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Old 12-04-2005, 10:47 AM   #1
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Need help lowering Cholesterol

My husband was recently told that he needed to eat healthier because he has very high cholesterol. Are there any tips you guys can give to help us out? I've been trying to get him to eat more fish but then I have to fix two meals because I hate fish. I also got him to eat some veggie meat because he loves his beef and pork.

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Old 12-04-2005, 05:12 PM   #2
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Oatmeal for breakfast or at least once a day, and lots of garlic!
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Old 12-04-2005, 07:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin
My husband was recently told that he needed to eat healthier because he has very high cholesterol. Are there any tips you guys can give to help us out? I've been trying to get him to eat more fish but then I have to fix two meals because I hate fish. I also got him to eat some veggie meat because he loves his beef and pork.
I lowered my bad cholesteral and increased my good cholesteral, and vastly improved my ratios (doctor said "awesome ratios!") by getting rid of sugars and refined starches in my life. Kept the beef and pork (and the good fats in oils, and fibers in nuts and flaxseed, and the "good" carbohydrates and fibers in non-starchy vegetables, lots of them, and deeply colored fruits and berries. Got rid of trans (hydrogenated) fats, VERY important.

Too bad you hate fish, though! I love a really good piece of fish, and can highly recommend halibut and basa fillets for their flavor, and fresh salmon when you can get it.

It's not total cholesteral that matters so much, but the Ratios and the Triglycerides. These numbers are available from the test results. Triglycerides are most often affected (increased) by a high carbohydrate intake. And here's a depressing thought, but not only is 80% of a body's cholesterals produced by the body, but if you reduce dietary cholesterals too much, the body tries to make more, they're essential for the production of hormones, and fats are needed for brain tissue and function.

You might consider that as a viable approach for your household.

from: http://heart.healthcentersonline.com...bloodtest4.cfm
  • Triglyceride levels. Normal levels are 40 to 160 mg/dL for men and 35 to 135 mg/dL for women. Values tend to increase with age. Levels over 150 mg/dl are considered borderline-high, and levels greater than 199 mg/dl are considered high.

  • Lipoprotein/cholesterol fractionation. The recommended HDL level is 40 or greater, while the LDL level should optimally be less than 100 (with levels of 160 or greater considered high). The American College of Cardiology recommends that women maintain an HDL cholesterol level of at least 45. HDL levels above 60 mg/dL are considered helpful to heart-health because HDL carries excess cholesterol out of the body. LDL levels over 190 mg/dL may signal an increased risk of coronary artery disease and are of significant concern.

  • Cholesterol ratio. According to the American Heart Association, the level of total cholesterol should not be more than five times the level of HDLs (a ratio of 5:1).
Hope this helps some.
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Old 12-04-2005, 08:05 PM   #4
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Exclamation Robin stop reading this... ok... finish the reply, then stop:)

I am in exactly the same situation... well actually not exactly. I just had a heart operation to put me in the right path, so your other half is right before me actually. Being that I'm 38... and told I've had several heart attacks.. and told one was in my 20s.... well what can I say... I take things day by day. Right now I am still in recovery from the operation.

After the operation, the hospital told me everything about what to do. Exactly what to eat, how much I should excercise, every little step of my recover to make me a better and more healthy me. And if you believe this, please send me a check for $10,000 at the address I'll send you later. Oy... Robin, they just kinda tost me out the door. My discharge paperwork says, "Cardiac Diet". Oh... that's very descriptive... I should know exactly what to do with that one... well, I am sure you realize by now, it is VERY HARD TO FIGURE OUT. Very confusing.

Well since I have just started on my quest, I really should not give you real specifics of what he should do yet, cause I am learning myself (dont want to put you in a wrong path), you got an answer here already and I am sure folks who know more then me will give more.

What I am going to say is to go out and get this book! It is such an incredible book and my cardiologist was thrilled when he saw me reading it. It is called "Don't eat your heart out" and here is a link to Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/156...books&v=glance

There are 2 editions out as well, so be sure you get the latest one. The writter had bypass when he was 32 years old and explains things very clearly about what is going on, why it happened and what you can do about it.

But my learning is going well at any rate. I am learning about the mediterranean diet and how it is good for cardiac health. Oh and about the fish... I have the same problem cause my wife hates fish. Don't know what to say except that he really needs fish. Everything I have seen so far says the same thing. He REALLY needs fish. The fish oils lowers bad cholesterol and from what I have read so far, big time. If he hated fish he could swallow fish oil capsuls, but since he seems to like fish, I think I would recommend you to swallow the capsuls and make sure he eats fish. Just seems like too much of a good thing to pass up when you start reading everything and take all the positives that fish offers really. My wife and I had been making two meals at times (I just can't eat the same things she does not want to give up anymore... like hotdogs... like processed food). We are not comming up with too many different ways to do it actually.

I mean... my cardiologist sat me in his office and basically said... I have a very simple choice. Either my diet and life style has to change or I can get ready and prepair my affairs to die. It was clear that before my operation my body was prepairing for another heart attack and with the heart pumping at 22% it was not looking that I was going to make it. So that is the choice I have really.... yeah... not much of a choice huh

Oh and Imw80... Oatmeal is not bad... but I find it rather tastless. I do like it if I put in something like rasins or other fruit... peaches for example. But you know what I like... Malt O Meal. Grits are not bad either... I like it better then oatmeal at any rate.
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Old 12-04-2005, 08:46 PM   #5
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Dr told DH to try niacin along with an aspirin to combat the flushing that niacin can cause. Unfortunately, he was not able to tolerate it and had to go on one the statin drugs.
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Old 12-04-2005, 11:40 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I will pass all this along to hubby. Thanks for the book suggestion. We really do not know a whole lot about his condition so we've been doing searches online to find out exactly what is up.

I find it interesting that you had a heart attack several times and didn't know it? I wonder if that has happened with me and hubby. Every now and again we get a pinching pain in our chest but it goes away quickly.
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Old 12-05-2005, 07:46 AM   #7
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If Hubby absolutely, positively has to have

Beef or pork, find the lowest fat content you can, and broil it. Unsaturated fats are big culprits for bad cholesterol, and animal fat has loads of it. But if you take an already lean piece of meat, and not allow it to "stew in its own juices", it will cut way down on the cholesterol. Grilling fish, chicken, beef, and pork will help a lot.
Obviously, don't give him a pound of steak, but an (occasional) small (4 oz) won't hurt, and can be used as a reward for eating the right things. ("I've been eating tossed salad for two weeks. Give me a steak. Now.")
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Old 12-05-2005, 08:50 AM   #8
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Red face Yeah I know...

[quote=Robin]Thanks everyone for the replies. I will pass all this along to hubby. Thanks for the book suggestion. We really do not know a whole lot about his condition so we've been doing searches online to find out exactly what is up.

I find it interesting that you had a heart attack several times and didn't know it? I wonder if that has happened with me and hubby. Every now and again we get a pinching pain in our chest but it goes away quickly.[/quote ]

Should have saw the expression my wife and myself gave them. We were like... huh... a heart attack... SEVERAL HEART ATTACKS! I'm JUST 38 HERE?!?!? Aren't know you supposed to know when they hit? She had explained to us that many times it might seem like indigestion or heart burn. You get a little pain but it goes away so you dismith it.

Yeah that book will help you a lot. If you are concerned wtih your heart you can ask your doctor for something called a stress test. You dont even have to do anything. I just lied there and they gave me a shot that put stress on my heart for a certain time frame while they monitored it. Was a piece of cake. I have had EKGs in the past, but nothing showed a concern. This is how it was explained to me.... make any sense to anyone.... my EKG did not show anything out of the ordinary till the coroanary desease was significant. It created a different timing that got someone's attention. From what they tell me my heart was always weak. I just did not know about it. What I think is that there was a lot of small signs to tell a doctor there was a problem. A lot of small signs that unless you knew enough to add up all the signs did not amount to much (this make sense?).

So if you or your DH have had signs, I suggest you follow up on them really. Heart disease is a silent disease. The more you read the more you find that many people who recover or made it through heart disease did so because of another problem. Like me. I found out about my heart disease, but not from heart disease at all.. as a matter a fact I was told that it was about to kill me. I found out about it through a tumor that is on my pituitary gland. I was abot to get it removed and the doctors discovered all this about my heart. They stoped the tumor operation and gave me a heart operation instead. So I can literally thank G-D I had a tumor... and I'll thank him more when he helps me get rid of it on the 15th... (can't wait).

About red meat..... grahamkerr is right. Less is better here. This is going to take an adjustment but open your hand, palm facing you. The area of your palm, just before you thumb and fingers start is the portion you want. That is the meat portion that should be on the plate (and it don't look like much when you sit there looking at it on the plate). Surronded by rice, potatoe, pasta or vegies. I have been doing things like... start with a salad... a big one:) Then start eating the "main" meal. Or a healthy soup. You are basically changing the focus of your meal from the standard "Meat" focused American meal to a Complex Charbohydrate focused meal. "Don't eat your heart out" suggests to not do everything at once. Your resent it and go back to eating the way you ate before. Start slowly. If you are eating beef 5 days a week drop it to 2 that kinda thing. Do you guys like Etnic food? Many etnic food focus on the foods we should be having.

Another thing I have been seeing is the amount of milk I drink has been adding fat to my day (usually drink about 3 to 4 servings in a day). I usually had drank 2%, but switched to 1% a few weeks ago. That brought me down to 2 1/2 G of fat per serving (if I had drank 4 servings that would be 10 G of fat! Just for milk). Now I am drinking 1/2%, which is good! I went from 2 1/2 G of fat to 1 G of fat per serving (or 4 G of fat for the day... I gained 6). In my fat budget I have 40 G of fat I can eat during the day. Now I can eat more, 6 Gs more actually.
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Old 12-05-2005, 06:28 PM   #9
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Michael,

All I have to say is wow! And I do hope your tumor removal goes well!

We work 10 hrs a day 4 days a week so often we forget to take things out of the fridge. It's hard to think beyond putting shoes on at 5 am! We did eat lots of hamburger. Probably 2 packages of 1lb hamburger per week. Fixed in various ways. Plus ordering pizza at least once per week. Hubby always orders all meat I order pepperoni or chicken barbecue.

As for milk we never drink it unless we have cereal which is not often. Our only drinks are coffee in the morning and Pepsi. I'd say we go through 3 liters of Pepsi a day. We take two liters to work and drink more (around 5 cans) at home. I know all that's bad.....but to get through our day we need the caffeine! He tried to switch to decaffeinated but that didn't' last long.

As for the small heart attacks, there is only one instance with me that I worry about. It lasted for about 10-15 minutes and happened about 5 months ago. I was working and suddenly I had a very sharp pain from the back of my neck all the way down to my chest. The best way I could describe it is someone stuck me with a sword starting from my neck to my heart. I couldn't move my left arm which really worried me. It only lasted that 10-15 minutes and hasn't done it since. Hubby has heartburn daily, so we would never know. He takes other medication that mess with his stomach.
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Old 12-05-2005, 07:07 PM   #10
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My cholesterol is not so bad, but my triglycerides are little high, because I'm a beer drinker.
I do have to watch what I eat, though, because I try to maintain a holistically healthy appetite to help with my arthritis. Believe me, what I eat really makes a difference in the level of pain.
I avoid beef, pork and processed meats. That doesn't mean I don't eat any, but I limit the amounts. Venison is a great substitute if you have a source for it. It has virtually no fat, and is not injected with all those hormones and antibiotics. Lamb is also good for you, as well as chicken and turkey. Fish is healthy for you in many ways...the good oils it contains not only help lower cholesterol, but help with depression.
I hate oatmeal as a breakfast cereal, but I like it in breads and such. Barley is a great alternative, and is delicious in soups or stews.
I use olive oil in place of butter or margarine in any way I can.
Be conservative about potatoes and carrots, as they are full of sugar. Eat lots of green leafy vegies, raw if possible.

As for the spouses who hate fish...heat up a can of soup for yourself. Your SO needs to eat it.
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