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Simple changes to lower cholesterol and bp
Anon_160551 posted:
My husband just got back from his annual physical today and didn't do so well. His Bp was 160/98. His cholesterol was 223 with an HDL of 61 and a direct LDL of 148. His doc told him to lose 10 lbs, go back to his diet (he was never on one), and come back in 6 months. I am very concerned. His father had a heart attack at a pretty young age. My husband is 44. He LOVES food and lots of it. He is completely clueless on nutrition and will never get on board for a major diet. What are some simple changes he can make that won't overwhelm him, but will help. I was looking into the PALEO diet, but he would never give up all grains completely. I've read so many conflicting things EX:eggs are good/eggs are bad, carbs are good/carbs are bad, etc....... What can I tell him to start with that won't so drastic that he won't follow it. In other words, "cholesterol/bp lowering for dummies"!
Anon_320 responded:
A pretty easy way to start eating in a more healthful way is to just add more fruits and vegetables -- especially green vegetables -- to his diet, and substitute whole-grain versions of some of the things he eats. There are a lot of whole-grain breads that are very good, and you can find decent whole-wheat pastas, too. Whole-grain cereals, like oatmeal are good, and you can substitute brown rice for white.

Spinach is an easy thing to sneak into a lot of foods. I saute a little spinach in coconut oil and scramble an egg or two into it, and have that with some whole-grain toast for breakfast. Anything you make with pasta or rice can have cooked spinach added to it without making too much difference in taste.

Good luck!
billh99 responded:
Portion control and moderation is probably the single "best diet".

One "trick" is to use smaller plates. That has shown to fake the body into being full with a little smaller meal.

Will Paleo is good diet it can be difficult in the extreme. Personally I lean a little more towards a Mediterranean diet with a little Paleo thrown in.

EX:eggs are good/eggs are bad, carbs are good/carbs are bad, etc...

In most cases the body generates all the cholesterol and the amount in diet has limited effect on the cholesterol in a blood test.
Except for the US, most countries have relaxed their restriction on eggs. Eggs are a good source of low fat, high quality protein. 1 o 2 (and maybe more) a day can be part of a good diet.

Excess carbs are converted in the body and stored as fat.

For some people carbs seem to lead to insulation resistance and pee-diabetes. But with an HDL of 61, the doctor only wanting a 10 lb loss, and working backwards it appears that his triglycerides are about 70 which is good. So I don't think that is a significant problem for him.

But still you want to limit simple, refined carbs. White flours products, white rice, and sugar.

Whole grain products, whole wheat (but read the label whole wheat should be the first ingredient), brow rice, oatmeal, etc are better.

But a main guideline is to eat "real food". Most prepared and manufactured have excess carbs (often simple), bad fats, excess sodium, and lots of preservatives and additives.

Instead of packaged donuts or pastries, homemade whole wheat banana nut muffins.

Instead of bottle salad dressings some lemon juice or red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

His doc told him to lose 10 lbs,

10 lbs in 6 months is not much. That is only requires a reduction of about 230 calories a day.

And you did not indicate if he exercised. But even moderate amount of exercise, such as 20 minutes of brisk (3.5 miles/hr) each day a 150 lb person will burn about 86 calories a day.

And in any case the exercise, in it's own right helps reduce cholesterol and lower BP and has other health benefits. But to have the most effect more intense exercise is needed.

And bypass one 12 oz coke a day is another 126 calories.

Or one beer a day.

Or going from one cup of mash potatoes to 1/2 cup saves 110 calories.

Or eliminating one fancy drink that consists of a cup of sugar with a few drops of coffee (Starbucks) can reduce LOTS of calories.

Or even going from the extra extra large grande to small cup help a lot.

Actually no big change is needed, but with a lot of little changes it should be easy to lose twice that amount without feeling deprived.

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