Happy Halloween! Today I'd like to discuss something that used to really scare me -- my cholesterol levels.
When I first got married almost 16 ago, my overall cholesterol level was 170. I was slim. I was fit. I would soon find out that I was going to be a mom. And once I started having kids, my cholesterol went bonkers.
I remember one result from the hey-day of having kids (nursing a baby too). My overall cholesterol number was 243. Yikes! My HDL was good, and since I was nursing (which can raise blood cholesterol levels), I was told not to worry about it. But I did anyway.
Back then I was practicing low-fat dogma. And I couldn't imagine where I would possibly cut more dietary cholesterol or reduce more fat.
Even after I no longer had a babe in arms, my cholesterol levels stayed elevated. Here are the numbers that I have recorded:
10/2/06 Total cholesterol: 227 / HDL: 62 / ratio: 3.7
11/2/06 Total cholesterol: 228 / HDL: 56 / ratio: 4.0
9/5/07 Total cholesterol: 255* / HDL: 66 / ratio: 3.9
*Note: I was so excited to have this cholesterol test done. I'd joined Weight Watchers and had lost 40 pounds. I was just sure that my cholesterol levels would have dropped. Wrong. They went UP by 27 points. Urgh!
2/2008 Total cholesterol: 187 / HDL: 59 / ratio: 3.2
February 2008 marked the first time that my cholesterol levels were normal since I'd had children. The catalyst? Fish oil tablet. Three a day.
Which brings me to the results of the cholesterol test I took this week.
10/29/08 Total cholesterol: 195 / HDL: 84 / ratio: 2.3
Get a load of that HDL level. An 84! I am estatic!
The funny things is, on the back of the sheet with my results they offered some ideas for lowering cholesterol thru diet. They recommended limiting . . . butter, eggs, cheese, high-fat meats, whole or 2% milk. What a crock! Those are exactly the things that I was doing when my levels were elevated. Not until I added more oil to my diet in the form of fish oil tablets did I see my cholesterol levels drop.
And I'm attributing the tremendous amount of HDL I saw in this week's test to the low-carb eating lifestyle I've been practicing since the end of August. It's not even from weight lifting or exercise, as all I've been doing lately is moderate walking. And, get this, I have 1/3 cup of half and half over frozen raspberries at least five times a week. Half and half!
I think even my husband is coming around to the misguided mindset of low-fat eating. I'm excited to see what a full year of low-carb eating will do for next year's health screening tests. Just imagine what the scale might read?!
Daily Menu -- October 30, 2008
2 eggs fried in 1 tsp. bacon fat
12 pistacios (1)
small apple (14)
3 homemade baby dills (4)
salad with 3 oz. turkey, 2 slices bacon, 1 oz. grated cheddar cheese & ranch dressing (7)
2 c. of homemade chicken vegetable soup (9)
12 pistacios (1)
Halloween gummi candy, 1 - 2 oz. (30)
1/4 c / 38 almonds, (2)
1 c. frozen raspberries (6)
1/3. c. half and half (4)
packet of Splenda
5 oz. petite sirloin steak
1 Tbsp. A-1 steak sauce (3)
1 c. green beans (6)
Total Net Carbs: 87
Quote of the Day:
"If you risk nothing, then you risk everything." -- Geena Davis