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The 411 on Triglycerides, anyone?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

After months of nagging after his almost-heart-attack, my dad finally went to his cardiologist for a check-up. Having been diagnosed with COPD and sleep apnea, and having surgery to fix his deviated septum to fix both problems, I think he was expecting to hear that he was cured.

Not so -- it turns out his triglyceride levels were excessively high (yes, not just high, but EXCESSIVELY high) and he is pre-diabetic. His cardiologist told him to visit a dietitian and go on a short-term low-carb diet to get his triglycerides and blood sugar under control. I didn't even have to nag this time, he set the appointment up himself.

Then, the next evening, he got a foot-long tuna salad sub from Subway...and told me the dietitian said he was allowed to eat it. Hmmm....

What does everyone know about triglycerides? I did some basic research, and it seems like he needs to eat lots of raw veggies, some fresh oily fish like tuna and salmon (though not fish salads that are mostly mayo!), and moderate amounts of whole grains. Is that right?

Don't get me wrong, I love my mom to pieces, but her idea of cooking is adding pesto to a jar of marinara sauce and throwing it on top of pasta (with lots of cheese) for an Italian bake. I want to take some recipes over and teach them both how to cook the right foods for his new dietary needs, but I'm afraid that I'll feed him the wrong foods.

Has anyone here gone through this before? I bought him the American Heart Association cookbook for Father's Day, but he 'lost' it...what kinds of foods does he need to eat?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBRAC219 9/8/2010 8:12PM

    He doesn't have to do away with bread, just use common sense. Whole grains in moderation is fine but yes, dropping all the white stuff is a good first step..sugar, anything made with white flour, white rice and pastas, etc. Just a good healthy diet without the junk like sweets, sugar, and white grains will be a lot of help for both the diabetes and the triglycerides, and it's a good plan to keep down the fats. The type of eating recommended by the AHA and the same type recommended here on SP, an allaround healthy diet. And if he has COPD, hopefully he doesn't smoke. (That's how I got my COPD, those stinkin' cigarettes, and also how many people wind up with it) I hope that your dad is able to get the triglycerides and sugar under control, and a healthy weight makes a big difference in keeping the COPD from advancing more just breathe better without the extra pounds.

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SUZIEGREY 9/8/2010 2:29PM

    Like Amberadams1 I have always believed excess carbs, especially processed carbs, were the main culprits. I hope that you are able to find some recipes that they enjoy. Changing to wholegrain bread and pasta and brown rice should help.

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AMBERADAMS1 9/8/2010 12:41PM

    I don't have any recipe suggestions, but I do know that high triglycerides is mainly caused by excess carb consumption. When you consume more carbs than your body burns off as glucose, they are stored in your fatty tissue as triglycerides. Stored triglycerides are what causes weight gain and high cholesterol. If you can convince him to do away with bread, white potatoes, pasta, and sweets he should see tremendous improvement.

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Before I turn 30...

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

In honor of receiving invitations to our 10-year high school reunion, my two best friends and I are compiling a joint "before we turn 30" list. I'm feeling good about this list; every time I feel like I'm in a rut, I'll have to look at it again, just to remind myself that I've come so far!

Let me know what we're missing! Everyone should join in this debate; life is not a solo activity and I won't know what I'm missing until someone tells me!

30 X 30:
1. Learn a foreign language
2. Take a spontaneous road trip
3. Take a martial arts class
4. Play in the rain
5. Play in the mud
6. Kiss in the rain
7. Ask out a stranger
8. Take a midnight walk on the beach
9. Take a kayak/canoe trip
10. Raft the Snake River
11. Visit at least 3 national parks
12. Hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
13. Ride a horse
14. Hug a tree
15. Swim with the dolphins
16. Climb a mountain
17. Go scuba diving
18. Go sky diving
19. Visit a foreign country
20. Go backpacking
21. Volunteer for something worthwhile
22. Find a career, not a job
23. Learn to tango
24. Get political
25. Be able to say "I did it!" at least once
26. Brag about yourself
27. Take your parents out to dinner
28. Realize that you're a role model
29. Feel real happiness
30. Look in the mirror and loved who you've become

I learned Japanese. I spontaneously drove up to the Dunes for a day (didn't even have my bathing suit, but it was worth it!) I took Tai Kwon Do and Aikido. I play in the rain every time it rains, and in the mud whenever it rains enough. I kissed in the rain, even if he wasn't Mr. Right. I asked out a very casual aquaintance, I maintain that it counts. I kayak almost every weekend in the summer, and even own my own kayak now. I've ridden a horse. I work for an environmental non-profit, of course I've hugged a tree (now I just need to chain myself to one). Does Canada count as a foreign country? I volunteer as a writer for an alternative newspaper, at the humane society, and at the womens shelter. My job is definitely a career! I'm a commissioner for the city council. I've said "I did it!" at least ten times just looking at this list, and I think admitting that IS bragging. I've not only taken my parents out to dinner, I've taken my grandparents out to dinner. And I like the person I'm becoming, even if I'm not all the way there yet.

So that's more than half my list. I'm going to take a two-week vacation next summer to backpack through Yellowstone and Glacier national parks (and hopefully the Tetons too), and I plan to raft down the Snake while I'm there. I plan to start my masters in 2011, and I am already filling out paperwork for the Masters International program through the Peace Corps, so there's another foreign country and more volunteer work (plus personal growth).

The rest can wait...if I make it all the way through this list before I'm 30, then what will I have to look forward to?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LILLYPILLY24 9/15/2010 3:54PM

    What a great list! Looks like a 'I'm not wasting MY life' sort of list to me. The things you can put on your new list when you're 30 are limitless (learn ANOTHER language! :) )

Good for you!

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THE_SILVER_OWL 9/2/2010 10:16PM

    I am so glad to see that you are LIVING YOUR LIFE!



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CAPECODSANDI 9/2/2010 4:53AM

    Tell the ones you love how you feel about it often!!!!

This is great. I have a bucket list of things I will do before I meet my maker. I check them off as soon as I accomplish them! Life is way too short to let it pass you by! Have a fantastic day! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUZIEGREY 9/2/2010 3:23AM

    I love this. There's nothing worse than hearing people of my age and older banging on about all the things they wanted to do, but never got round to because of fear or idleness. I'm pretty sure you'll never reach that stage. Keep on with the list and enjoy life.

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