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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How High is Too High of Blood Pressure (& Why)

Lets get back to the science!

Yay!

We’re going to be covering the basics of health and one of the pillars is know about blood pressure.

This’ll be short, informing you what exactly is blood pressure and what to know about your own blood pressure number.

What is Blood Pressure?

There’s two numbers used to measure blood pressure, systolic & diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure is the pressure created when your hear beats twice. Diastolic pressure is the pressure when your hearts rests between beats. The pressure during the two beats, systolic pressure, is the higher number. what-causes-high-blood-pressure-and-how-to-lower-blood-pressure-with-medical-home-remedies-5-638

What are healthy & unhealthy blood pressure numbers?

Healthy: Systolic: 120 or less; Diastolic: 80 or less

Normal: Systolic 120 – 129; Diastolic: 80 – 85

Pre-Hypretensive: Systolic: 130 – 139; Diastolic: 85 – 89

Hypertensive Stage 1: Systolic: 140 – 159; Diastolic: 90 – 99

Hypertensive Stage 2: Systolic: 160 – 179; Diastolic: 100 – 109

Hypertensive Stage 3: Systolic: 180 or higher; Diastolic: 110 or higher

Upper-and-lower-blood-pressure

What do the numbers mean?

Well the two heart beats that you can feel by touching your carotid arteries (the main arteries in your neck) indicate you systolic blood pressure. The number is higher because that’s when your heart is working to push the blood through all the blood vessels in your body.

The lower number, diastolic blood pressure, represents the lower number. The number is lower because this is the pressure of blood in your vessels when the heart is resting between beats.

What People don’t know about having High Blood Pressure.

Most people believe that having high blood pressure is bad because it does damages the blood vessels and and heart.

But, actually having high blood pressure is an indicator that your body is losing control at keeping you blood vessels healthy. It’s an indicator your blood vessel walls (arteries) are getting clogged and atherosclerosis (hear disease) is increasing. All these ladder of undesirable health problems are a result of eating too much fat and cholesterol.

Conclusion

Thank you for taking the time to read about what’s important to your health.

If  you have any comments please leave them below.

Once again, please subscribe and share if you like what your reading.

Carson McQuarrie

http://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/health-science/featured-articles/articles/everybody-will-be-taking-blood-pressure-pills-soon/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/blood-pressure/art-20050982

http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/diastolic-and-systolic-blood-pressure-know-your-numbers

 

The Affects of Dietary Fat on Weight Gain (& what to do).

Welcome to another type of Blog Post where I answer a questions to help clear up misconceptions and make connections about diet and its affect on your health. 

This post is part of a sequel, so if you enjoy this then watch out for next weeks post where I show a 1 day Simple Whole Foods Plant Based (WFPB) Meal Plan. 

So the question is: 

The Affects of Dietary Saturated Fat on Weight Gain? 

I won’t be covering every reason but I will do my best to explain one reason simply. 

You see, the fat you eat is the fat you wear.Microsoft PowerPoint - Presentation1

That’s at least true when you eat too many totally calories and a lot of them are from fat, and especially true when you eat animals based fats such as saturated fat. There are other reasons that can influence this  such as environmental stresses. 

There is no type of fat that gets stored more efficiently in you body than saturated fat (found in animals and a couple plants) and trans fats (found primarily in processed foods & animals). 

Past the age of about 20 years your bodies number of fat cells stays relatively the same. What changes is the size of those fat cells. This of course is the indicator of whether someone is overweight or not.  When your overweight there is a process called the ‘spill-over effect’ which is the spilling of fat cells found in muscle tissue or organs back into the blood stream from where they came (due to a high fat meal). 

This remains a recurring cycle for how ever long you are overweight but decreases as you incorporate healthy lifestyle practices involving low fat dietary choices. 

What to do to help it?

Well I won’t recommend you do just one thing but mainly, if you’re overweight, greatly reduce your fat intake. And: 

  1. Eliminate fats in the form of oils, from sources of animals, and reduce total fat intake to a maximum of %10 – %15 of total daily calories. ataulfo-mango
  2. I would incorporate more carbohydrate rich foods. Healthy carbohydrate rich foods include, fruits, starches like Yams, and whole grain foods like millet or Quinoa. 
  3. Greatly reduce or eliminate processed foods. Processed foods are virtually void of healthful nutrients are made of processed sugar, & fat which is usually from oil and butter (mostly saturated fat).
  4. I recommend moving your body at least 150 minutes a week MINIMUM. Just 30 minutes a day! That could include walking, cycling, running, playing basketball etc. 

What’s so important about these recommendations? 

By greatly reducing total fat and processed food intake you will stop compounding what makes you overweight in the first place. 

  1. As you stop eating fat dense foods your blood stream will be better able to transfer the fat into the digestive tract to be disposed of naturally. 
  2. Carbohydrate rich whole plant foods contain fiber which assist in the disposal of fat from the digestive tract and give more consistent energy. Plus, they contain more healthful nutrients vital for a long healthy life.hqdefault
  3. When you exercise Nitric Oxide is released by the endothelium (lining of your blood vessels) which dilates the vessels, increasing blood flow, which more readily allows carbohydrates to be passed through by the insulin and insulin receptors on the outside your red blood cells, where the carbs are utilized. This helps keep blood sugar (glucose) levels low so you don’t experience a blood sugar spike.

 

Tips: Use Cronometer to calculate your daily nutrient intake and NutritionData.self.com to check nutritional food facts.

Thank You! 

Stay tuned next week for the next post of this 2 part series where I what a day of eating a low fat whole food plant based diet can look like for you! 

http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-spillover-effect-links-obesity-to-diabetes/ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18454136 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14693970 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11679437 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15143200