I am fortunate in that I have never had high blood pressure. Even under extreme stress when I was so ill last year, my blood pressure was very constant at about 107 over 68. I have been able to keep my weight very stable over the years. The only little blip came in my early 40’s when I seemed to be gaining weight and couldn’t understand why since I hadn’t changed anything. That’s how I developed my Today’s the Day plan and it’s been working for me ever since – some 20 years later.
I wrote a post recently about how clean, saturated fats don’t cause heart disease and that they don’t negatively impact cholesterol. Well I had the opportunity to put my money where my mouth is so to speak. I changed my primary care physician and scheduled blood work several weeks ago. If you follow my blogs and newsletter you know I put about a tablespoon of pasture raised butter in each of my morning mugs of tea. I use coconut oil liberally and eat grass-fed beef and whole eggs.
All things most doctors tell you to eliminate in order to have a healthy heart and healthy cholesterol levels. In fact I mentioned in last week’s post that I had an interesting conversation with a gentleman who’d had a stent placed in an artery who said the doctor told him to avoid these healthy foods. When I tried to explain that it was sugar and grains and not eggs and butter that are the problem, he said – “I know but my doctor said not to eat them so I don’t.” So much for thinking for yourself.
Anyway, I got my blood work results and was pleasantly surprised by the doctor’s remarks. I wasn’t worried about my results, but many doctors (my husband’s included) would’ve simply looked at the overall cholesterol, HDL and LDL numbers and decided I needed to be on a statin – but I’m happy to say my doctor did not. (Even if she did – I wouldn’t do it.)
Here are the numbers and what most doctors would consider:
My total cholesterol was 259 (they like it to be 200 or under);
HDL was 131 (which is extremely high – and that’s a good thing and is linked with a lower risk of heart disease.) They like to see this level at 50 or higher.
LDL was 119 (which is slightly high and would send most doctors to the prescription pad) They like this to be at 100 or lower.
My doctor also tested VLDL which stands for Very Low Density Lipoprotein. VLDL contains the highest amount of triglycerides and is associated with the development of plaque deposits on artery walls. This certainly can be a cause for concern if it is high. The range here is from 7-32. Mine was 9.
Triglycerides are a type of fat the body uses to store energy and give energy to muscles. Only small amounts are found in the blood. Having a high triglyceride level along with a high LDL cholesterol may increase your chances of having heart disease more than having only a high LDL cholesterol level. The recommendation is for triglycerides to be below 150. Mine were 47.
Her remarks were that “my risk for heart disease was low.”
There are also several formulas you can plug your numbers into to determine your relative risk which I use for clients I work with to improve heart health.
So much for healthy, clean fat causing dangerous cholesterol levels, increasing heart disease risk and making you fat.
I’m sharing this because I think it’s important for you to know I am not telling you things I don’t practice myself. I am a big proponent of evidence based medicine. This is where you actually try the protocol and base your opinion on the evidence. I don’t recommend any product or protocol I am not willing to use myself.
Do you know your cholesterol levels and what they represent in relation to your heart health?
Do you like working through information at your own pace, in your own time? Does your thinking need a tweak to move you toward successfully achieving health goals? A home study course is the perfect thing for you! My MindSweeper Course is just the thing to help you become aware of those self-defeating and limiting beliefs and sweep them away! And I am always available via email if a question arises!
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there are many known ways by which one can reduce their total cholesterol and also triglycerides but it is a little difficult to have HDL above 130. what do you think is the reason for such high level of HDL. CAN YOU PL SHARE THE WAYS TO INCREASE THE HDL. THANKS
It is difficult to give specific ways that will be effective for every person since we are all biochemically unique. Research
says exercise should help raise HDL. Omega 7 (along with Omega 3s) is helpful for some people; one doctor found 8 oz. of
unsweetened cranberry juice daily helped raise HDL levels; and of course a healthy diet that includes lots of organic green veggies; grass-fed
and finished meat; and healthy fats like coconut oil and pasture raised butter. Also keep in mind that the ratios are more important than
just the numbers themselves. I hope that helps.
thanks @amusico for such a pracical advice.
My pleasure – thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.
nn, thank you for sharing this. I wish doctors were better informed on health and nutrition. They carry so much authority.
Thank you Debbie – I do too – when you find one who gets it you really want to stick with them.
Thank you for sharing your blood work results with your readers. It sounds like you found a doctor who is more like minded. I am learning from you what truly is the main culprit of heart disease. Thanks Ann for jumpstarting my healthy eating plan as I’m finishing my first week of the 14 Day Reboot plan. I love it!
Karen thank you for commenting! I am thrilled you are almost halfway through your 14 Day Reboot plan and are enjoying it! If I have a small part in jump-starting your healthy eating – that makes me very happy. And yes, as for the doctor – I interviewed several before I found this one.