What are LDL and triglycerides?LDL or low-density lipoprotein, is the “less desirable” type of cholesterol in your body, (that is how I remember which is which.) LDL causes plaque build up in arteries, which causes blood to be restricted and can result in heart attacks, heart disease and strokes. I already have a family history of heart disease and my father has survived several heart attacks – so this is cause for concern for me.
Ideal LDL numbers – if NO OTHER health risks exist
Less than 100 mg/dL — Optimal
100-129 mg/dL — Near optimal
130-159 mg/dL — Borderline high
My LDL number was 171.However, my HDL or high-density lipoprotein level, which is the “highly desirable” type of cholesterol was 65 mg/dL. Anything greater than 39 mg/dL is considered good. Doctors believe the HDL proteins carry away the LDL proteins to the liver, where it is broken down and exits the body. Triglycerides are the most common type of fat in the body; they store excess energy from your diet. A high triglyceride level combined with low HDL cholesterol or high LDL cholesterol is linked with fatty buildups in artery walls; therefore, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
My husband’s Triglyceride level was 282 mg/dL, whereas, 150 should be highest.
HDL level 35 mg/dL, whereas 39 mg/dL should be the lowest
LDL level 146 mg/dl, wheras 100 mg/dL is optimal
Reasons for elevated numbersI believe my numbers were elevated because I have not been taking a daily dose of Meta Mucil. Before we moved into our new house, I was walking five-days each week, water bottle in hand – which contained a dose of Meta Mucil.
FIBER EVERYDAY VIDEORich in fiber, which reduces LDL numbers, it also helped me feel less hungry, maintained good blood sugar levels and promoted digestive health. Going from almost daily – to nothing HAD TO affect my numbers. Therefore, I have returned to taking a daily dose. I only take a tablespoon daily, with 8-10 oz. of water. The orange flavor is pretty tasty. Another reason for our elevated numbers; we have over-indulged in our consumption of pasta recently. Not trying to use as an excuse; but it has been on sale, frequently, at my local grocer; so, I have been stocking up. Not to mention, it is probably our favorite meal – anything with pasta. Therefore, we are changing our meal plan, to only include pasta once, every two weeks. There is no way we would make it, eliminating it completely. I think reducing the frequency, will affect our numbers.
Foods to reduce LDLObviously, these few changes will not completely resolve any issues; therefore, we need to incorporate LDL reducing foods into our diet.
OatmealThis will be an easy first step to improving our cholesterol numbers. Having a bowl of oatmeal, at least 2-3 times per week, will give us 1 – 2 grams of soluble fiber. Current nutrition guidelines recommend getting 20 – 35 grams of fiber per day, with at lease 5 – 10 grams coming from soluble filter.
BeansNot one of my husband’s favorite foods, but I love beans, which are rich in soluble fiber. They can also make you feel fuller longer. There are many varieties to choose from – navy, kidney, pinto and Lima.
A 1/2-cup serving of cooked kidney beans provides 7.9 grams of dietary fiber
NutsMy doctor told me eating almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are good for the heart. Eating 1 ounce of nuts each day can slightly lower LDL numbers.
Roughly, an ounce of nuts is the equivalent to a small handful.
Almonds = 3.5 grams of fiber = 1 oz.
Pistachios = 2.9 grams of fiber = 1 oz.
Walnuts = 1.9 grams of fiber = 1 oz.
FruitAll fruit, especially citrus fruits are a valuable source of cholesterol lowering soluble fibers. Apples, grapes, bananas and strawberries are great choices too. My Breakfast Smoothie 4-5 frozen strawberries 1/2 of a banana (or whole) 1 scoop of your favorite protein shake mix or whey protein (I like chocolate flavors) pinch of chia seeds 12 oz. of Lactaid 2% milk (or your favorite milk product) Place all ingredients in a blender or Vitamix. Thoroughly mix until smooth and enjoy.
SalmonReplacing meat with fish is going to be a major meal planning change for us. Salmon is loaded in Omega-3’s which reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream and also protect the heart by helping prevent the onset of abnormal heart rhythms. Traditionally, wild-caught Pacific salmon is the most desirable, however, it is very expensive and is ideal when purchased “in-season.” Farmed raised Atlantic salmon is a great alternative. Buy thick, center-cut fillets, which can be poached, steamed, pan-seared, roasted or grilled. Cut from the head end or center, these fillets are the prime cut of the fish. Stay away from thin fillets you see at the market. These are cut from the tail end and cook so fast, it is impossible to get a nice sear before the fish is overcooked. Some recipes call for salmon “skin-on.” For recipes that call for “skinless,” you can easily remove it yourself; however, the skin is completely edible, it is just what you prefer. Bone-in steaks are great for pan-searing, grilling or roasting. Be aware if buying pre-packaged, frozen salmon as you may not be able to judge the thickness of the fillets.
- 4-5 frozen strawberries
- 1/2 of a banana, or whole
- 1 scoop of your favorite protein shake mix or whey protein, I like chocolate flavors
- pinch of chia seeds
- 12 oz. of Lactaid 2% milk, or your favorite milk product
- Place all ingredients in a blender or Vitamix.
- Mix thoroughly.