Being informed and understanding what cholesterol is will provide stronger knowledge of individual “Specimen Information”, which should be requested from your Doctor after having blood drawn. Compare your numbers to the information listed below, choose your foods wisely to improve your daily nutritional intake, and cleanse your body, optimizing it’s overall function in keeping you healthy.
Cholesterol is a fat, lipid, or a sterol, from which hormones are made. It is a waxy substance that resembles the very fine scrapings of a whitish-yellow candle. Cholesterol flows through your body via your bloodstream, lipids are oil-based and blood is water-based, they don’t mix. If cholesterol were dumped into your bloodstream, it would congeal into unusable globs.
The fat in these particles are made up of cholesterol, triglycerides and a phospholipid, which helps make the whole particle stick together. Triglycerides are a particular type of fat that have three fatty acids attached to an alcohol called glycerol, composed of 90 percent of the fat in the food you eat. The body needs triglycerides for energy, but as with cholesterol, too much is bad for the arteries and the heart.
- Total Cholesterol Reference Range: 125-200 mg/dl
- HDL Cholesterol Reference Range: 40-60 mg/dl
- TriglyceridesReference Range: <150mg/dl
- Direct LDL Cholesterol Reference Range: 100 – 129 mg/dl
Healthy Cholesterol Levels, (HDL) should be greater than 50-60 mg/dl. HDL is a cholestrol that works within the arteries to reduce accumulation of plaque, that can lead to artherosclerosis, in turn, reducing your risk for heart disease. HDL is monitored to ensure there is enough of it to fight off the plaque build up within the arteries.
“LDL cholesterol”, explained by Harvard University, “in most people, (60-70 % of cholesterol) is carried in LDL particles, which act as ferries, taking cholesterol to the parts of the body that need it. Unfortunately, if you have too much LDL in the bloodstream, it deposits the cholesterol into the arteries, which can cause blockages and lead to heart attacks. The good news is that the amount of LDL in your blood-stream is related to the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol you eat. So, most people can decrease their LDL if they follow a reduced-fat diet.”
VLDL, stated by the “Clinical Reference Laboratory”, expressed as: “VLDL is a major carrier of triglyceride (60 -70% triglyceride 10-15% cholesterol). Circulating fatty acids are converted by the liver to form triglycerides.” Dr. Ginsberg of Columbia university simplifies the definition, “Very-Low Density Lipids are complexes of lipids and proteins assembled in the liver in response to nutrients and hormones. When VLDL are secreted, they carry almost all of the triglyceride in the blood-stream (they are about 85% triglycerides themselves), transporting triglycerides from the liver. When we are overweight, insulin resistant, or have diabetes, our livers secrete more VLDL with more triglycerides on every VLDL particle”.
People have varying degrees of success in lowering their cholesterol by changing their diets. Meal Plan changes and Exercise both contribute to lowering cholesterol and are highly recommended before pharmaceuticals are introduced. High cholesterol due to dietary intake of high saturated foods (anything with animal fat) could be lowered by 5% to 20% with nutritional changes. The Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) Diet is recommended by the National Cholesterol Education Program of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
Calculating total cholesterol helps to put the pieces of the whole together. The math equation for calculating total cholesterol is:
Total Cholesterol Formula (TC) = LDL + HDL + (Triglycerides/5)
- Sample lipid panel
- Cholesterol, Total=195
- HDL Cholesterol=55
- Triglycerides = 100 (100/5=20)
- Direct LDL Cholesterol=120
How Total Cholesterol is calculated using the sample numbers listed above.
- example: (LDL) 120+ (HDL) 55 + 20= 195 (TC) Total Cholesterol
- example: 100/5=20 (VLDL)
- Reference Range for VLDL is 5-40 mg/dl
Calculate Cholesterol Ratio
- Total Cholesterol (mg/dl) / HDL Cholesterol (mg/dl)
- Example: Total Cholesterol 200 mg/dl/ 50 mg/dl HDL Cholesterol = 4.1 According to the American Heart Association is to keep your cholesterol ratio at 5 to 1 or lower.
- Ideal ratio will be 3.5 to 1. Higher cholesterol ratio indicates a risk of heart disease, a lower ratio indicates a reduced risk of heart disease.
Various foods, beverages and spices are known for reducing, or interfering with bad cholesterol (LDL) and carrying it out of the body. Choose a variety of foods from the following lists including them at all your meals.
- Fruits and Vegetables (totaling 9 per day)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Cinnamon1-4g (1/3 tsp – 1 1/2 tsp a day)
- Ginger (250 mcg/day capsule form)
- Honey 3 1/2 tablespoons / day
Reduce the saturated fat in your diet
Eat fish 3-4 times a week and benefit from Omega 3!
Limit the amount of meat and milk products.
Choose low-fat products from various food groups.
Replace butter, a saturated fat with: Extra Virgin Olive, Canola, or Peanut oils. 7% of your daily calories should come from saturated fat (200 mg) with 25% to 35% of daily calories from unsaturated fat.
Your diet should include calories to maintain your desired weight and avoid gaining weight.
Fluids are equally important to a successful diet. Add 1-2 glasses of water with 1/2 to 1 whole lemon each day. Drink 1-2 cups of Oolong tea each day. Oolong tea burns over 157% more fat than Green Tea and is a popular tea designed to accelerate weight loss.
TLC Diet is recommended by Doctors as a path for reducing high cholesterol. Calories/day 1100 – 1695
Lean meat, poultry, fish, dry legumes Choose 5 ounces (140 g) per day
- Anchovies, Mackeral, Sardines, Salmon,
- Substitute 1/4 cup tofu, or 1/2 cup dry beans or peas for 1 ounce of meat or fish.
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz) nuts (Almonds, Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Peanuts Soynuts) or seeds
- Eggs, 2 yolks per week, 1 whole egg. Egg whites or substitutes are okay to eat.
- Lean Meat. 3 0z. 165 calories, 0 g carbohydrate, 21 g protein, 9 g fat
Low-fat milk products. Choose 2 per day
- 2 to 3 per day
- 1 cup nonfat or 1% milk
- 1 cup nonfat or low-fat yogurt
- 1 ounce fat-free or low-fat cheese
- Each serving. 80-110 calories, 12 g carbohydrate, 8 g protein, 0-3 g fat
Fruits. Choose 4-5 per day the selection is endless!
- Apple, Apricots, Berries, Banana, Grapes, Melons, Orange, Pear, Plums, Prunes
- Each serving. 60 calories, 15 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, 0 g fat
Various Vegetables! Choose 5-7 per day
- Artichokes, Avocado, Peppers, Zucchini, Cucumbers, Mushrooms,Eggplants, Asparagus, Legumes, Broccoli.
- 1/2 cup cooked (season with garlic parsley and oil), Grilled, or Raw vegetables
- Each serving. 25 calories, 5 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 0 g fat
1 cup raw thick green leafy greens
Whole grains for bread, cereals, pasta, rice . Choose 4-6 servings per day.
- Whole Grains, Choose Aunt Millies breads.
- 1 slice whole grain bread
- 1/2 wheat or multi-grain bagel, or English muffin
- 1 ounce cold cereal (Bran)
- Oatmeal for breakfast. (Quaker Oatmeal steel cut. Avoid 1 minute oatmeal)
- 1/2 cup cooked whole grain pasta, rice, noodles, or other grains
- Each serving. 80 calories, 15 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein, 1-3 g fat
Fat and oils. Choose 2-3 servings per day
- Each serving. 45 calories, 0 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, 5 g fat.
No Trans Fat (hydrogenated oils)
1 teaspoon monounsaturated oil, such as Canola, Corn, EVOO, or Peanut
1 tablespoon salad dressing (vinagrette)
1 tbsp MCT Oil
By: K. Crocker
Diet Low Sodium Meal Plan
- VLDL http://www.crlcorp.com/testDetails.cfm?facilityID=TLS&testID=510
- VLDL Dr. Ginsberg http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/569664av
- LDL Harvard University http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Understanding_Cholesterol.htm
- Ginger reduces LDL Cholesterol http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=ginger%20reduces%20ldl
- Cinnamon reduces LDL Cholesterol http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14633804
- Honey Reduces Cholesterol http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18454257
- Calculate Cholesterol Ratio http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cholesterol-ratio/AN01761