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The Keys to Conquering Cholesterol

Do's and Don'ts for a Healthy Heart


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    I agree that reducing the amount of processed foods we eat is a good idea, but I'm not so sure about the rest of the article.

    I found that when I followed the Atkins diet (for a diet study several years ago), cutting down on carbs really affected my cholesteral and triglycerides - in a good way. Both dropped significantly. At the end of the study, I went back to my normal way of eating, was retested, and both the cholesterol and triglycerides went back up.

    For me - that means watching my carbs, so I stick with oatmeal instead of any other "processed" cereals, only occasionally eat bread of any kind, and avoid most baked goods. For snacks, it's nuts, fruit & veggies, plain yogurt. I use olive oil to cook with and on my salads - no more bottled salad dressings for me. I don't follow Atkins any longer - it's too restrictive for me to sustain. My eating plan is more like South Beach.

    This means I give up the convenience of packaged foods, but in the long run, I'm saving money, and am much healthier by doing my own cooking. I also am less hungry, have more energy, and I don't have the sugar cravings I used to have. - 2/22/2012 2:39:09 PM
  • Like everything else I've read on SP, this is something that each person needs to evaluate in his/her own life. Talk to YOUR doctor about YOUR situation. Follow what seems to work for YOUR health and YOUR lifestyle.

    This kind of information is always changing as research finds something new...or finds that something old was correct in the first place . Doesn't it depend on who does the research and how it's done? Just because I can look it up and read it for myself doesn't mean I'll understand all the implications...and it doesn't mean the research is trustworthy.

    Instead of bending over backward and jumping every time some doctor or researcher says BOO, do what's right for YOU. If you tried one method (like reducing fats, processed foods, etc.) and you find it's not working for you, then try something else. I, for one, will not be moved with every wind that blows. - 2/22/2012 8:12:29 AM
  • This article is not exactly cutting edge. Now that you can read the research yourself all over the internet, you can see that high fat is not the culprit. Sugar raises cholesterol but is not mentioned. Lots of the old standby dogma about fat and cholesterol comes from falsely interpreting past research. Do your own research and you'll find that many dieticians are still preaching what they learned decades ago, when the facts have now been looked at a lot more objectively and the answers are not the same. - 2/22/2012 6:24:38 AM
  • This article shares advise that is contradictory to some of the leading cardiologists in the country. I believe that the work of Dr Caldwell Esselstyn will go much further at preventing and reversing heart disease as well as diabetes. It concerns me that I don't see his work anywhere on sparkpeople. - 2/22/2012 12:23:30 AM
  • There are a lot of interesting varied comments for this article. I am glad that it is acknowledged that we need some fat in our diets, for varied reasons. I have had times that I tried to eat something and it tasted dry and I could not even choke it down, but providing a little fat with it did make a huge difference, making the meal pleasant. My cholesterol came down with my last bloodwork, which I believe to be due to my increase in exercise, but also trying to find the balance of my body's needs for fats, proteins, carbs, water, minerals/vitamins and what I eat. - 11/24/2011 3:51:56 PM
    I have read that Cholesterol Is Your Body’s Most Powerful Defense Against Toxins & Free Radicals - and not really indicative of heart disease - 10/5/2011 4:18:12 PM
  • I am always at my wits end when it seems everyone has an opinion. I personally think that if you eat a healthy diet and select portion sizes to satisfy the hunger pang rather than to fill the stomach completely is far better than cutting out foods completely. - 10/5/2011 10:06:22 AM
  • If you don't eat any cholesterol your levels will be wonderful! If you don't eat fat and sugar you will be healthy and you can eat all that you want. Be PLANT STRONG and live a long and heart disease life. (Since becoming vegan my sugar level is 70 and my cholesterol is 107.) It is such a simple and delicious way to live. - 10/4/2011 12:14:59 PM
  • Read this article carefully:

    "Dietary cholesterol (the cholesterol you eat) MAY raise blood cholesterol levels." (Emphasis mine)

    "A diet rich in fat encourages weight gain and MAY lead to elevated blood cholesterol levels." (Emphasis mine)

    I'd just like to point out that after 60+ years of science trying desperately to find a link between a high fat diet and heart disease it just isn't so. On the other hand, a diet high in refined grains, sugar, and starchy foods is clearly linked to the big four: diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimers (more and more often being referred to as "Type 3 diabetes).

    I should also point out that the second quote is wrong on another count, one that the author actually points out herself later in the article:

    "Fat adds pleasure to your meal and makes you feel satisfied after the meal."

    Being satisfied after your meal DISCOURAGES WEIGHT GAIN. If you're not always hungry and not experiencing cravings, then you don't overeat. Feel free to check my weight ticker on that one. And check back every week as I continue to lose steadily and painlessly. :) - 10/4/2011 8:38:19 AM
    Cholesterol is made by animals/fish... we make it ourselves.. the bad stuff is what we consume in our diet, from animals/fish... don't eat them and you will find that your bad cholesterol levels will go down considerably. Mine sure did when I went vegetarian then vegan... from the Dr wanting me on medication to levels now that Dr's want people who are at risk for heart disease, (in other words, better levels than average)... veganism is really an awesome way to eat, live and sustain our planet. Great info in the article. Oh and chia seed has more Omega's than fresh wild caught atlantic salmon, so you don't need to eat fish (which is so toxic these days that health Canada won't suggest more than one serving per week) anymore... peace - 10/4/2011 6:45:04 AM
  • In addition, Please get a VAP test. Google it and become informed. It will give you more info on YOUR particular type of cholesterol such as small sticky particles or large fluffy ones that float on through your system. The small pattern clogs your arteries and causes strokes and heart attacks. The soft fluffy large particles just go out through your elimination process. I am not describing this very well as I am not in the health care business. So go and do some research. It will put some of you at ease to discover which kind you have. Hope this adds to your knowledge in some way. Or helps one person get off statins,etc. - 9/1/2011 10:02:48 AM
  • This article is totally right on, although there will be some people that won't agree.

    The less processed foods a person eats, and the more whole foods he eats the way God made them, he will be better off in the long run. Too many carbs, including the good carbs, will raise trigs just as much as sugar will unless one is a runner or a weight lifter to burn off those extra calories which will definitely clog your arteries because it is stored as fat; not to mention overloading the liver.

    More fruits, veggies, lots of water, and eating good fats as oppose to transfats, and lean meats.

    My hubby & I just don't eat red meat any more but maybe one a year if that much. Rahter we eat salmon, tilapia, shrimp, chicken & turkey; some pork but not much.

    And we also do Chobani yogurt and skim milk as well. - 9/1/2011 9:51:00 AM
  • I disagree with MAY475 about processed foods. My spouse regularly undergoes scans since her diagnosis for thyroid cancer. She has to follow a low-iodine diet for at least two weeks before they test her.

    NO processed foods, especially canned ones (sterilizing the cans often involves an iodine wash), are permitted. NO dairy, because - surprise! It has iodine. No seafood, no sea salt, no soy (found in many processed foods), and only 3 ounces of meat MAX per day... same reason. Oh, and certain red dyes used in processed food also have iodine. - 9/1/2011 9:03:33 AM
  • so much bad information in this article.. the first two that I found were limiting cholesterol in your diet. All the studies say this is not true; if the body does not get enough cholesterol from diet it will make its own. Secondly why should one avoid fat in diet? Only certain fat needs to be avoided.. that is trans fat. - 9/1/2011 5:00:51 AM
  • Please clarify since I am no medical expert what is CoQ10? Thanks - 6/28/2011 5:53:15 AM

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