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Old 12-07-2012, 08:06 AM   #21
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I would say that fish oil and low impact cardio (walking) + a reasonably sound diet helped me the most. My LDL curently is about 75, but PCP wants it down below 70. I haven't been walking much any more, so will kick that in and expect next checkup to be < 70 LDL.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:33 AM   #22
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If we want to get ancestral about it, think of walking around hunting for a hour or two and then running for cover from a tiger...
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Cliff Canyon Views: Nutrition

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Usage: Carbohydrates ("carbos") are mostly used for energy, much like gas in an engine.
Sources: With one exception, there are no carbohydrates in food from animals. The exception is lactose in milk. That is, there are no carbos in meat, poultry, eggs, etc.
What are they? Carbohydrates are sugars. Some taste sweeter than others, but all are sugars. Sugars are made by plants as a result of photosynthesis.
The name "carbohydrate" comes from "carbo" (for carbon, chemical symbol "C") and "hydrate" (for water, chemical symbol "H2O"). The general chemical formula for a carbohydrate is Cx(H2O)y , meaning "x" atoms of carbon and "y" molecules of water. The chemical term for sugar is "saccharide".
There are two types: Simple and Complex. What makes them different are the number of sugar molecules and how they are linked together.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:27 AM   #23
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My LDL curently is about 75, but PCP wants it down below 70.
My understanding is that such a low level is only recommended for the high risk group. Sorry that your doc puts you in there, but I'm not at all sure that a measly five points makes much difference. Probably within measurement error.

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LDL cholesterol
(U.S. and some other countries) LDL cholesterol*
(Canada and most of Europe)
Below 70 mg/dLBelow 1.8 mmol/LIdeal for people at very high risk of heart disease
Below 100 mg/dLBelow 2.6 mmol/LIdeal for people at risk of heart disease
100-129 mg/dL2.6-3.3 mmol/LNear ideal
130-159 mg/dL3.4-4.1 mmol/LBorderline high
160-189 mg/dL4.1-4.9 mmol/LHigh
190 mg/dL and aboveAbove 4.9 mmol/LVery high
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cho...levels/CL00001
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:35 AM   #24
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I would say that fish oil and low impact cardio (walking) + a reasonably sound diet helped me the most. My LDL curently is about 75, but PCP wants it down below 70. I haven't been walking much any more, so will kick that in and expect next checkup to be < 70 LDL.
Wow!

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Old 12-07-2012, 12:06 PM   #25
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My understanding is that such a low level is only recommended for the high risk group. Sorry that your doc puts you in there, but I'm not at all sure that a measly five points makes much difference. Probably within measurement error.
Yes, since I am type 2 diabetic, and also on BP and cholersterol meds (triple whammy).

Any how, I had a complete cardiac checkup this past summer, and the cardiologist said my results are about as good as it gets for anyone irrespective of the above conditions, so I'm not very worried about heart issues, but I suppose the potential for stroke or kidney problems may be driving such a low metric. My BP and A1Cs have been very good for many years, as has other blood work LDL/Triglycerides (except for HDL being low 40s or less).

The thing that concerns me with keeping the LDL level so low is that the body needs a certain amount of cholesterol to maintain some hormone levels. Hope that doesn't affect my gym workouts
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:56 PM   #26
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Actually, the the idea that LDL cholesterol is "bad" and HDL cholesterol is "good" is somewhat misleading and incomplete, as Chris Kresser explains here:

The most important thing you probably don’t know about cholesterol

The second part of the article talks about how carbohydrates in the diet are directly related to the amount of small-particle LDL in the blood.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:02 PM   #27
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Actually, the the idea that LDL cholesterol is "bad" and HDL cholesterol is "good" is somewhat misleading and incomplete, as Chris Kresser explains here:

The most important thing you probably don’t know about cholesterol

The second part of the article talks about how carbohydrates in the diet are directly related to the amount of small-particle LDL in the blood.
Yet some low carb dieters on this thread report having elevated LDL levels. So elevated LDL levels must be related to other factors as well.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:28 PM   #28
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My family has had great success with Bran based recipes from the book:

"The 8 Week Cholesterol Cure"

I believe the newer version emphasis a more low carb approach now but the older (original?) version had an emphasis on Bran.

My dad received advise to go on cholesterol medication but held it off for 10 years by eating a modified version of the bran muffins recipe in the book most mornings for breakfast. He already exercised 25+ mins a every single work day morning.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:08 PM   #29
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You may be onto the most current trend. The Wall Street Journal kicked up a brou-ha-ha with an article citing research showing the extreme endurance exercise (like marathon training) calcifies arteries over a lifetime....
This was an interesting, scary and somewhat eye opening article for me. I'm probably on the borderline doing about 20 to 24 miles/week (4 days a week) at maybe a 8.5 minute pace in hilly terrain at age 64.

So this article encourages me to relax and not push any harder. Maybe even back off a bit. Recently I've been doing brisk walks between run days. So that's a way to moderate the whole exercise routine. BTW, I gave up racing some years ago and never did a marathon.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:28 PM   #30
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I found this article from the Mayo Clinic on reducing cholesterol through diet: Cholesterol: Top five foods to lower your numbers - MayoClinic.com

I printed it out and shared it with DW. Tomorrow I'll try her oatmeal for breakfast. I already have Whole Foods 365 Raisin Bran and maybe once a week have this with an orange for breakfast.

There are lots of foods that can be introduced slowly in one's diet and made a habit. Kind of pushes out the not so good foods.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:43 PM   #31
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I found this article from the Mayo Clinic on reducing cholesterol through diet: Cholesterol: Top five foods to lower your numbers - MayoClinic.com

I printed it out and shared it with DW. Tomorrow I'll try her oatmeal for breakfast.
Maybe I should try DW's morning cereal too. I make hers by blending some rolled oats, nuts, and dried fruits. No added sugar or fat like so many breakfast cereals. Yet still tasty!
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:18 PM   #32
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Maybe I should try DW's morning cereal too. I make hers by blending some rolled oats, nuts, and dried fruits. No added sugar or fat like so many breakfast cereals. Yet still tasty!
Do you just mix in the nuts and dried fruits? My DW puts some fruits on top of her oatmeal too. Sometimes it's dried cranberries or maybe fresh blueberrries, rasberrries or blackberries. Nowadays the stuff is available most of the year around here. I'm also going to try to mix in my skim milk instead of water with the oatmeal to make it (hopefully) a little fuller. Time to experiment.
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:09 AM   #33
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Do you just mix in the nuts and dried fruits? My DW puts some fruits on top of her oatmeal too. Sometimes it's dried cranberries or maybe fresh blueberrries, rasberrries or blackberries. Nowadays the stuff is available most of the year around here. I'm also going to try to mix in my skim milk instead of water with the oatmeal to make it (hopefully) a little fuller. Time to experiment.
Yes, I buy the rolled oats (12 cups), nuts (1 cup), and dried fruits (3 cups) in bulk at Wholefoods. Then I mix it all together in a large container. The fruits and nuts change with the seasons. For Christmas I do a red/green theme with dried cherries or cranberries and pistachios. Sometimes I use pumpkin seeds in the fall. But DW's year round favorite is raisins and sunflower seeds.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:45 PM   #34
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I talked to my family doctor in Europe about the results of my cholesterol screening and he said "meh". Turns out the acceptable LDL range is wider there and I am near the upper limit. And it seems that even my mom would be considered at risk here with a LDL level around 150. So I am not going to make any drastic changes. Maybe bike a little in addition to the walking, and maybe cut back on the carbs a bit (I eat too much bread anyways).
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:14 PM   #35
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I am curious. Is there any proof that lowering LDL actually results in better health or a longer life?
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:54 PM   #36
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I am curious. Is there any proof that lowering LDL actually results in better health or a longer life?
I've wondered about this sort of thing too.

What if people towards the border line areas of cholesterol have an exemplary set of health habits but just happen to have a genetic predisposition to higher numbers? Are they to be lumped in with all the people with the same numbers? It may be that if you have very good habits, exercise a lot, but have a 200 total cholesterol number then perhaps you are a lot better off then a person with the same numbers but who is a total couch potato who slurps beer all day.

With apologies to the beer drinkers out there.
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:37 PM   #37
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Re: medication... After years of fighting it, gave in to my doctor, and take the recommended medications... From triglycerides of over 1000, and super high cholesterol, am now a little high, but near normal on both. From BP 135/85 to 120/70.

Re: Niacin and Red Rice... tried both about 10 years ago, and turned red... face and chest. YMMV. Lipitor caused muscle problems... dropped it and the pains disappeared.

This is rank heresy, but I believe that there are many factors that get into cholesterol levels, that can't be related to "average" or "acceptable"...Body type, age, genes, blood pressure, and general physical condition...

Some healthcare plans allow diagnostic tests, and if not, many hospitals and clinics have periodic diagnostic testing packages for PSA, diabetes, EKG, ECG and ultra sound etc.... as a package deal for under $200. Some work places require this. Great for peace of mind.

Most important IMO, is having a doctor that you respect and trust.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:04 AM   #38
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For years I dutifully age margarine because it did not have the saturated fat contained in butter. I also used vegetable shorening for the same reason. Now I find out that the trans-fat in margarine and vegetable shortening is not better than saturated fats and may, indeed, be worse. So, please understand why I am skeptical of making major changes to my diet or taking new drugs such as statins based upon studies done or funded by people who have something to sell me.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:22 AM   #39
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For years I dutifully age margarine because it did not have the saturated fat contained in butter. I also used vegetable shorening for the same reason. Now I find out that the trans-fat in margarine and vegetable shortening is not better than saturated fats and may, indeed, be worse. So, please understand why I am skeptical of making major changes to my diet or taking new drugs such as statins based upon studies done or funded by people who have something to sell me.
Given your feelings, the only reasonable course to follow is to not change your diet or take meds. Very simple, and no one has to agree with you.

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Old 12-11-2012, 08:08 AM   #40
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Given your feelings, the only reasonable course to follow is to not change your diet or take meds. Very simple, and no one has to agree with you.

Ha
About the last sentence, I'm not sure I agree with you.

If our Doc doesn't entirely agree with us and maybe some or all of the forum don't agree with us, then many of us are going to be somewhat uncomfortable with our choice. That balance might be tipped if the Doc sort of agrees with us and a few on the forum really agree with us.

I think for many people the balance is the thing whereas a few of us are fearless and make up our minds completely independently.

Personally I'm one who likes a little confirmation, in other words, not always confident in my analysis.
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