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Old 06-28-2008, 08:32 PM   #21
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Used to be in the 40's and now, for a few years since the aforementioned changes, it's mid 60's to over 80.

Your HDL went from 40's to 80's after only fish oil and eating less carbohydrates? That is a highly unusual result. No studies have shown that much effect on HDL by consuming fish oil and less starch.
If it's unusual, it's only because most people are not committed to eating a diet rich in omega 3's and properly lower in 6's. I eat grass fed beef and free range eggs also and lots of fruits and veggies. I strive for a paleo/Mediterranean slant. Saying less starch is short hand for advice I know few would follow. There are studies that document the favorable effect on the hdl/ldl ratio from such a dietary shift.
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:14 PM   #22
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Mark500 - I just spent the last hour or so reading about how less carbs and fish oil increase HDL and lower other cardiovascular risk factors. The blog and website are by Dr. William Davis. He also believes the heart scan and calcium score are the way to track your risk and track your progress (or lack thereof) in improving your risk factors. Interesting reading.
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Old 06-29-2008, 06:09 PM   #23
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Bottom line is that playing with cholesterol even under the best circumstances allows you to improve odds by fractions of a percent per year. I'm excluding extreme situations here.
I hope that when I read up on all this crap vital medical lifestyle info that my greater life expectancy gives me back all the time I spent studying.

Our local clinic won't just fax or read you the $%^&in' numbers over the phone-- you have to go in and get it face-to-face from an MD. 14 months ago when I finally came to the end of the gauntlet, a total stranger said that 212 was too high for a man of my condition and it was to be hoped that I'd improve my lifestyle before statins became necessary.

For some reason I'm having a real hard time working up the motivation to get another cholesterol screening...
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:16 AM   #24
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If it's unusual, it's only because most people are not committed to eating a diet rich in omega 3's and properly lower in 6's. I eat grass fed beef and free range eggs also and lots of fruits and veggies.

If it works for you, great.
But there is no data to support this for a large population, even if they could do it.
Grass fed beef and free range eggs effects on serum lipids have never been studied. Lol, who is going to fund it?
EPA/DHA (omega fatty acids) have positive effect on serum lipids (triglycerides, less dense LDL), but the HDL and total LDL effect is generally minimal.
A lot of claims concerning supplements/diets exist. Some are valid. Some are pure nonsense. Others are based on little scientific data.
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Old 07-02-2008, 04:08 PM   #25
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a total stranger said that 212 was too high for a man of my condition and it was to be hoped that I'd improve my lifestyle before statins became necessary.
We must go to the same Doctor!

In my case, I did improve my lifestyle - more wine. I have'nt been back for a blood test but I sure do feel better

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Old 07-03-2008, 08:06 AM   #26
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If it's unusual, it's only because most people are not committed to eating a diet rich in omega 3's and properly lower in 6's. I eat grass fed beef and free range eggs also and lots of fruits and veggies.

If it works for you, great.
But there is no data to support this for a large population, even if they could do it.
Grass fed beef and free range eggs effects on serum lipids have never been studied. Lol, who is going to fund it?
EPA/DHA (omega fatty acids) have positive effect on serum lipids (triglycerides, less dense LDL), but the HDL and total LDL effect is generally minimal.
A lot of claims concerning supplements/diets exist. Some are valid. Some are pure nonsense. Others are based on little scientific data.
Actually, there is research on the effect of eating meat and eggs with a natural (versus feed lot diet) lipid profile. It is in the field of anthropology and involves looking closely at the diets of hunter gatherers and examining the archaelogical record for comparison of health issues over time and large populations. It is very interesting and isn't at all in the realm of fad diets. Rather, the focus is on the nature of the diet that the human animal evolved with as opposed to the grain based diet that didn't appear until ten thousand years or so ago which is a relatively insignificant period within the scale of evolutionary adaptation. As you know, heart disease and diabetes were rare in populations of indigenous people (e.g. Inuit subsisting on a very high fat diet). Check out the work of scholars like Loren Cordain for some good reading. His website has a listing of abstracts and references to scholarly work in this area (though the website is promotional of the books he has authored for popular consumption).
Paleo Diet Articles, High Protein Diets, Low Carbohydrate Diets, Saturated Fats
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:06 PM   #27
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With all due respect:

I noticed they are selling a diet books and newsletter on that web site. It gives me pause when they talk about "acid/base balance", a hoakey concept for anyone who knows anything at all about human physiology.
It's easy to make claims that are unsupported by hard scientific data. Show me the large double blind contol group study that provides solid data supporting Dr. Cordain's assertions. I see one study was on 20 patients that lost weight and slight drop in BP. Not impressed. Another study was on 29 diabetic patients who showed improved glucose intolerance. Many diets can do that. Another study showed improved insulin sensitivity, CRP, and lower BP...in 24 piglets.
Still, some info there is helpful.
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:13 PM   #28
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Randomized controlled trials are imperfect but the best we have. In areas of public health and lifestyle, the truth is particularly hard to learn.

Notwithstanding claims for and against almost anything you can think of, the bulk of high quality, uncontaminated (by big pharma or other for-profit entities) research favors the use of lifestyle modification, prudent diet, and -- in selected cases -- medications as the must robustly validated means to lower heart attack and sudden death. The results are measured in just a percent or two a year, but they add up.

Now using that evidence wisely and in a way that meshes with the patients' preferences and values, along with their biochemistry -- that's the tricky part.
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:25 PM   #29
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With all due respect:

I noticed they are selling a diet books and newsletter on that web site. It gives me pause when they talk about "acid/base balance", a hoakey concept for anyone who knows anything at all about human physiology.
It's easy to make claims that are unsupported by hard scientific data. Show me the large double blind contol group study that provides solid data supporting Dr. Cordain's assertions. I see one study was on 20 patients that lost weight and slight drop in BP. Not impressed. Another study was on 29 diabetic patients who showed improved glucose intolerance. Many diets can do that. Another study showed improved insulin sensitivity, CRP, and lower BP...in 24 piglets.
Still, some info there is helpful.
You're cherry picking bits and pieces without, I suspect, having read any of Cordain's own papers or knowing much of anything about the thrust of the research which is part of a much larger anthropologic project. Investigate the area of the science of paleo diet, health and disease and come back with a reasoned critique. I don't think Cordain has all of the answers but I think that the inquiry into what our ancestors (on the evolutionary scale) ate and what their health issues were is a gold mine of guidance for our own choices. There is a lot of scholarship in this area.
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Old 07-03-2008, 03:48 PM   #30
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FWIW, when I did Atkins a few years ago, my total cholesterol went down, LDL went down, triglycerides went down, and HDL went up. I don't have the numbers handy, but I remember being quite pleased with the results. Since I fell off the wagon, the numbers have crept back but not all the way to what they were. I'm trying to lose some of what I gained back in weight now, reducing carbs again, but not going full blown Atkins. I find that the best way to get the fiber I need is to eat beans, a little fruit, and some All-bran or FiberOne along with my meat and veggies, but I try to avoid rice, pasta and bread. If I must have those, I stay away from the white varieties and stick to whole grain. I didn't exercise much when I did Atkins and still the weight came off fast. This time around it appears to be a slower process, but I feel fine. So, if your weight needs to come down and you are exercising an hour a day already, you may want to 1) count and reduce your carb intake, and 2) make sure you are doing some strength training, especially core strength, along with the cardio.

If you want the studies, check out the Atkins site or the book. There seem to have been quite a few studies, IIRC.

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Old 07-03-2008, 11:29 PM   #31
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So, if your weight needs to come down and you are exercising an hour a day already, you may want to 1) count and reduce your carb intake, and 2) make sure you are doing some strength training, especially core strength, along with the cardio.

Losing weight is simple, but not easy. Keeping it off is harder.
You must expend more calories than you eat. Net a negative 3500 calories and you will lose a pound. It's simple math.
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Old 07-04-2008, 08:20 PM   #32
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Losing weight is simple, but not easy.
Keeping it off is harder.
You must expend more calories than you eat.
Net a negative 3500 calories and you will lose a pound.
It's simple math.
Yeah boy, those are the types of slogans that inspire me to work out.

I'll point out that many people do fine with the first few pounds of weight loss and then start building muscle... at which point the weight goes back up. I see it with practically every adult taekwondo student. So perhaps, as has been mentioned before, it's better to focus on waist measurement than on simple math.

At some point in the weight-loss process it may become necessary to look at the long-term diet (what you're going to be eating for the rest of your life instead of what you're not going to be eating), boosting fluid intake, reducing carbs in exchange for more proteins, and adding weight-bearing workouts. Those may have a much more significant long-term effect than "simple" calorie counting.
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Old 07-05-2008, 09:10 AM   #33
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..boosting fluid intake, reducing carbs in exchange for more proteins, and adding weight-bearing workouts. Those may have a much more significant long-term effect than "simple" calorie counting.

Weight loss still always comes down to expending more calories than one eats. As far as weight loss goes, it doesn't matter where the calories come from, meat, apples, corn, bacon, sugar, beer, zuchinni...a calorie is a calorie. Anyone telling you otherwise is selling something.
Of course, to remain healthy, one has to have a balanced diet.
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Old 07-05-2008, 09:55 AM   #34
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[quote=mark500;678964]..boosting fluid intake, reducing carbs in exchange for more proteins, and adding weight-bearing workouts. Those may have a much more significant long-term effect than "simple" calorie counting.

Mark500 said: Weight loss still always comes down to expending more calories than one eats. As far as weight loss goes, it doesn't matter where the calories come from, meat, apples, corn, bacon, sugar, beer, zuchinni...a calorie is a calorie. Anyone telling you otherwise is selling something.

Within rough, practical limits, that's true. As a matter of metabolic science, it's probably not that simple. See Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes.
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:10 AM   #35
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..boosting fluid intake, reducing carbs in exchange for more proteins, and adding weight-bearing workouts. Those may have a much more significant long-term effect than "simple" calorie counting.

Weight loss still always comes down to expending more calories than one eats. As far as weight loss goes, it doesn't matter where the calories come from, meat, apples, corn, bacon, sugar, beer, zuchinni...a calorie is a calorie. Anyone telling you otherwise is selling something.
Of course, to remain healthy, one has to have a balanced diet.
True, but I think that getting most of your calories from bulky foods can help a person to keep their calorie intake down. They feel fuller, so are less tempted to intake so much.

The math is the same, but in practical terms, I think you are more likely to succeed by having that bulk. Which does not mean you need to eliminate good things like bacon, just supplement them with bulk so you don't eat so much calorie rich foods.

NOTE: I will be having ribs on the grill today, with beer. Both pretty calorie dense. A guy's gotta enjoy life! But if I do that everyday.....
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:39 AM   #36
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Within rough, practical limits, that's true. As a matter of metabolic science, it's probably not that simple. See Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes.
I have not read Taubes' book, but I have seen this article from him:

What if It's All Been a Big Fat Lie? - New York Times

Even though Taubes does have a scientific background, this article is just a sham, IMO. He draws the conclusions he wants to draw, and sets up straw men just so he can knock them down and say 'see - they were wrong'! With the implication that, if they were wrong, I must be right (not a logical conclusion).

Here is one of my favs (satirical), First he gives some background to the obesity problem, and the 'conventional' thinking:

Quote:
.... one of the few reasonably reliable facts about the obesity epidemic is that it started around the early 1980's


So how did this happen? The orthodox and ubiquitous explanation is that we live in what Kelly Brownell, a Yale psychologist, has called a ''toxic food environment'' of cheap fatty food, large portions, pervasive food advertising and sedentary lives. By this theory, we are at the Pavlovian mercy of the food industry, which spends nearly $10 billion a year advertising unwholesome junk food and fast food. And because these foods, especially fast food, are so filled with fat, they are both irresistible and uniquely fattening. On top of this, so the theory goes, our modern society has successfully eliminated physical activity from our daily lives.
Notice he focuses on fat, and ignores that the big gulp sized sugared drinks are a big component to the increase in calorie intake. Remember those little cokes we got as kids - 6 oz, 8 oz? Now 32 oz or more?

Then, he explains how this conventional thinking must be 'wrong'. underlines mine.
....



Quote:
This theory makes perfect sense and plays to our puritanical prejudice that fat, fast food and television are innately damaging to our humanity. But there are two catches. First, to buy this logic is to accept that the copious negative reinforcement that accompanies obesity -- both socially and physically -- is easily overcome by the constant bombardment of food advertising and the lure of a supersize bargain meal. And second, as Flegal points out, little data exist to support any of this. Certainly none of it explains what changed so significantly to start the epidemic. Fast-food consumption, for example, continued to grow steadily through the 70's and 80's, but it did not take a sudden leap, as obesity did.
This is where I say the 'science' falls apart. Instead of actually measuring how many calories people were taking in for each decade, he sets up this totally unprovable 'explanation' that since there is a negative reinforcement to obesity, that people just really were not eating as much as we think they were, because they did not want to get fat? That is preposterous. So, Burger King, McDonalds and the rest really were not doing all that business that their sales $ reported to shareholders said they were? Was *that* all a lie?


There are other faulty conclusions in that article - maybe the book is better, but I would doubt it, based on that.



And I would like to see Taubes or Atkins explain why the Okinowans, who have a diet high in *complex* carbohydrates, and low in meat and fats, have such outstanding health and low obesity. They really like to cherry pick the data.



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Old 07-05-2008, 03:16 PM   #37
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ERD50 aid: Notice he focuses on fat, and ignores that the big gulp sized sugared drinks are a big component to the increase in calorie intake. Remember those little cokes we got as kids - 6 oz, 8 oz? Now 32 oz or more?

In short, you've totally missed the point and should read the book. His thrust is that cheap refined carbs and sugar have a primary role in driving the metabolic shifts that result in storage of fat.
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Old 07-05-2008, 08:58 PM   #38
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ERD50 aid: Notice he focuses on fat, and ignores that the big gulp sized sugared drinks are a big component to the increase in calorie intake. Remember those little cokes we got as kids - 6 oz, 8 oz? Now 32 oz or more?

In short, you've totally missed the point and should read the book. His thrust is that cheap refined carbs and sugar have a primary role in driving the metabolic shifts that result in storage of fat.
OK, maybe he covers the sugars in other areas, but that does not explain how he can say that people really were not eating all this stuff, because the 'stigma' of being fat was just too much? The stigma was so strong as to overcome the advertising and the 'super-size-me' offers? He is saying that people just didn't eat fast food. That is crazy.

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Old 07-06-2008, 09:55 AM   #39
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I am going to be totally politically incorrect here.
A physician once told me:

Obesity is not a disease. It is caused by people eating too much food. There were no fat people in Auschwitz.

A few exceptions exist such as Prader-Willi syndrome.
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Old 07-06-2008, 10:18 AM   #40
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I am going to be totally politically incorrect here.
A physician once told me:

Obesity is not a disease. It is caused by people eating too much food. There were no fat people in Auschwitz.

A few exceptions exist such as Prader-Willi syndrome.
I suffer from 'Fork-to-Mouth' disease.....my Doctor agrees with my self-diagnosis, and he's waiting to see if I can discover the cure.
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