TF and Cholestrol - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 08-06-2009, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, DH's cholestrol jumped 20 points in 2 years. It is not high, 124, but the concern is the jump. In these last 2 years though, we changed our diet to a more traditional one. Before, we ate perfectly healthy, no processed foods or anything like that. But, we were low fat lots of vegs. We now still have a diet mainly of veggies, some grain, and lots of dairy. It is all full fat though. At the time we just did it becasue it was easier than buying seperate things for us and the kids. Turns out after reading info on TF that it could be the right thing, but I am not sure if it accounts for his increase in cholestrol. Now he wants skim milk, low fat cheese, cooking with olive oil instead of butter and coconut oils, no more eggs, etc. He is healthy, and exercises regularly. Thoughts?
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#2 of 24 Old 08-06-2009, 01:26 PM
 
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: because I would like to eat more TF but my dad just had an angioplasty and all the fat scares me.

Heart problems have a long history in my family regardless of diet.

Joy wife to DH, mom to DS1 (4/2005): DD (5/2007) : : DS2 (1/2009 :
I do what works and when it stops working, then I do something else.
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#3 of 24 Old 08-06-2009, 02:07 PM
 
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Heart disease was rare in the US until the introduction of vegetable oils and the reduction of animal fats. There are many, many factors that affect cholesterol levels...medications, heredity, thyroid function, smoking, carbohydrate intake...to name a few.


There is a lot of information on this in Nourishing Traditions...I know several people how have supplemented with Coconut Oil and lowered their cholesterol. My cholesterol is lower now eating butter, full fat dairy, coconut oil, bacon, etc. than it was when I was a vegetarian (and eating lots of skim milk, foods with canola oil, lots of soy, etc). But, cholesterol is just one indicator - and not all sources agree that high cholesterol is a bad thing. Just my 2 cents, but I would say research this one & don't go with the US status quo answers about cholesterol & heart disease. Here are a few articles you might find interesting -

http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyour...ats_phony.html

http://www.westonaprice.org/moderndi...s_cholest.html

http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyour...inny.html#chol

Granted, they are all from the same source (WAPF) but they cite many different studies done by groups all over the world.
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#4 of 24 Old 08-06-2009, 02:13 PM
 
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This was a good thread

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=950983

In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you." Buddha

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#5 of 24 Old 08-06-2009, 03:23 PM
 
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Did they give you the HDL and LDL levels? My total cholesterol went up to 119 from 99 but my triglycerides is 39 and my "bad cholesterol" is quite low with my "good cholesterol" being quite high so it's fine. If they haven't already, you should ask for more information about your lab results. The cutoff for the normal range for total cholesterol has been dropping over the years -- it used to be 220 and then 200 and some docs like to say 180 now. It's just a snapshot of a tiny corner in an otherwise large room (i.e., your body).
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#6 of 24 Old 08-06-2009, 03:51 PM
 
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Does he have anything else "going on" right now? Injury, extra stress, taken up smoking (okay, not likely, but anything new that could be causing some free-radical damage?). Remember that cholesterol is the body's defense against free radical damage, it is used for repair (a good thing), the question is: what is his body repairing right now?

Remember the analogy: Blaming cholesterol for arterial plaque is like blaming the firefighters for the fire.

Also remember that only about 20% of your body's cholesterol level is from food, the other 80% is made by your body (again, to repair damage).

Try to help him keep some perspective! I highly recommend he (and funkymamajoy) read "The Cholesterol Myth" by Uffe Ravnskov.
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#7 of 24 Old 08-06-2009, 03:55 PM
 
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His total cholesterol is 124. That's really bad news. That is horribly low, there are serious health problems associated with cholesterol that low. My husband and I have cholesterol in that range (well, we did a year ago when we tested, I'm hoping we've both normalized somewhat now). I would take the increase as a good sign that his body is working better and I'd keep on doing that. Cholesterol is not bad. It is essential, and being in a mid-range is an indication that things are good with your body.

Really, I'd have him look into what cholesterol does in the body, and at what levels bad outcomes are associated with total cholesterol. Because it's something of a bathtub curve, though actually low cholesterol seems to be more associated with bad outcomes than high.
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#8 of 24 Old 08-06-2009, 04:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TanyaLopez View Post
His total cholesterol is 124. That's really bad news. That is horribly low, there are serious health problems associated with cholesterol that low. My husband and I have cholesterol in that range (well, we did a year ago when we tested, I'm hoping we've both normalized somewhat now). I would take the increase as a good sign that his body is working better and I'd keep on doing that. Cholesterol is not bad. It is essential, and being in a mid-range is an indication that things are good with your body.

Really, I'd have him look into what cholesterol does in the body, and at what levels bad outcomes are associated with total cholesterol. Because it's something of a bathtub curve, though actually low cholesterol seems to be more associated with bad outcomes than high.
Wow, I didn't even notice the number (means very little to me, we don't have any clue what ours is!) But that is low, isn't it! And it was 104? Woah!
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#9 of 24 Old 08-06-2009, 04:54 PM
 
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Acccording to AmericanHeart.org these are the "optimal" ranges. I never really thought about this before but like others have been stating, this rise is prehaps a good thing.


Your Total Blood (or Serum) Cholesterol Level


Less than 200 mg/dL: Desirable
200–239 mg/dL: Borderline-High Risk
240 mg/dL and over: High Risk



Your HDL (Good) Cholesterol Level

With HDL (good) cholesterol, higher levels are better. Low HDL cholesterol (less than 40 mg/dL for men, less than 50 mg/dL for women) puts you at higher risk for heart disease. In the average man, HDL cholesterol levels range from 40 to 50 mg/dL. In the average woman, they range from 50 to 60 mg/dL. An HDL cholesterol of 60 mg/dL or higher gives some protection against heart disease.



Your LDL (Bad) Cholesterol Level


The lower your LDL cholesterol, the lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. In fact, it's a better gauge of risk than total blood cholesterol. In general, LDL levels fall into these categories:

LDL Cholesterol Levels

Less than 100 mg/dL

Optimal
100 to 129 mg/dL
Near Optimal/ Above Optimal
130 to 159 mg/dL
Borderline High
160 to 189 mg/dL
High
190 mg/dL and above
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#10 of 24 Old 08-06-2009, 06:34 PM
 
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But becalive, I don't think those ranges are supported by actual mortality data. They aren't mentioning that low cholesterol and higher mortality go together, and the data that high total cholesterol is not nearly as strong as we assume. And the nuances behind total cholesterol are interesting (small, dense LDL vs fluffy LDL vs other stuff), I'm not as up on those as I could be.

OP, a blog I follow has had some interesting stuff on cholesterol lately, I think some of the July posts, you may find them of interest. He's got links to the original studies he's discussing, and he grabs in the graphs from the studies which is helpful too.

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.co...1_archive.html
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#11 of 24 Old 08-06-2009, 10:35 PM
 
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Tell your husband to keep up the good work, not to stop. Along with what TanyaLopez posted, low cholesterol (below 160) is associated with depression. You don't want that, believe me!

In searching to find information on this for you, I found that most of the sites with this information warn against eating saturated fats to raise cholesterol (right after saying that low cholesterol is dangerous). It's amazing how brainwashed everyone is! Here's a page that discusses the dangers of low cholesterol. And it even has a link to a page discussing how to raise low cholesterol. It has a lot of good information, but same as everyone else, this person discourages us from eating saturated fat.

I didn't find any information about the dangers of low cholesterol on the blog that Tanya linked to, but it has a ton of great information otherwise.

I didn't have time to search it (ds wants to blow bubbles, so I'm hurrying), but I think Chris Masterjohn might have some information on his blog.

Christie ~ proud Mama to : 5/01, and : 3/07; and proud wife to my since 1992. We have 13 and 2 : It's looking more and more like either a farm or a zoo around here.
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#12 of 24 Old 08-06-2009, 10:51 PM
 
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That's what I thought too. That's WAY too low. If that number is the total cholesterol.

Kathy, mother of 3, wife of 1. My new recipe blog: www.kathysrecipebox.wordpress.com (no longer searchable by allergen, but at least it doesn't have a virus!)
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#13 of 24 Old 08-06-2009, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oops, you all can see I am not so up on how the cholestrol works, either. His LDL jumped 20 pts in 2 years, not total. Maes a huge difference I see now.

Thanks for all the responses. I forwarded what you all posted, plus additional sites and he has started to come around. Of course, he did say he needs to watch how many eggs he consumes. Baby steps I guess...

Yummy - they didnt give him any other numbers other than the LDL. They said everything else was great. So, he does not know his total number. Of course, this is kinda weird because he needs every detail about everything else. But, when it comes to his health (and he is a huge skeptic), "ah, everything is fine you say - whoohoo!!"

Caraboos - Thanks! Got the book and it is helping...

Funky - My dad is Diabetic and has a complete blocked carotid artery on one side. I am big time taking notes! He is in a really bad position because he needs to watch all carbs - including veggies - due to his diabetes plus the diet restrictions they want to put him on for his cholesterol is not compatible with life for him. Poor guy. We all work hard to hlpe him and make sure we dont get to that point (I have 2 sis. and a bro.)

green - thanks for the thread - great info

Holiztic - He is the picture of health. We eat completely organic, have not a single chemical in the house, organic cotton/organic fiber/certified chemical.metal free clothes, and...he smokes. The guy has been doing it for forever. He has tried to quit a million times but he has finally done it. But, i just read that smoking can have an effect on cholesterol. So, hopefully the fact that he stopped will help now, too. And, he really is stopping now. The kids are 3 and 4 and he never smokes when he is home with us (instead he pops the lozenges) but he is afraid that the kids will realize he does it and think it is a good idea (FINALLY!), so he has made the call. Oh yeah, and he is kinda high strung. If that is a problem then it will keep going up!!! Great, awesome, fantastic guy, wound kinda tight...

Tahnks for the additonal info beca, christie and tanya. I am on board, I have been researching like crazy, but it is because he needs a mountain of proof. i appreciate the help...

Keep your fingers crossed. I can usually lure him to my side, I just hope it is sooner than later.
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#14 of 24 Old 08-07-2009, 12:35 AM
 
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Oh, well in that case, the info I posted isn't so relevant. Sorry. But the link I gave in the other thread (that greenmom4 gave a link to) would be somewhat relevant.

The other numbers would be very helpful, though. For instance, it would be good for him to see if the HDL also went up. I would encourage him to get all the numbers, from this blood work-up, and from the last. That would help him see the bigger picture. Honestly, it amazes me that drs. and nurses will take it on themselves to decide what information to share with a patient and what information to hold back. Personally, I find it arrogant. Thankfully, our dr. is not that way at all.

Christie ~ proud Mama to : 5/01, and : 3/07; and proud wife to my since 1992. We have 13 and 2 : It's looking more and more like either a farm or a zoo around here.
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#15 of 24 Old 08-07-2009, 01:00 AM
 
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My only comment is that olives are a high-fat fruit, just like the coconut, or say, the almond, and olive oil is a nut oil and perfectly suitable for cooking. It is a traditional oil used for thousands of years by healthy people.

I agree with most everything else that's been written, though, especially about good and bad cholesterol.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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#16 of 24 Old 08-07-2009, 01:15 AM
 
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If your DH is a reader, then another fabulous read is Gary Taubes "Good Calories Bad Calories". He really gets into what cholesterol is, the different types and the various hypotheses around it and what evidence (if any!) there is to support the popular (mainstream) hypotheses. It really puts cholesterol into perspective and presents other not-so-well-known hypotheses for heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome etc that are better supported by the data.

After reading this book, I can read other general nutrition books and pick out the bits that make sense scientifically and the bits that are based on popular but bunk science.
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#17 of 24 Old 08-07-2009, 01:29 AM
 
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just noticed the part about him popping lozenges to decrease smoking.... if he is upping his sweets intake even just w/ the lozenges, couldn't that be affecting his LDL cholesterol too? just a thought....
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#18 of 24 Old 08-07-2009, 02:30 AM
 
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just noticed the part about him popping lozenges to decrease smoking.... if he is upping his sweets intake even just w/ the lozenges, couldn't that be affecting his LDL cholesterol too? just a thought....
And here I thought they were some special "stop smoking" lozenges. I didn't even think of the sugar that would be in just about any lonzenges.

Yes, sugar will raise cholesterol. As will alcohol, even in moderation (not saying he's drinking alcohol, just another thing that will raise cholesterol that most people don't think of).

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#19 of 24 Old 08-07-2009, 10:20 AM
 
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Totally agree with TanyaLopez. What is his total cholesterol? What's his HDL? How about triglycerides?

Just some food for thought - you said you eat grains. My Dad had a triple bypass surgery last fall & his surgeon told him he'd rather see him eat full fat foods than carbs. A lot of doctors are realizing that this saturated fat thing isn't the real culprit. Among other things like trans fats & vegetable oils, carbs are hard on our blood sugar (as well as sugar) which can lead to insulin resistance which leads to heart disease.

Good Calories, Bad Calories is a good book. JMHO, but I think a diet consisting mostly of good meats, veggies & fats with minimal grain intake can really help cholesterol & more importantly, reduce the inflammation that causes undesirable cholesterol.

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#20 of 24 Old 08-07-2009, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oops, I was not clear again. Sorry. The lozenges he uses are nicotine replacement lozenges. So, he gets the nicotine but not the other chemicals and tar, etc associated with tobacco.

I think he is going to call on Monday for the rest of his numbers. Christie, you are right, it is arrogant that they dont give you all YOUR OWN information. Oh, the power...

Metasequoia - we do eat grains. Turns out the noodles we buy are made from sprouted wheat berries (I just realized how important that is), but we do eat them pretty frequently. We used to be on the ZONE diet about 5 years ago and when i go my cholestrol checked they said I had high cholesteriol, but it was because I have very low "bad" and very, very high "good." As I read Nourushing Traditions, I see a lot of commonalities between the two, though NT goes farther (and rightly so, I believe).

He is a reader, so I'll try to check out that book for him at the library.

Thanks amillion. You all are so helpful!!!!!!
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#21 of 24 Old 08-13-2009, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Alrighty, Ladies. It worked, sort of. DH is beginning to see the light. I found a great periodical in Barnes and Noble, complete with citations (which he NEEDS) from Lancet and such and he is beginning to see what is going on.

I just finished reading through all of NT and Real Foods and I am totally psyched. I had DH read a bit, but I wanted him to read the REAL FOODS rahter than the Fallon book, because she can come across as kinda whacky (please dont take offense) if you are not yeat ready to read or accept the info she dispenses. But, he read it and "kinda, sorta" agrees.

Whew.

I read through the recipes and I am excited. It will be quite the transition in our house, from veg to TF, and I dont think we'll be having nearly as much meat as is called for, but we have always used butter liberally, eggs and dairy. I will begin soaking grains properly (actually, I just made my first batch of breakfast cookies with soaked oats and they are very yummy), and I think I'll try my hand at keifer one of these days. Thanks again!
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#22 of 24 Old 08-13-2009, 09:43 AM
 
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Alrighty, Ladies. It worked, sort of. DH is beginning to see the light. I found a great periodical in Barnes and Noble, complete with citations (which he NEEDS) from Lancet and such and he is beginning to see what is going on.

I just finished reading through all of NT and Real Foods and I am totally psyched. I had DH read a bit, but I wanted him to read the REAL FOODS rahter than the Fallon book, because she can come across as kinda whacky (please dont take offense) if you are not yeat ready to read or accept the info she dispenses. But, he read it and "kinda, sorta" agrees.

Whew.

I read through the recipes and I am excited. It will be quite the transition in our house, from veg to TF, and I dont think we'll be having nearly as much meat as is called for, but we have always used butter liberally, eggs and dairy. I will begin soaking grains properly (actually, I just made my first batch of breakfast cookies with soaked oats and they are very yummy), and I think I'll try my hand at keifer one of these days. Thanks again!
I totally agree with your comment on Sally Fallon. She writes like she's pushing really hard to get her view across, as if she needs to be all blow horn and no evidence. The evidence properly presented speaks for itself, IMO. And there's something sort of infomercial about her style. I much prefer other TF writers, but for alot of folks Sally Fallon is the gateway, if you will.

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#23 of 24 Old 08-13-2009, 10:46 AM
 
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because she can come across as kinda whacky

No joke!

It will be quite the transition in our house, from veg to TF, and I dont think we'll be having nearly as much meat as is called for,
The very basics of Price's work are lots of minerals and insanely high amounts of fat soluble vitamins. It requires animal products, yes, but not meat. Some of Price's groups ate lots of meat and some ate very little. I love the flexibility of Price's conclusions.
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#24 of 24 Old 08-13-2009, 12:09 PM
 
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The very basics of Price's work are lots of minerals and insanely high amounts of fat soluble vitamins. It requires animal products, yes, but not meat. Some of Price's groups ate lots of meat and some ate very little. I love the flexibility of Price's conclusions.
But the ones that ate very little meat ate TONS of raw, grass-fed dairy. Like all day long (lots of it fermented).

It's the grain/veg heavy societies that were noticeably less healthy than the meat/dairy/seafood ones (but still way better than the people eating a western diet, of course).
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