Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Time for a cholesterol check up

We hear it every day on television and on the radio and we read it on the computer and in magazines, lower your cholesterol. But how many people really know where they are with their levels and how many really know what all the mumbo jumbo means?

If you have not had your cholesterol checked in a year, that is too long. With today's diet of fats and over consumption of carbohydrates, cholesterol is an easy marker to have tested to see whether or not red flags for stroke or heart attack are in your cards.

When you go to the Doctor, request a total cholesterol checkup, this will require fasting the night before, which will give you an accurate test. When you are leaving ask to have a duplicate copy for your records, this will allow you to compare test to test to see the changes for yourself. Your Doctor will most likely have you come back in a week to get your results. Remember, if the levels are high, be ready for the white pad of paper to come out and a statin drug to be written on it. Before you accept it, make sure that you are basically healthy , no major red flags and that you do not at the moment have one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel. At this point inform the Doctor that you would like to have ninety days to work on diet, exercise and proper nutrition, and then come back for a second blood work. Let the Doctor know that if at that time you were not able to do it on your own, you will consider the medication. Make the appointment for the labwork for 90-120 days from that point before you leave.

Take a look at the bloodwork, you want to be able to understand it, remember LDL is the bad cholesterol, remember L for lousy. HDL is the good cholesterol, remember H for happy. Tryglycerides is the free flowing sugar fat cholesterol, the sticky stuff that clog's us up, usually this comes from lack of activity and over consumption of carbohydrates and sugars.

A good level to be comfortable is 200 total cholesterol, and strive to get the HDL as high as possible, 50 and higher is great. It will also show a ratio of good to bad cholesterol, the lower your ratio the lower the risk for cardiovascular disease.

Lets talk diet, higher protein like chicken, fish, turkey, all seafood, and unlimited vegetables, and one or two fresh fruits daily will do the trick. Beware though, cutting out all of those yummy carbs will also shrink your wasteline and make you slimmer and healthier, so be ready for that too.

Exercise, do something, no marathons, just move. Find an activity that you enjoy and do it, three to four times a week, for up to forty five minutes, and do not be afraid to actually break a sweat!

Supplements, I am a big believer in fishoil and flax seed oil. The reason is, most people will not eat enough salmon every week, so this way take the fish oil capsules and use the flax seed oil and this will cover all bases. I am a big beleaver in concentrated lecithin to clean free flowing fat out of the arteries and strengthen the liver, I prefer the Lipotropics, as they are the most concentrated. You might also add red rice yeast, an incredible product that mimics the prescription, but is safe for people with healthy livers and lowers cholesterol significantly.

Last but not least water, water, water....The more the better, just remember when you are losing weight and using supplements to flush fats out of the body, the water is what sweeps it all away. These few things are well worth the time and money, and will in the long run keep you healthy and hopefully off the medications. The more medications we prevent from having to take, the better.The greatest thing to me about doing this is the satisfaction you receive when the next test comes back great, and you are leaner and healthier, and side effect free because you did it without the drugs, and of course the look on your Doctors face, PRICELESS!

We raise our cholesterol and risk for heart disease with our choices and our forks, we can undo it with the same fork, and choices that are a little more realistic.

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