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cholesterol + diet

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by madietodd, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

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    Hi again;
    I should have asked my husband about this before posting before, because he has familial high cholesterol. His mother has been on a statin drug for decades now. He took one for some months about 15 yrs. ago, and it did bring his cholesterol down about 60 pts. (mg/dl). He stoppped after some months.

    A few years ago, it shot up to about 304. But that time, he began supplements. He credits lecithin for helping to bring it down to the lower 220's. We have an egg lecithin type, but I wonder if the sunflower lecithin would be helpful.

    Anyway, I thought I should include this, if it could be of any benefit.
     
  2. john66

    john66 Senior Member

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    Madie, zinc can cause raised ldl and imbalance copper levels. I dont know how much,but it can. My mother who is 80 has this issue, as did her sister who just died at 89. Familial LDL does not effect women in the same way it does men. As far as meds go, most cardiologists will go with Lipitor, especially since it is now generic. Livalo is a relatively new drug to the USA, it was developed and used in Japan, from what I have read, the Japanese are more sensitive to the side effects of statins in general. If you want an explanation of the subfractions of LDL, look up Thomas Dayspring MD on youtube. It is not just LDL, it is the HDL to triglycreride ratio that seems to be the most important marker on a standard blood test. He is on a video with Gary Taubes (who is the author of Good Carbs, Bad Carbs and Why We Get Fat) and goes into great detail about insulin resistance and how refined carbohydrates are at the root of the issue. Chris Masterjohn (http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/The-Cholesterol-Myths.htm) has a great site about Cholesterol. This is a link to Peter Attia's site and first on an eight part, in depth explanation about cholesterol http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/the-straight-dope-on-cholesterol-part-i. This should get you off to a good start. When I was 18, I found out that I had a cholesterol of 300. I was given a physical by a department of defense doctor for entrance into West Point, who said this was a problem with my immune system. I wish I could track that guy down now
     
  3. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Many people think high protein meat diets increase cholesterol because of there fat content but this isnt quite correct. People usually have high cholesterol because their liver makes more, why?? we have to look at the function of cholesterol, is used to make hormones so if there is a hormonal problem like many have in cfs then our body is making the cholesterol so our body can use it to make the hormones it needs, but this doesnt always make the correct hormones, but supplementing the hormones one is low on can help. Also cholesterol is needed to make cells, with all the oxidative stress in cfs, the body is always in a state of trying to repair itself. Also antioxidants can help if your concerned about high cholest as it can prevent it sticking to the blood vessel walls. The biggest risk factor in blood fats for heart disease isnt hdl/ldl cholest but triglycerides and the best way to lower triglycerides is a low carb diet, theres no cholesterol meds that lower triglycerides. Insulin resistance also has alot to do with cholest/heart disease etc the med metformin used in type 2 diabetics improves insulin resistence and works really well with a low carb diet. I did say there was no cholesterol meds that lowers trigylerides but metformin does this. Metformin can improve blood lipids as well as help people lose weight, reduce risk of heart disease and is used by doc as an antiaging medicine.

    So cholesterol isnt that dangerous but is a sign that something else is going on(hormonal, increased cellular damge). antioxidants can help reduced the possible damage high cholesterol is doing, which is made in the liver and high carb diets can make worse for many.trigylerides are the danger fat that needs to be controlled and this is done by improving insulin sensitivity through a low carb diet, supps like chromium and vandyl sulphate and meds like metformin.

    My personal; experience is that the high protein with higher fat content then traditional low fat diets has lowered my blood fats where the low fat diets havent and they have just made me feel worse. My triglyeride levels have always been very good on low carb diet and have increased when i have increased my carb intake.
     
  4. Timaca

    Timaca Senior Member

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    Madie~ I can't speak for using the medication, for I have no experience with it. I would take a good look at the website I posted earlier and certainly modify your diet substantially. (and maybe use meds too). Just being a vegetarian may not be adequate if you are consuming dairy products that are not skim (particularly cheese which is very high in fat.) Or if you are consuming lots of added oils or margarines in your diet.

    My diet has been low in fat all of my adult life for I studied nutrition in college. Since February it has been VERY low in fat. And I don't find it boring at all. I love that it's summer and there is so much bountiful good produce around! I guess I should qualify what I mean by "very low in fat". I mean very low in added fats and oils. I do eat nuts and avocados.

    I would encourage you to buy and read the book too. It's very good. If you eat a whole foods diet (no processed foods) it will be easy to avoid gluten. All you will need to do is watch what grains you eat. You can find bread and pastas that are gluten free at your health food store (and maybe local grocery store if you are lucky) and the nice thing is that those foods are naturally fat free (or at least very low in fat).

    Good luck and keep us posted on how you do!

    Best, Timaca
     
  5. mellster

    mellster Marco

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    I also think that food is not much of a culprit as long as you get fresh, unprocessed food, but avoiding too much carbs might be beneficial anyways. Furthermore there is no basis for the good/bad cholesterol theory, the studies that have been did not show any correlation at all. Here's a link to some studies: http://www.cholesterol-and-health.org.uk/hdl-ldl-2.html. Hopefully you can get rid of the statins soon - good luck!!
     
    Wonko likes this.
  6. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    I've been reading the links, and Ticama I found that book at the library this morning. Thanks everybody for your input - I've got quite a learning curve going on.

    A year ago, my copper tested low-normal and zinc was high normal. So I'm going to stop taking zinc for now. I've been supplementing with 1000mg lecithin for over a year, for what that's worth.

    I got my results in today's mail:
    CHOL 396 (0-200)
    TRIG 205 (30-150)
    HDL 67 (40-100)
    CH/HDL ratio 5.9 (0-6)
    LDL (direct) 265 (0-130)

    I'm getting a handle on how to eat. I'm already mostly grain-free (I bake with coconut and almond flour), and I'm used to eating leftover dinner for breakfast, so I'm not attached to eggs and toast. Lowering carbs isn't crazy-hard. Heaps, what do you consider "low?"

    My basic plan is: 1/2 c beans, minimum 1-1/2 lb non-starchy vegetables, maximum 1/2 lb low-carb fruit, 1 oz nuts, and 2c non-fat dairy. This gives me 45g protein before adding protein powders or soy products, so that's a good foundation. My goal is 50g. And I'm getting 25 to 40g fiber, which is a miracle. This gives me 88-133g carb, which is hopefully low enough to allow for the inevitable additional food.

    I think Dr.Rey will understand this better as it relates to CFS than my local doctor can, so I'll be talking with her about hormones and oxidative stress in August.
     
  7. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

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    Thats under 800 calories.
     
  8. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Madie i have been eating low carb for years so im use to eating almost zero. My diet revolves around meat, cheese, eggs all those things they say is 'bad' and then round it out with green veges mostly, low carb nuts almonds etc. once in a while i will eat some carbs but its rare. berries are so suppose to be good low carb fruits but generally i stay away from fruits due to sugar but most people low carbing can get away with a couple of pieces of fruit. I do use some sauce when eating meat etc as it can get abit dry, i use a tomatoe sauce that is reasonably low in sugar. I also use atkins protein powder/meal replacement in water with some extra whey added to it, i will have 1-2 of these a day to replace a solid meal, mainly because its easy and convenient.

    cheers!!!
     
  9. Timaca

    Timaca Senior Member

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    Glad you found the book. Let me know what you think about it. Looking at your labs you could certainly stand to lower your Total Chol and your LDL.

    My total cholesterol has always been over 200...but less than 225. My HDL has always been high (between 75-85); and my LDL is less than 130. My husband eats a worse diet than I do and his numbers are better. My training is in nutrition, so it's always irritated me that my numbers aren't better. I know genes play a role; but I wanted to see what role diet plays, so I made my diet even lower in fat and healthier than it already was. I will be interested to see if my numbers change at all.

    Here are some other interesting articles for you to read:

    Lipid levels in patients hospitalized with coronary artery disease: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19081406

    Comments on Greg Fonarow’s study: http://www.lifeclinic.com/fullpage.aspx?prid=623148&type=1

    UCLA Newsroom article: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/majority-of-hospitalized-heart-75668.aspx

    LDL cholesterol- The Lower the Better: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22391248

    Optimal LDL is 50-70 mg/dL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15172426

    Lowering LDL, the Earlier the Better:
    http://www.cardiosource.org/News-Me...g "LDL," the earlier the better&WT.oss_r=143&

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120326133606.htm

    Some interesting info on Olive oil (I still eat it, just not as much): http://www.pritikin.com/your-health/healthy-living/eating-right/1103-whats-wrong-with-olive-oil.html

    Fish and heart health: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/heart-healthy-fish/MY01773
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21610249
    Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: http://www.heartattackproof.com/

    Good luck,
    Timaca
     
  10. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    Wonko - I hadn't added up the calories. Good thing that's not all I'm eating! It's the foundation, like - as long as I eat all of this this every day, then when I'm hungry I add to it. And what I add has more carbs. Which is OK; I'm just trying to figure out an eating plan that gives me everything I need but doesn't make my weight balloon.

    This is my first day. I'm making it up as I go along, and sharing it here to see what ideas you all have.

    So far 3 siblings are on statins, one isn't, and I haven't heard from the last. I talked to my Mom today, and she said her cholesterol is fine, but she used to have a problem called (sounds like) silly's disease, in her 20s. She wound around a story, and at the end I said so you don't have to take anything for cholesterol? And she said oh no, I take medication, and my cholesterol is fine now.

    I can't absorb much new stuff in a day, so Ticama, your links and the book will have to wait until tomorrow. I really appreciate everybody's finding all these links for me.

    Madie
     
    Wonko likes this.
  11. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    Coconut is on the foods to usually avoid if one is trying to lower cholestrol (this is a list one of my doctors once photocopied when I first was on a low cholestrol diet). Coconut too can be high in carbs.

    Foods to avoid while lowering cholestrol (not a low carb diet thou)

    whole eggs, egg yolk
    whole milk and its products eg cheese,butter, cream, ice cream, yogurt
    organ meats
    prawns, squid (calmari), fish roe, fish "fingers", canned fish in oil
    fatty meats- bacon, ham, sausages, salami, canned meats, meat pastes, hamburger mince, pressed meats)
    duck, goose, skin of chicken and turkey, pressed chicken
    pies, pasties, cakes, pastries, donuts, biscuits
    fast food- fried chicken, chips, fish, dim sims, spring rolls, hot dogs, pizza, fried rice etc
    cashews, macadamina nuts, coconut, roasted nuts, brazil nuts, peanuts, peanut butter
    gravies, potato chips, caramel, chocolate including carob, butterscotch, "health food" bars, coffee whitener and other cream substitutes, toasted breakfast cereals (esp with coconut)
    saturated fats -lard, dripping, suet, copha, cooking (hard) margarine, coconut and palm oils, mayonnaise
    Avoid frying or roasting in fat.
    ..........................

    Suitable foods

    egg whites
    low fat dairy products eg non fat yogurt, skim milk, ricotta cheese
    fresh fish, scallops, oysters, canned fish in water, lobster and crab (small amounts)
    rabbit, veal (without fat), lean cuts of beef, lamb and pork (in moderation)
    chicken/turkey (lean without skin)
    bread, crumpets (esp wholemeal), crispbreads
    peacan nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, seeds (in moderation)
    all types of fruit and veg
    rice, pasta, cereals, jelly, herbs, spices, canned spaghetti, vegemite, tea, coffee, honey, jam, alcohol (small amounts)
    polyunsaturated fats - margarines, salad dressings
    vegetable oils -olive, walnut, corn, soya bean sunflower, safflower, cottonseed (all in moderation, small amounts)
    use veg oils above for grilling, baking, boiling, grilling and stewing
    .....

    the low cholestrol plan i have fro the pathology lab is very similar to the other cholesterol lowing diet plans my past doctors had me on above
     
  12. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    My specialist who specialises in insulin issues (he's an old school type elderly guy up with all the research in that area) say that many people who have issues have a "delayed" insulin reaction to the carbs (your under range results "may" be showing that your insulin response was delayed and hadnt really started happening yet).

    He's told me that doctors often dont test at a point long enough after the challenge is done to see the delayed issue happening with some with sudden, very high spiking. Hence why a 2 hr test is needed. Obviously your body does respond with insulin at some point as you have that high normal range... so unless a delayed reaction going on.. one wouldnt think you'd see a below range result. It must be spiking up to some point at some stage. Question is.. how high is it actually going then.. is it an abnormal spiking then (which can also end up causing someone hypoglycemia at that point)...

    I have no diabetes in my family either (and I have a big family too.. dad was one of 5 boys etc).. yet still have hyperinsulinemia and interesting when tested, I actually carry the diabetes genotype which really surprised me.

    heres something the specialist who deals with my insulin issues has wrote on this http://www.agale.com.au/CFS.htm (his second patient/case on that was vegan and had high cholestrol and high insulin level at the 2 hr point of the insulin challege). He calls insulin resistance the "pandoras box" of illnesses as it can cause so many things in the body to go wrong http://www.agale.com.au/PANDORA.htm

    He also has something at his site about how many path places are transporting the blood wrong before doing this test. If blood is being transported, it needs to be transported for this test on ice (otherwise test results may come back incorrect).

    Instead of drinking the glucose.. one can also do the 2hr GTT test with insulin using ones breakfast to see how body functions to exactly what you do in your life ... you have blood taken (a fasting reading as one has to fast overnight, then instead of the solution to drink, you eat your breakfast and have whatever you usually drink.. then have it blood done again.. for the normal periods they do in that 2 hr GTT. (The blood place was completely convinced my insulin wouldnt spike up very high doing that but it did, it shocked the blood people.. I went back to where they took the blood, to show them my test results seeing they were so so convinced it wouldnt spike abnormally high with breakfast).

    The body should keep the levels within certain normal range (just like how glucose should stay within certain range). Interestingly thou my insulin didnt spike up high when i drank that glucose drink and did the test..but my other specialist (gyno) still believed I had an insulin issue so sent me then to Dr Gale to try to work out what was going on. He got me to redo the test at the same place it was done originally.. only difference was with eatting my normal breakfast.. and that test showed my body in abnormal high response.

    The second time I had the test done.. I also had an abnormally high over night level of insulin (after a 12 hr fast due to the time I finally got to the blood taking place) which hadnt been present when I had the first test done. My body seems to be very variable with things).
     
    madietodd likes this.
  13. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    I wasn't able to read all the responses but I wanted to add a few comments.

    Even though I'm vegetarian (lacto-vegetarian, not vegan), and that diet works quite well for me, I would never say that everyone should do it. It's up to the individual. And the diet is no panacea in and of itself. You can avoid meat but still eat crap. You can eat meat and eat a reasonably healthy diet.

    Most of my family, who are not vegetarian, have low cholesterol no matter what. But my husband, who's just past 60 and has been vegetarian his whole life, used to have a serious problem. In the mid-1990s his cholesterol reading was in the high 300s and his triglycerides were off the scale. Literally, the triglyceride report said " > xxx" (I don't remember what xxx was for that lab, maybe 600?). Also, his blood sugar was high and his HDL was below 40. In short, all his results were worse than yours. So, a vegetarian diet did not save him from metabolic syndrome / pre-diabetes!

    The good news is that my husband was able to change all his test results by diet alone, no statin drugs. His cholesterol is now between 190-200, triglycerides back in line, blood sugar normal instead of high, and he lost 40 pounds. So, you might be able to wean yourself off the statin drugs after a little while if the diet changes work for you. At least your HDL is in the range so that's a good thing!

    I agree with the others about cutting sugar and refined flour as much as possible but not necessarily all "carbs." There's a huge difference in how your body reacts to a whole piece of fruit (which has fiber to slow down the sugar absorption) and a glass of fruit juice. In fact, one of the first changes my husband made was to stop drinking any fruit juice (he drank juice instead of soda because he thought it was healthy!) and his triglycerides went way down. Now he drinks only water. One of his main rules for food is the less processed, the better.

    Would you be willing to re-consider your avoidance of beans? They are loaded with fiber so they are very different from processed carbs like white rice and white bread. I think beans are much better for you than most of the vegan fake meats out there (those are usually all very processed, low fiber). Beans have no gluten and there's a huge variety of options--lentils, edamame, split peas, etc. Plus all the Indian daal varieties (mung, urad, masoor). Maybe you could try some small helpings to see how they suit you? Anyway, it's up to you.

    I wish you all the best of luck! It's so hard to make these diet changes (maybe "lifestyle" changes is a better word since these must be permanent changes to eating patterns if they're going to help) but I'm sure you can do it.

    Sending many ((((HUGS)))) to you....

    (I miss the old hug smiley face image with the long arms!)
     
    mellster likes this.
  14. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    Yes! I've already re-considered the beans issue, and am eating more. I have to re-consider grains next - that whole issue of complete proteins - since I've been mostly grain-free for years. I might need to add some. I'll just keep an eye on the scale.

    I've done more reading, and have decided that vegan is my best option. I know I have trouble with milk, so this is a good excuse to completely stop using it.
    I know how to do this and stay healthy. I was a vegetarian for a long time pre-CFS. The hardest part is adjusting to so little fat! That's the only piece of this I've never played with before.

    My plan is to do this diet for 3 months, with the low dose of statin, and then see what my readings are. I agree - I expect to get off the statin ASAP. I expect dietary changes to be lifelong.
     
  15. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    Just be careful to get the amino acids and vitamins you will miss. Good luck!
     
  16. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    India has a vegetarian tradition going back thousands of years (written about in the vedas, I think). It's not a fad diet. :)

    Getting serious for a moment, my husband's family has been vegetarian going back many generations. None of them ever worried about mixing amino acids. Most vegetarians who eat a varied diet will have no trouble getting enough nutrients.

    Millions of people around the world are either fully vegetarian (due to philosophical reasons) or near vegetarian (meat is unavailable or too expensive). Only in the USA (and some other western countries) do I hear folks express serious concern over not eating meat. Perhaps it's a holdover from the old "four food groups" idea and the "protein combining" concerns of the 70s and 80s. All the latest studies show that a vegetarian diet is fine.

    I'm not out to convince anyone to change to a vegetarian diet. Please eat whatever you like!

    My point is only that it is not complicated or risky to follow a vegetarian diet.
     
  17. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    I do think you have to be careful about B12 if you're vegetarian, but that's very easy to deal with these days. Vegan is a bit harder - I am having to think about getting enough protein. And I'm already gaining weight from the carbs in the beans (and that's the only real carb food I'm eating). So it's tricky.
     
  18. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    It seems reasonable to try a small amount and see what happens. I hope it works out. The tradition in India (not sure if there's science behind it or just an "old wive's tale) says that mung daal (the split kind, green skins removed so the yellow inside is exposed) is most easily digested. More than a lot of other types of beans. And like lentils you can cook it without any overnight soaking.

    If you're looking for non-gluten grains then I can recommend quinoa very highly. I have no problem with gluten, I just love the taste. As long as you rinse it off well before cooking (I learned that lesson early - it can be bitter if you don't rinse it) then it's delicious. And it's very high in protein. I have a fine mesh strainer for this purpose because in a regular colander, the kind used to strain cooked pasta, the holes are too big. Quinoa grains are very small.

    Another grain that is supposed to be very good for health is barley. I mostly use that when I'm making soup.

    Walnuts are one thing that my husband swears by. First, they help him feel full. He eats a couple handfuls in the morning with breakfast. Second, I think they are supposed to help lower cholesterol. I don't have a citation--I seem to remember some studies, but maybe it was just nuts in general, not walnuts? Third, they taste good.

    Of course, nuts are high in fat so they should not be eaten with abandon. My husband (no ME/CFS) can do exercise so he doesn't have to worry as much. Someone with ME/CFS who can't exercise should probably add smaller amounts. But some amount of natural fat in the diet, either nuts or avocados or something like that, is needed, I think.

    Okay, I'm getting foggy, so I should log off for now. Wishing you the very best of luck! :thumbsup:
     
  19. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    Maybe you could try some soy milk, tofu or tempeh? Those are all pretty low in carbs but would add some protein. I'm not a big fan of soy foods. They are okay once in a while, I just prefer the taste of whole beans/legumes/daal. But I know lots of folks who eat soy almost every day. In fact, many people assume that all vegetarians eat soy daily! (not in India)

    I also found this link -- I have not read it all but maybe it will be helpful.

    http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/vegetarian/a/veganlowcarb.htm

    Hearing all these stories makes me realize how lucky I am that I don't have to worry at counting carbs or calories. I just eat lots of whole foods (high fiber) like fruits, veggies, beans, brown rice/quinoa. *Thank goodness* that works for me. I would be very crabby if I had to track my carbs or calories.

    I am sorry that you have to be so careful about your diet. What a bummer. It is amazing that you can be so disciplined, though. Kudos!
     
  20. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

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    it's perfecty normal to gain weight if you havent been eating carbs and start to, it's not fat, it's glycogen stores and water and can be a gain of several pounds (or more depending on how depleted you were).
     

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