to help determine why and where the triglecerides are coming from.

Tony
 
  #7  
Old 12-13-2006, 02:55 PM
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I've been having blood tests for liver function and cholesterol since I started on Lipitor, which is why I am so certain that banning trans fats works.

In our last rap session, where typically my doctor compares the latest lab report with the last awful one (fifteen months ago) he also pointed out that my triglycerides also went from horrible to ideal.

Besides the strict ban on trans fats, I have added a glass of red wine with dinner most nights, a glass of OJ at breakfast, and more fruits and fruit juices.

My goal was in part to raise my HDL, which Lipitor will not do. I have doubled my HDL. That's why I started on red wine and OJ, to help raise the HDL. I have found out just yesterday that concord grape juice raises HDL, too.

http://www.staging.welchs.com/health...ealthnews.html

The key is replacing bad things in your diet with good things. I am also taking some Turmeric capsules, which raise HDL, and is good at warding off cognitive decline.

Salmon is great, too.

take care,

Harry
 
  #8  
Old 12-13-2006, 04:51 PM
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Default Re: Health tip: managing cholesterol

Originally Posted by TonyK View Post
Hey Ralph,

are you by any chance taking a pill known as Tricor? I used to be on it, but for some reason, stopped taking it.

My diet is soooo free of fats my joints squeek.

I see the doc Monday for some sort of new blood test to help determine why and where the triglecerides are coming from.

Tony
Absolutely, I take it every day. Tryglycerides typically will come from eating sweets, so I cut out all sweets except for a little Reeses cup once and a while. I also work out at the gym almost every day (aerobic excercise on bike) and walk on the off days mixed with some light weight training. Dropped about 15 lbs since July and now at almost ideal weight for my height (170/5'11"). Just have to get rid of the remaining "yolk sack" around the middle (not very much though). Plenty of protien mixed with flax seed oil for fat (Udo's blend) and plenty of fish (tuna or fresh steamed cod) does the trick.
 
  #9  
Old 12-14-2006, 05:42 PM
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  #10  
Old 12-14-2006, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: Health tip: managing cholesterol

Those news articles kinda remind me of reporters discussing hybrid cars....

fortunately, I didn't have any heart problems, however I did have by pass surgery this March. I was minding my own business, feeling great and had my annual physical but this time I requested a treadmill stress test.

The test was effortless, yet the results showed I had one artery blocked at 50%. I allowed them to convince me that placing a stent was a good idea, so away we went to have that done.

Upon completion of the attempt to place a stent, the Dr told me he could not place one because the one artery was in fact blocked 70% and I had two others blocked at 100% ! Go figure !

The reason I never experienced any problems is because I had grown collateral arteries around the blockages.

I went ahead and had by-pass surgery done and all is fine. I hate to say this or admit this but the surgery was not that bad. I had it done on a Wed and was walking around back home in the neighborhood on Saturday.

I only mentioned the above as to the reason why I do avoid the suspect 'bad fats' like the plaque now and am very pro-active in getting my blood chemistry in the best order it can be.

I can comfortably say, folks just don't know how much fat, good or bad is in every bite of food they eat, yet many of us know how much octane and %of additives are in the fuel our car uses. Some of us go way out of our way to be sure and use syn 0-20w oil and will drive miles to get it, yet we woof down things that are sub par daily.

Sorry for the run away message here..... I for one, feel it is important to limit the bad things available for us all to eat.

Tony
 

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