Why worry about your blood cholesterol?

Posted on February 28, 2011. Filed under: cholesterol, diet | Tags: , , , , , |

Your blood cholesterol level is a major indicator of the diet that you are eating. If your cholesterol is higher than 200 mg/dl (or your LDL-bad guy cholesterol is above 130 mg/dl) you probably are eating more saturated fat from meat and dairy products and too much cholesterol from eggs, meat, processed meats (sausage, lunch meat, etc.) and dairy products.

A high intake for saturated fat and cholesterol is associated with a very high risk for heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and cancer. These are major killer diseases for Western people. Vegetarians and societies that have low intakes of these animal products have much lower rates of all of these diseases.

Of course, you inherit genes from your parents that affect your blood cholesterol. I inherited high cholesterol genes from my mother and my LDL- (bad guy) cholesterol runs above 200 mg/dl if I do not watch my diet carefully. Since I inherited obesity genes from my dad who was very obese and high blood pressure genes from my dad (who had his first stoke at age 47), I need to watch my own diet very closely.

Most folks can reduce their risk for heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and cancer by 50 to 75% through diet, exercise and weight management. Even if your mother, aunts and sisters had breast cancer you can reduce your own risk by more than 50% through lifestyle measures.

Mark Twain said, “The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you would rather not do.” On a recent cruise, we observed that most folks choose to do what they like rather than do what they don’t like.

In upcoming blogs I will share my recommendations taken from my upcoming book, The Simple Diet, and my research.


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2 Responses to “Why worry about your blood cholesterol?”

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Good stuff.

Hi Charlotte, Thanks. The Wall Street Journal today (1-23-12) has two good articles related to statins and cholesterol. Best, nutdoc

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