Me and my HDL...A 40 day challenge

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Well I have finally got the cholesterol thing straight in my head. Triglycerides high-bad, LDL- high bad, HDL- low bad. The past couple of years my triglycerides have been the issue going from high to higher, to dangerously high. This year, those dudes are under control. My HDL on the other hand, isn't. I was reading last nite about HDL and raising the numbers.

Turns out the number is really significant on HDL. This is the thing that cleans cholesterol out of the arteries, protecting against plaque build-up and blockage. On the lab reports, normal is shown between 40-60 however the Mayo Clinic site says women normally have a higher number here and should be at 50+, higher is better with this number. I'm at 38.

The recommendations for raising HDL are the heart healthy things we all know;
don't smoke, maintain a healthy weight-even the loss of a few pounds helps a lot, choosing healthier fats-avoid transfats, drink only in moderation-it's a spark friendly health plan.
The one recommendation that hit me in the face-I don't know why, but I'm seeing this everywhere I look- is exercise more. More physical activity-Mayo Clinic recommends 30 min 5x a week-and it doesn't have to be hard exercise, just get the heart rate up and sustain it for at least 30 min. This makes the scouring action of HDL most effective. Niacin is also recommended as it has been shown to increase HDL by 30%. It's on my shopping list today.
The bottom line was watch the fat and the salt and maintain a healthy weight.

My doctor gave me a 40 day challenge; raise the HDL-she didn't say how much-just raise it- or go back on cholesterol meds. The meds aren't terrible, I would just prefer not to take them. So here is my plan;

Exercise- 40 min a day minimum of cardio; strength training every other day
Food-I eat really well. I do eat animal protein at almost every lunch and dinner, my goal here is vegetarian 4 lunches and 3 dinners a week. And I am committing to 5 days a week at the low end of my cal and fat range.
I also tend to be loose in my food planning, pretty much seat of my pants stuff. I am going to make a weekly meal plan for the next 40 days, something new and I'll see where it gets me.
Weight-I'm going for my 2lbs a month here. 149 by September 1.

That's my plan, it's in writing. All I have to do now is execute!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Good luck with your challenge...I know you can do it! Avoiding meds is great incentive to follow through...
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3776 days ago
    Sounds like some good goals! I know emoticon ! Why is it exercise is on every agenda it seems? I guess we all have our problem areas! My HDL was 51 this time! My scores have got better with the amount of exercise I do! Swimming does burn some energy so I think this is what has helped me! I guess the 30 minutea a day thing is what they all want! We can do it! emoticon emoticon
    3778 days ago
    I agree about it being hard to remember which you want to have high and which low. i get them confused all the time. I finally decided that the H in HDL stands for High and the L in LDL stands for L and that's where I want the numbers.

    Diet and exercise really can do it. My doc took my off my triglycerides meds 3 months ago. She's never had me on cholesterol meds, but is hoping my HDL keeps going up.
    3780 days ago
    Having a Plan is over half the Battle! It will be easy to track those Goals on here, Plus you have a whole Herd of Turtles walking with you through the Battle.
    No way you can lose! You and the Dr. will have a lot to celebrate in 40 Days!

    emoticon emoticon Turtle Party in 40 Days
    (August 29th?)
    3780 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/21/2010 3:35:07 PM
    Thank you for writing this blog!

    I've been struggling so much with the whole spark thing lately and I totally forgot that my next appointment to check my cholesterol is in early September. If I don't get the numbers better on my own (by diet and exercise), my doctor will once again push meds, which I really don't want to take.

    I had a plan, very similar to yours, and you just reminded me to get back on board. emoticon emoticon emoticon

    I'm going to join you .... we can do this!!!!
    3780 days ago
  • CLYN204
    Best wishes. I know you can attain your goal.
    Thank you for guidelines that can help me. I too need to raise the HDL and not take medications. I have work hard on the exercise, using Colestoff and omega 3 to help lower my numbers. I read about niacin, perhaps now I will try it.
    Again, good luck to you and thanks. emoticon
    3780 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6484093
    Good luck with your goals -- I'm confident you'll be able to achieve them.
    3780 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5080021
    Be sure you get the Niacin that doesn't make you flush. I think that's what they call it. Some of them will make you turn bright red, kind of like a hot flash. I saw my husbands ears turn bright red when he tried it.

    My HDL's were always over 50, but after they took me off of the hormones it started dropping. I haven't had blood work in a couple of years, and I really need to do that.

    I thought since my liver enzymes need to be checked again sometime next month, I might go to my family Dr. instead of the gastric Dr. and let him do the whole work up. Diabetes runs bad in my family, and that hasn't been checked in awhile either. I just don't know about taking cholesterol meds with my liver having a tendency to getting out of whack.

    Keep up the good work.
    3780 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/21/2010 12:11:47 PM
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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