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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

[QUOTE=Kaycee41]Hope some of you "veterans" of the cholesterol war can help me. My husband just got his cholesterol test back and it was 244. Mine was 217. So now we're both trying to lower our cholesterol with diet and excercise. I'm confused about what foods are okay and which to avoid after reading the nutrition labels on packaged foods. For instance, tuna packed in spring water (I thought this was a good, healthy choice) listed total cholesterol at 30mg. But Skippy Honey Nut peanut butter (which has partially hydrogenated veg oil and corn syrup) lists 0 mg Cholesterol. Foods that I think are a no-no have 0 mg Choles. , while foods that I think would be okay have higher chol. What's the story?[/QUOTE]


There are still plenty of debates going on about whether the cholesterol in foods directly can correlate to elevated cholesterol in us. To be quite honest, what worked for me (taking my cholesterol from 269 down to at one point 96 total) was a reduction in a)the amount of calories I was taking in b)reduction in total fat, with emphasis on minimizing saturated fat and increasing monounsaturated fats, c) controlled the carb intake and focused more on carbs from vegetables. Some people have great success with Atkins, or South Beach, but for me, low fat has been most beneficial--each of us probably requires a different diet that is most beneficial to the lipid profile.

One of my favorite sources of protein is the tuna you mentioned above. On days when I am not getting enough protein, I will open up a pack of tuna and eat it. I avoid the peanut butter because of the high caloric load. Nowadays, I pay the most attention to two things only, whether its reasonable for me calorie-wise and if its high fat, I eat less of it.

For me, exercise helped the most in three areas 1. raising HDL-C, the good cholesterol. 2. Lowering triglycerides 3. Lowering weight. Because of the weight loss, though, there was a further impact in lowering blood pressure (no more hypertension), reversing diabetes (no more meds, nor any detectable glucose tolerance issues), lowering LDL-C but most likely only slightly. The whole picture (diet, exercise, weight loss) benefits the lipid profile, in my experience, and neglecting one area will not give you the benefits gained by working all areas.

In regard to turkey vs. ham. For me, everything in moderation is fine. I no longer worry to much about food A which may have 6 g fat, 4 g saturated vs food B which may have 7 g fat, 2 g saturated. In the grand scheme of it all, moderation has been the key. My past scenario would have been go to an all you can eat diner and get the prime rib and crab legs. I would then woof down 4 plates of prime rib (at least 8 oz each), and at least 3 snow crab clusters with drawn butter. Clearly, there was a problem. Now, I aim for 3-6 oz of meat at dinner, where 3 oz would be for chicken and 6 oz when I eat finish. I do, however, avoid trans fats (hydrogenated oils) as much as possible.

I still use an online program called FitDay to track my foods, exercise, weight and caloric intake. That gives me the best idea as to how I am doing intake wise. It also compares it to the RDA, or you can set your own goals/target ranges.

When I kept my total fat intake to under 30 g per day with < 6 g saturated fats, I had total cholesterol levels near 100 mg/dL. My HDL-C was a little too low. I increased the fat intake to 60 g/day with <20 g sat fat and I now have the best total/HDL-C ratios that I have ever had. Fats aren't totally evil, but for some people (e.g. me) the fat intake can have a significant impact on my lipoprotein levels.

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