Thursday, March 19, 2015

Health Benefits - from the inside out!

With a focus on getting fit this year - I had a check-up with my doctor before starting my nutrition and exercise plan. Part of this was full set of blood work. Not surprising there were two measures that my Doctor was not pleased with - my cholesterol level (and particle size) and my Vitamin D level. 

30% reduction in LDL via Diet and Exercise!
My Cholesterol level and mix was way off - honestly it has been all of my adult life as far as I know.  It is common, maybe even inevitable that LDL, my bad cholesterol, would be in unhealthily high. I would say it's familial hypercholesterolemia, but whatever the reason, I have to get it under control. I would routinely see total cholesterol levels in the 300's - where the target is 200 or less. I have not wanted to take daily medication and I wasn't sure what I could achieve with diet and exercise alone.  

It was interesting that my cholesterol levels in January were the lowest I'd seen in a long time. That was 240 total - less than 300!. Then amazingly, the results from March were even lower. I was able to reduce the bad cholesterol by 30% - my total cholesterol was just 221! So close to "normal" range. Why is that?  

I'm not taking medication - but I have been working to lower my Cholesterol through diet and exercise and physical routine. Here are the things I've been doing that have made an impact:

  1. Losing weight - excess weight improves my cholesterol profile. Down nearly 40 pounds helps :)
  2. Exercise -  regular physical activity can raise HDL "good" cholesterol by up to 10%.  Different doctors say moderate exercise, brisk walking, 10K steps/day - anything with regularity will show results. My routine is now 5 days/week cardio. That counts as routine and brisk.
  3. Diet changes - healthier choices which includes;
    • Avoid saturated fat (no chocolate, cheese, processed meats)
    • Eating more fiber - Fruits, vegetables, whole grains
    • Eating more fish (which I still don't really like but...) about 2-3 times per week.
    • Green tea (some research shows this helps lower cholesterol)
    • Raw Almonds - my go-to snack. Ditto the green tea comment.
  4. Supplements to support my diet:
    • Multi-vitamin
    • Omega-3 fats
    • 2000 - 5000 IU Vitamin D3/day
    • Biotin
  5. A good nights sleep - 7-8 restful hours

I'll see in another 2-3 months how much additional progress I can make (or sustain.)

Have a great day,
Teresa Marie

No comments:

Post a Comment