How High is Too High Cholesterol (& Why)

Hello Again,

In previous posts I’ve covered what is a too high of blood pressure and why. In this post I’ll uncover the concern about cholesterol so you know the basics of how cholesterol effects your body.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy fat-like substance found in your body. It’s made of fat and protein molecules combined. It’s used to produce hormones, Vitamin D (which is actually a hormone), and substances that allow you to digest food.

There’s typically known to be two types of cholesterol, HDL & LDL. Though they’re more types of cholesterol but for the these purposes that’s all you need to know. HDL is known as the “good” cholesterol and LDL is known as the “bad” cholesterol. The reason they’ve got those labels is because HDL acts as a cleaner and discards the LDL “bad” cholesterol, which is good. Keep in mind, that even though they’re labeled “good” & “bad”, they should really be known as “bad” and “worse”. The reason being in because when both are high the benefits diminish and at some point it can be dangerous.

What is a Healthy Cholesterol?

Well, according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine a healthy total cholesterol is 200 or less per milligrams/deciliter. A borderline total cholesterol is 200 – 239mg/dl, and very high would be higher than 239 mg/dl. On the other side of the spectrum a too low of cholesterol, particularly HDL, can be unprotective against heart disease.

Micheal Gregor and researchers from NutritionFacts.Org suggest that an optimal healthy total cholesterol is around 150 mg/dl and a optimal HDL cholesterol is 50 – 70 mg/dl.

HDL Cholesterol

Unhealthy HDL cholesterol for Men: Less than 40 mg/dl

Unhealthy HDL cholesterol for Woman: Less than 50 mg/dl

Healthy HDL cholesterol for both is above 60 mg/dl

LDL Cholesterol

Optimal LDL cholesterol: Less than 100 mg/dl

Above optimal LDL cholesterol: 100 – 129 mg/dl

Borderline high LDL cholesterol: 130 – 159 mg/dl

High LDL cholesterol: 160 – 189 mg/dl

Very high LDL cholesterol: 190 mg/dl cholesterol_scale

The Dangers of High Cholesterol

As the cholesterol in your blood increases so the formation of plaques.These plaques are made up of mostly cholesterol, saturated fat mostly, and calcium. The formation of plaques is the start of developing atherosclerosis, also known as heart disease, which leads to a heart attack and/or angina.

Angina is a crushing chest from the lack of oxygenated blood getting to your heart.

These plaques get thicker and harder over time and impair the function of your arteries to Causes of Death 2012transport blood. This can lead to sudden cardiac death and in the US its the #1 leading cause of death for males over 40. At an alarming number of 326,200 deaths a year from sudden cardiac arrest equates to roughly the same number of deaths from breast cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes, suicide, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, HIV, motor vehicle accidents, and more, combined!

For most people their first real symptom is there last!

Conclusion

Fortunately, we can all do our part in making sure this doesn’t happen to us. It’s known that the first symptom, if monitored, can be detected over 10 years before a heart attack occurs. Even in children is can start if the diet is bad enough (Standard American Diet) so getting your cholesterol checked earlier is better.

My final 3 tips:

  1. Eat a diet of 15% or less of your total daily calories from fat and free of animal products which are high in saturated fat.
  2. Exercise at least 150 minutes a week.
  3. Eat a diet predominately made of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

Thank you for taking the time to read. I hope this was to your benefit.

Please comment below as I will be sure to respond to questions.

Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe.

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbc

http://www.sca-aware.org/about-sca

http://www.pcrm.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/health/Kickstart-Biometrics-Screening.pdf

nutritionfacts.org/topics/cholesterol/

nutritionfacts.org/video/optimal-cholesterol-level/

 

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My Journey to a Vegan Diet (& Lifestyle) Part 1

Hi There,

I’m glad to share this story with you. As part of a series of 3 posts I want to share bits of my story in posts on my Pre-Transition, My Transition, and My Ideal Diet of the Future.

This first edition will be focusing on my Pre-Transition Diet.

Pre-Transition Diet

My diet the year prior is something that I don’t often think about but I can sure be reminded by my coworkers what I used to eat. I’m sure they’d say I’ve gone from one extreme to the other.

I remember just a couple months prior I was training to race my first triathlon. As most people think, I will admit that I thought my diet of mostly turkey burger patties was healthy. They were a good price so they must have been right?

Yes, that’s right! I would get turkey patties by the 12 pack from Coopers Foods.

I can’t even believe it!

I would eat toast with jam and peanut butter in the morning, turkey patties in the afternoon for lunch and for dinner was sometimes more turkey or whatever my mom made. At the time dinner could be ribs, soup, chicken, or again turkey burgers.

All meals were very animal based, unfortunately.  And I just didn’t know better or much at all about nutrition.

I did end up finishing that triathlon, thankfully. But I knew my diet needed changing because I was feeling tired all the time, fatigued, and borderline lethargic at times. I remember  thinking that I needed jam as opposed to jam or peanut better because if I didn’t have that little bit of sugar I was going to have trouble functioning at work.

I just didn’t have that mental alertness and overall life passion I have right now!

Reflection

So I hope that was interesting. I’ll give a more detailed chronology of what my transition was like and what my diet is like now in those future posts, so keep your eyes out.

I wanted to share this with you in hopes that I may not forget where I came from and to confidently say that if I can make the change you can to!

Thanks for reading! Please share and subscribe!

Carson McQuarrie

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What Foods Act as Vaso-dilators, for Blood Pressure and Endurance Sports?

A short story about the power of Nitrates from plants.

Beet juice

Nitrates are found in plant foods like fruits and leafy green vegetables. Nitrates from plants convert to nitrites in your body. The nitrites get converted to nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide acts as a vaso-dilator, basically it opens/expands your blood vessels.

Animal products contain nitrites but instead of getting converted to nitrous oxide it gets converted into nitrosamines which are carcinogenic and have the opposite effect of nitrites from plants. Rhubarb

Nitrous oxide acts as a vaso-dilator which has the same same affect as nitroglycerin, prescribed in hospitals to lower blood pressure. 

Even with simply diet, a change in blood pressure can be observed in as little as two weeks!

Top Plant Foods by Ranking of Nitrates 

  1. Arugula
  2. Rhubarb
  3. Beet Root Juice

The rest of the top ten are leafy greens!

Thank You! arugula_leaves_570

http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/51/3/784.full.pdf+html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22709704

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25445634

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Beetroot+supplementation+lowers+daily+systolicblood+pressure+in+older%2C+overweight+subjects

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25421976

http://nutritionfacts.org/video/vegetables-rate-by-nitrate/

http://nutritionfacts.org/video/oxygenating-blood-with-nitrate-rich-vegetables/