BEFORE you make any adjustments to your food, exercise, mediations, or any other lifestyle factors, be sure to consult with, and get permission from, your qualified doctor who is trained to diagnose disease and prescribe mediations. This is NOT a do-it-yourself project. Your health is precious. Deal with qualified professionals. The following information, and all my other Nuggets, is for reference only, and is NOT A MEDICAL RECOMMENDATION.

Despite the prominence of representatives from the food industry sitting on and allegedly influencing the wording of the recent American Dietary guidelines, you still know deep in your heart, (if it is still healthy), that fat in animal protein foods over a lifetime does still destroy arteries and organs and reduces your protection from the vast list of serious diseases that is ravaging America. References in End Notes.  

Despite the recent dietary guidelines you decided to hold firm to the extensive science that proves you will be healthier in the long run by reducing, or even more so, by eliminating, animal proteins. You decided to reduce your daily consumption of protein, (animal and dairy sources). You thought you were doing a great job at protecting your body from animal and dairy sources of protein. You were very good at cutting back on calories and portion sizes. Your total calories consumed went down and you even lost a few pounds.

Yet, when your doctor phoned to tell you the results of your recent “cholesterol” blood tests you were shocked to learn that despite your new vigilance and restraint, some of your markers, the ones that are most worrisome as correlates of chronic disease, Triglycerides and Low-Density Lipoproteins, (LDLs), didn’t budge by much or, worse, even went up.

Now you plan to marshall your will much more and to hunker down. You have now declared war on your Triglycerides and High LDLs. What to do to win?

[If you want to explore the complete story on optimizing your health, the easy way, the optimal way, refer to the textbooks I cite in my end notes, below. For now, let’s just work with Triglycerides and LDLs.]

Before we jump into an action plan, let’s be sure we understand the numbers.

TRIGLYCERIDES: numbers stated using USA measurementSee end Note 1. [Canadian measurement is in square brackets]

  • normal Triglyceride level is less than 150 mg/dL (USA) [1.7 mmol/L]
  • borderline level: between 150 to 199 mg/dL [1.7 mmol/L to 2.25.]
  • high: 200 to 499 mg/dL  [2.25 mmol/L to 5.63]

You are worried because you know that Triglycerides indicate how much fat is floating around in your arteries waiting to cause you serious problems and diseases related to damaged arteries. What can you do to lower your Triglycerides?  Though this is not a definitive list, it will give you a pretty good idea of what might help you to regain control:

  1. REGULARLY consume soluble fiber such as legumes, beans, vegetables, whole grains and whole fruits. Abandon almost all any food that does not contain high ratios of soluble fibers, eg., meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, any oil, cheese, etc.
  2. Avoid food rated high on the GLYCEMIC INDEX–the speed at which carbohydrates in food converts to glucose in your bloodstream. eg., sugar, fructose, sugar-like substances such as beet juice, white grape juice, any juices, smoothies, etc. [Read the labels.]
  3. Get rid of unnecessary and unhealthy body fat. Lose weight.
  4. Avoid fasting for short periods of time. Eating too little food, putting your body into starvation mode, drives your numbers whacky. End Note 2  So be wary of fad diets and crash diets.
  5. Get more exercise. If your body can handle it, put yourself into a bit of healthy stress while exercising, that is, moderate exercise for sure, but possibly even a bit of more stressful exercise.
  6. Avoid drinking alcohol.
  7. Reduce stress, both stress from physical factors, such as temporary illnesses such as cold, flu, but also from mental factors such as debt load, anxiety, communication issues, social isolation, lack of rest, etc.
  8. Manage or reduce your Hypertension, (High Blood Pressure). There is a strong association between high blood pressure and increased insulin levels. We can assume that if high GI foods cause Triglycerides to rise, then an increase in insulin likely also does. Manage your high blood pressure, too

…if you have diabetes, weight problems, or high triglycerides…favor low-GI foods.End Note 3.

LOW-DENSITY LIPOPROTEINS, (LDLs): numbers stated using USA measurement. [Canadian measurement is in square brackets]

  • Doctors who are guiding their patients to winning the fight against a lifetime of damage caused by the American diet by teaching them how to reverse heart disease and reverse artery damage recommend keeping LDLs below 80 mg/dL [2.1 mmol/L].

What can you do to lower your bad LDLs?  Though this is not a definitive list, it will give you a pretty good idea of what might help you to regain control:

  1. Lose your body fat. If you are overweight, start working on body fat reduction.
  2. Get more exercise. If your body can handle it, put yourself into a bit of healthy stress while exercising, that is, moderate exercise for sure, but possibly even a bit of more stressful exercise.
  3. REGULARLY consume soluble fiber such as legumes, beans, vegetables, whole grains and whole fruits. Abandon animal and dairy proteins and you will still get plenty of protein from plant sources. Likely, your LDLs will thank you.
  4. AVOID ALL OILS. There may be is no such thing as an artery-healthy,  heart-healthy, oil. Have we been motivated to take make our foods swim in a variety of “healthy” oils by clever marketers? Any oil is merely concentrated, liquid fat. [click each Nugget to read more: “Olive oil Misinformation…”  and “Presumption In Mediterranean Diet” and “Mediterranean Diet: Heart Damaging?
  5. Reduce stress, both stress from physical factors, such as temporary illnesses such as cold, flu, but also from mental factors such as debt load, anxiety, communication issues, social isolation, lack of rest, etc.
  6. Be spicy when you prepare your meals. Curcumin, (think Turmeric spice as well), modulates the lipid mechanism and reduces atherosclerosis, (coronary artery problems).End Note 4  Garlic also has positive effects on artery health. So does a large range of spices. This suggests that you ought to consider spicing up your meals, and yes, this also includes spices of the capsaicin family, (hot spices, peppers) where LDLs have not been yet minimized. See End Note 5

In addition to the fist three sources cited in my end Notes, which I strongly recommend you purchase and read, I have listed more references in End Notes  5 and up.


END NOTES

  1. DR. NEAL BARNARD’S PROGRAM FOR REVERSING DIABETES by Neal D. Barnard, MD. Rodale, 2007. p. 136.
  2. EAT MORE, WEIGH LESS by Dean Ornish, MD. Harper, 2001. p. 26.
  3. POWER FOODS FOR THE BRAIN by Neal Barnard, MD. Grand central Lifestyle. 2013. p. 169.
  4. “Curcumin enhanced cholesterol efflux by upregulating ABCA1 expression through AMPK-SIRT1-LXRα signaling in THP-1 macrophage-derived foam cells.” by Lin, Liu, Hu, et al.  DNA Cell Biol. 2015 Sep;34(9):561-72. doi: 10.1089/dna.2015.2866. Epub 2015 Jun 23.
  5. “Protective effect of dietary capsaicin on induced oxidation of low-density lipoprotein in rats.” by Kempaiah, Manjunatha, Srinivasan.  Mol Cell Biochem. 2005 Jul;275(1-2):7-13.
  6. The STARCH SOLUTION by Dr. John A. McDougall, MD. Rodale. 2012.
  7. The MCDOUGALL PROGRAM FOR A HEALTHY HEART by John A. Mcdougall, MD. Plume. 1996.
  8. PREVENT AND REVERSE HEART DISEASE by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD.  Avery. 2008.
  9. DR. DEAN ORNISH’S PROGRAM FOR REVERSING HEART DISEASE by Dr. Dean Ornish, MD. Ballantine Books. 1996.
  10. WHOLE: RETHINKING THE SCIENCE OF NUTRITION by T Colin Campbell, PhD, Howard Jacobson, PhD. Benbella Books Inc. 2013.
  11. NUTRITION GUIDE FOR CLINICIANS by doctors Barnard, Weissinger, Jaster, Kahan, and Mr. Smyth. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. 2007.