High Cholesterol!?!


So, I’ve been absent a bit from my regular posting. Last week I had a migraine that lasted three days and eventually turned into a sinus infection. I went to the doctor to see what the heck was going on and he said it had been over a year since I had blood-work done so they took a few vials. When I was finished the lady said, “We’ll only call you if the results are abnormal.”

The next day I get out of a meeting to find this message on my voice-mail, “Hi, this is the doctor’s office. I’m calling in reference to your blood-work. Please call us back right away.” WHAT!?! Holy hell. So, I call back and of course … have to leave a message. After leaving FOUR messages and hearing nothing in return it is now closing time. I figured since they didn’t call me back right away a) it must not be all that serious and b) they sure as hell will understand when I find myself a new doctor here shortly.

Anyway, long story short I finally reached them the following morning and found out I had high cholesterol. High cholesterol … what the heck? I’m only 30, I am 5’2″, and I only weigh 120 lbs. CRAZY. For those that don’t know what high cholesterol is or what happens to a person with high cholesterol let me enlighten you …

The term ‘high cholesterol’ is a bit misleading, because there are two types of cholesterol. If you have been told you have high cholesterol, it usually means you have more of the bad type and less of the good type, which may put you at higher risk of having a heart attack or a stroke.

Some people seem to be able to eat lots of fatty food without having abnormal levels but other people have to be very careful about what they eat. This difference may be caused by differences in their genes. Differences in genes may affect how much cholesterol your body makes and how it handles the fat in the food you eat.

WebMD has a great website about high cholesterol including the types,  symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment. In my case, it is mostly genetic. I eat healthy and already exercise weekly. Though, to be honest, I could ramp it up a bit. Now that I know it is something I should watch out for I’m taking steps to be more careful with my diet and exercise.

The primary foods to eat if you have high cholesterol are high fiber foods. High fiber foods are going to be found in all types of fruits and vegetables and also in the whole grains. Depending on what type of cholesterol that you have that’s elevated for example, if you have elevated LDL cholesterol, besides eating a lot of these high fiber foods, you also want to make sure that you are limiting your choices of saturated and trans fat (hose are the types of fats that are primarily responsible for increasing LDL cholesterol).

Another item that can increase LDL cholesterol is alcohol. So if you like to drink beer (like myself), wine or mixed drinks you want to make sure if you are a man, that you don’t have any more then two per day and if you are a woman that you don’t have more then one per day. Which is the saddest part of this whole damned thing. For the next three months until my next round of blood-work I’m limiting my alcohol. Now, don’t get me wrong here … it’s not that I was binging or anything … I hardly had more than 3 drinks a week. However, I’m trying to have little to none so I can have a glowing report next time.

If you have elevated triglycerides the foods that you want to include are going to be in addition to high fiber foods, healthy fat foods. So that would be things like seafood (any type of seafood whether it’s fin fish or shell fish), also things like avocados, olives, olive oil, canola oil, seeds, nut butter. Even though these foods have a lot of fat in them, they have a lot of the mono unsaturated fats and some of these items have those omega three fats that are very beneficial for low rank triglycerides.

So depending on the type of fat in your blood that is high, you want to make sure that you are including a lot of fiber and or a lot of these healthy fats and try to avoid excessive saturated fats, trans fats and excessive amounts of alcohol. It’s not that hard to watch what you eat really and I already do that so there really isn’t a whole lot I can adjust. My sister recently sent me the Eat This, Not That book which I LOVE so I’ve gone over it once again and made my grocery list accordingly.

Ultimately I’m young enough that it’s not the end of the world … I don’t have to be put on any medications … and I can basically go about life as normal with just a few minor adjustments. But it sure was scary. I really didn’t know what to think when I first was told the news other than: DAMMIT, I eat so well and have denied myself all this good food for nothing! But I can only imagine how much worse it would be right now if I hadn’t taken care of myself as much as I do currently.

Anyway, that is all for now. Sorry for the depressing lesson on high cholesterol folks. In other news I leave to visit my sister in Los Angeles in three weeks. WOO HOO!