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  #11  
Old 03-10-2012, 09:13 PM
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The best advice I can give to you is to read Gary Taubes "Good Calories and Bad Calories" - EATING fat itself is not what causes cholesterol. Its what you eat *with* the fat (carbs)

2 excellent articles he's written in the NYT...
Holy CRAP, those were two of the most eye-opening articles I've read in a long time, especially the first one.

Definitely something to think about.

The thing is, it did not really directly address my specific question of, how does this affect me, and do I need to radically change my diet as my doctor insisted.

Clearly, their is much research yet to do in this area. But this has given me a lot to think about. Thank you!
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  #12  
Old 03-10-2012, 09:23 PM
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(NOTE: Can anyone here direct me to a website that explains in relatively plain English the whole cholesterol ratio thing? Just wondering.)[/I]
Yeah, this is a tough one. In a nutshell, the ratio determines your risk for cardiovascular disease. The higher the ratio, the higher the risk. In your case, the ratio is high because your LDL is too low.

WebMD explains it in English for you. Also, WebMD has another article here.

Though I don't recommend Wikipedia to my students, the articles on medicine are pretty reliable.

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A quick digression: when discussing bacon, which as we all know makes everything better, a young doctor that Doc Mike was helping train made a comment along the lines that it would be better if I started eating kosher as my religion teaches. I QUICKLY corrected the young doctor that it is the religion of my ANCESTORS, not me.
I'm glad you corrected him. Hopefully Dr. Mike brought it up again as well. You can't ever make assumptions as to someones religion based on their name or where they live any more, especially in the United States as it becomes increasingly secular. The way Young Doctor put it came across to me as an admonition, "well if you just followed your faith you wouldn't have this problem."

And I don't know that there's any evidence that kosher or halal diets in particular are healthy, though they do include foods that are by nature fairly healthy (for example, the use of olive oil instead of lard for cooking), and unleavened bread (less salt).

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"But Jester, you could DIE." Newsflash, kids: I WILL die. We all WILL die. The number one most deadly disease in the world, with a 100% mortality rate, is life. No one survives it. There is no alternative ending.
BUT! It's more than just how you live. It's how WELL you live. Odds are, with today's medical technology, the heart attack or stroke you are setting yourself up for won't kill you outright.

But they may disable you, and make it difficult or impossible for you to do things you normally enjoy very much.

I'm 46. I've eaten a high sugar, high fat, high meat diet most of my adult life. I'm paying the price now: pre-diabetes (Dad was diabetic), high blood pressure, and edema in my legs, hands, and face that I'm having to take diuretics to control . . . and that hasn't yet gone away.

I'm trying to modify my diet, but it's hard. I've back slid badly the past couple of months.

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Sorry. Stopped listening right there. How the HELL can you balance "First, do no harm..." and "No bacon" in your head Doc Mike?
Well, in defense of Dr. Mike, it was the guy he was training, not Dr. Mike who made that faux pas.
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  #13  
Old 03-10-2012, 09:39 PM
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First, I have to say that doctors are trained in diagnosing and treating diseases and injuries with medical technology and most of them are not trained in nutrition(unless someone can tell me differently by experience). So while he may give you advice on how and what to eat to lower your bad cholesterol, it should not be taken as professional advice. For that, you should see a licensed dietitian.


Second, I know people who are vegan (which means NO Cholesterol in their diets whatsoever), and still have high cholesterol. That means their bodies over-produces it. It's a genetic problem. Not much you can do for that other than medication I suppose (just a guess, I'm not a doctor). In these cases, diet might help a bit, but probably not enough.

  #14  
Old 03-10-2012, 09:54 PM
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First, I have to say that doctors are trained in diagnosing and treating diseases and injuries with medical technology and most of them are not trained in nutrition(unless someone can tell me differently by experience). So while he may give you advice on how and what to eat to lower your bad cholesterol, it should not be taken as professional advice. For that, you should see a licensed dietitian.


Second, I know people who are vegan (which means NO Cholesterol in their diets whatsoever), and still have high cholesterol. That means their bodies over-produces it. It's a genetic problem. Not much you can do for that other than medication I suppose (just a guess, I'm not a doctor). In these cases, diet might help a bit, but probably not enough.
A former roommate of mine went vegan while we were in college.

He packed on the pounds like it was going out of style. He didn't add vegetables to his diet. He added CARBS: beans, rice, pasta, bread, chips, etc.

Seeing a dietician is a good suggestion.
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  #15  
Old 03-10-2012, 10:04 PM
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Redd Foxx said it well in his album "You Gotta Wash Your Ass".

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I smoke and drink. lot of you don't drink, don't smoke. Some people here tonight don't eat butter. No salt. No sugar. No lard. No biscuits. No gravy with onions in it. Cause they want to live they give up the good stuff. Neck bones, pig tails. You going to feel like a damn fool laying in the hospital dieing from nothing.
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  #16  
Old 03-10-2012, 10:05 PM
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Yeah, this is a tough one. In a nutshell, the ratio determines your risk for cardiovascular disease. The higher the ratio, the higher the risk. In your case, the ratio is high because your LDL is too low.
You got them confused. My LDL is too high, my HDL is too low.

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I'm glad you corrected him. Hopefully Dr. Mike brought it up again as well. You can't ever make assumptions as to someones religion based on their name or where they live any more, especially in the United States as it becomes increasingly secular. The way Young Doctor put it came across to me as an admonition, "well if you just followed your faith you wouldn't have this problem."
Nope, Doc Mike was right there with the guy on that. But they weren't being preachy. It's simply true that a kosher diet would eliminate many (though not all) of the foods they didn't want me eating. Although Doc Mike DID say ham was fine, just not bacon.

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And I don't know that there's any evidence that kosher or halal diets in particular are healthy
Not healthy in and of itself, just restrictive of foods the doctors said I shouldn't have.

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BUT! It's more than just how you live. It's how WELL you live. Odds are, with today's medical technology, the heart attack or stroke you are setting yourself up for won't kill you outright.

But they may disable you, and make it difficult or impossible for you to do things you normally enjoy very much.
Pleasant thought. Thing is, though, I may not be setting myself up for a heart attack. I am merely increasing the odds of having one. There is no guarantee that I will have one on my current diet, or conversely, that I wouldn't have one on a different diet.

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I'm 46. I've eaten a high sugar, high fat, high meat diet most of my adult life. I'm paying the price now
That's the thing, though....my diet is definitely not high sugar, not all that high fat in total, and not all that high meat, as I eat a lot of produce and seafood. As I said in the OP, my diet is far healthier than the vast majority of people I know.

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Well, in defense of Dr. Mike, it was the guy he was training, not Dr. Mike who made that faux pas.
Nope, as I said above, Doc Mike was right there with him. No biggie. They were really only trying to help, and for that I can't blame them.
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  #17  
Old 03-10-2012, 10:32 PM
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and Doc Mike told me to cut down on the oils, since oil is basically fat.
Oil is fat, but humans need about 25% of their calories from fat, FAT is not bad, if it's the right kind of fat.

Pistachios have sterols which raise HDL, and everyone but me loves those things(can't stand them).

Also yeah I agree with the "who's to say I won't have a stroke even if I do change my diet" living, existing, and surviving are very different things, you have to pick the one you're ok with.
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  #18  
Old 03-10-2012, 11:56 PM
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I know this is oversimplifying things, and I know I have exactly zero medical training, but I can't get away from the idea that, if my cholesterol levels are so bad, why is my blood pressure so damn perfect? Isn't it the basic theory that high cholesterol (or in my case scarily low good cholesterol) causes plaque buildup within the arteries, thus restricting blood flow and eventually potentially a stoppage, and thus potentially a heart attack or stroke? And yet, other than the lab results for my cholesterol levels, I am pretty much the poster boy for a healthy 40something.

One thing that I have noticed is that my doctor focused on the completely out of whack ratio, but several of the articles I've read, including ones linked to by some of you (thank you for that) come right out and say that the ratio is not as important as the total cholesterol level. My total cholesterol level was high, but not as out of whack as my ratio (only 210, whereas it's considered good if it's 200 or below).
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  #19  
Old 03-11-2012, 12:53 AM
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Jester, speaking from experience cutting out foods you like to eat is hard but the benefits are undeniable.

At the start of the year, I undertook a religiously motivated fast. I was on what's known as a Daniel fast. The rules are somewhat flexible, but the basic rules are these:

- No leavened bread
- No meats
- No dairy
- No processed food
- No sweets/desserts

So you must eat:

- Fruits
- Vegetables
- Nuts
- Non-leavened bread

While I was fasting, I actually felt pretty awesome as far as health was concerned. Interestingly, I just happened to have a physical during this time and have blood work done. The results came back and all my levels including cholesterol were excellent. My cholesterol was in fact LOWER than when I last had it checked. I was most worried about it because high cholesterol runs in the family.

There's a good chance you will be able to find reasonable alternatives for many of the foods you like to eat now (except bacon, unfortunately there are no good substitutes for bacon as far as I'm aware).

Since your requirements are nowhere near as restrictive as mine were on the fast I think you'll actually do pretty well with it.

I don't know about the cholesterol/blood pressure connection, but a couple of years ago when giving blood I had both taken. My cholesterol was 195 (a little high which surprised me) but my BP was something like 128/74. Go figure.
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  #20  
Old 03-11-2012, 01:10 AM
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I don't deny that there are probably health benefits. And as I said, I will probably modify my diet somewhat. But in my head I've been listing all the things that, if I followed Doc Mike's strict edict, I would not be having. On the list are such things as pizza (too much cheese, way too much fat when I get the meat version), buffalo wings, all but one of the salad dressings I like (and that last one is available only at my bar), burgers, anything with bacon, which includes my award-winning chili, most meat chilis in general, pretty much every Mexican dish ever, two of the best soups I've ever had (cream-based), most Italian cuisine, steaks (which I don't even eat that often, but like occasionally), most barbecue dishes, cereal (not that I eat a lot of it, or even unhealthy cereal, but to eat it with skim milk would make me nauseated), and so on and so forth. More keep popping into my head every day.

As I said, there are probably some health benefits to it, although the jury may be out on even that. (See the articles BlaqueKatt linked to.) But to what end? A foodie who doesn't enjoy his food is going to be miserable. A drinker who only has two drinks a day EVER is going to be miserable. Maybe not all of them, but *I8 would.

Again, to what end? So I can be miserable for more years on this planet rather than be happy for less years? At some point, as I said, you have to weigh quality of life against these factors. I am far damn happier in my life, even with all of the crap I have to deal with in it, than most of the people I know or encounter. I enjoy my life immensely. I am not going to give that up. It is Not Going To Happen.

Adjust my diet somewhat? Sure. I can do that. I might even DO that. But to follow the blanket ultimatum of my doctor so I can live to a ripe old age of misery?

Screw that. Wings and beer on me, kids!
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