What Your Cholesterol Numbers Mean
welcome to dishing up nutrition with license nutritionists and dietitians from nutritional weight and wellness. We explain the connection between what you eat. And how you feel. Stay tuned for practical realize solutions for healthier living through real booed nutrition down. You got to make the mom last just keep well, well, dishing up nutrition brought to you by nutritional weight and wellness has this thought ever crossed your mind. What do my cholesterol numbers really mean? I think many people have been told if their cholesterol number is above two hundred they were doomed to and they were going to have a heart attack. So today, we want to clear up some of those misconceptions and help you understand the real meaning of your cholesterol numbers. I'm Caroline Hudson. And I'm a registered and licensed dietitian. I graduated from my nutrition program in Canada over thirty years ago. I'm not even gonna say how many more than thirty at this point. So I guess you could call me a very season dietitian. Actually, I prefer people think of me as having a lot of life experience, and a genuine understanding that changing your eating habits really doesn't come easy to the majority of people throughout the years. I've seen many diets recommended for weight loss and for heart health, and those are no longer considered safe today. So one of those diets that is now considered unsafe for most people is that low fat and high carb diet joining me today as our co host this morning is JoAnne right out. Who is also a registered and licensed dietitian and also graduated from her nutrition program, many years ago to hand how many years ago has it been for you? Yes, you're right. Many years ago more than thirty. Just like you. So I also have a lot of experience helping people with their nutrition over the years and Carolyn you mentioned that in the past twenty five to thirty years, we've seen so many different diet recommendations for both weight loss and heart health, and for many of you. I'm sure you were told to eat low fat and high carb foods to lower your cholesterol numbers. Unfortunately, we have found that really didn't work even as a dietitian for many years. I was also told that low fat high carb eating would lower my cholesterol tried to implement that. But in reality, my numbers continually climbed on that type of eating plan. So if you're confused we totally understand I truly believed in the low fat and high carb diet back then and was shocked when my cholesterol numbers kept climbing. Yes. So today, we really want to clear up some of those myths. And misconceptions about cholesterol and help you understand what those numbers really mean. That's right. And also good to know by the by the way, when I did change my diet and started eating real natural fats, and then cut out the bread pasta. Some of the high whole grains, my cholesterol levels began to lower. So I was able to get off my statin drug, then I had more energy fewer aches and pains. So listeners if you have a copy of your blood test results or you can go online right now to see your test results on pull them out the pull out the one that's labelled your lipid panel, this the your lipid panel measures, your total cholesterol, your triglycerides level, your HDL. L level and your LDL level and often there's a ratio in there. And that would be your total cholesterol to your HDL level, this ratio provides kind of a general risk factor for your doctor, and if it's greater than five you're at high risk, and if it's lower than three point five, you're basically at no risk, but cholesterol is complicated. And our goal today is to help you better understand your numbers. That's right. And to make sense of these numbers. One of the first numbers. I always look at to help my clients evaluate the risk factor is the triglycerides number. So is your triglycerides number in the three hundreds. Or is it one fifty or is it under seventy five as? As we recommend. So it's really interesting to note that high triglycerides levels are an independent risk factor for heart disease, and this is really important. So it bears repeating, you know, high triglycerides levels are a risk factor for heart disease. So if you have a high triglycerides level and a low HD L level, you are at a much higher risk of heart disease. So let's explore this a little bit more. That's right. So again, look at your triglycerides level, and we would like to see that at about seventy five or lower. So people ask this question, very often. What exactly are triglycerides? Oh, yeah. We hear that a lot. Don't we get that question? So triglycerides are the most common fats found in your body, and they mainly come from eating carbohydrate food. Yes. Triglycerides are primarily made from processed carbs sugar and alcohol, which is then stored as fat. That's right. And that's really important to repeat. So I'd like to repeat that one more time triglycerides are the storage fat produced when you eat processed carbs or sugar or alcohol. Yes. So I always say to my clients sugar sugar sugar. Right. Recos carbs, right? So abnormally elevated levels of triglycerides in your blood indicate an increased risk of inflammation, atherosclerosis and even diabetes. So your triglycerides number is, very important. We again, we recommend your triglycerides on number to be seventy five or lower. Yes. And at nutritional. Weight and wellness. We have helped clients reduce their triglycerides number from over a thousand or over three thousand to Welby below one hundred by just helping them stop eating those muffins or bagels, maybe their pizza and also to cut out soda, and those fancy high sugar coffee drinks, I think that is one of the easiest of the of the lipid levels that we're looking at to reduce quickly. Yeah. Yeah. That's the one. I always go after for example, because most people understand that piece. You know, when it comes to all of the other things all of the fats. They kinda get confused about that. But sugar, you know, we can we can cut that out pretty easily. So in our weight and wellness series. We share a client's story that I'd like to share with you now. So many people believe that a vegetarian lifestyle is a healthy one. But it's certainly not for many of us when this client was I seen her triglycerides level was well over eleven hundred remember we said, it should be below seventy five right, right or. He was practicing this vegetarian way of eating for and that was far too many carbs for her specific biochemistry. So we changed her diet and literally within weeks her triglycerides level dropped below Andre well within the safe range. So if your triglycerides level is over one fifty it is time to reduce those carbs, and perhaps even make an appointment with one of us or one of our other nutritionists, you know, I see clients in our Eden prairie office and JoAnne, see his clients in wise that a- and maple grove and when when our clients cut their carbon take they typically have a great side effect. Guess what that they also get to lose weight? That's always exciting. That's great aside side benefit of that. So that's almost time for our first break. I can't believe it. It's always that fast. Right. Right. So you are listening to dishing up nutrition today Joanna, and I want to help you understand the numbers on your lipid panel. So we started out talking and discussing the importance of maintaining a triglycerides level, preferably around seventy five or lower. And we talk about what triglycerides are and why high triglycerides level levels are a risk factor for heart disease. We also want to help you understand how your diet, and what you eat and drink affects your triglycerides level. And we still, and we will be discussing, you know, the the all those the lipoprotein. Teens HDL and the LDL. So understanding your cholesterol, really is complicated. And unfortunately, we have just one hour, and that's nowhere near enough time to cover all of the facts. But it is enough time for us to share. How important these numbers are? So get your test results out and follow along with us when we come back from break. Welcome back to dishing up nutrition as Caroline said understanding, your cholesterol numbers, and how your diet affects those numbers can be rather complex so today more and more of our clients. Just don't feel well on the medications, they're taking to control their cholesterol. They're tired of being tired and feeling achey. All the time. I remember when I was on Staten. I did have a lot of leg pain. And I wasn't sure where that came from. Yeah. Once I got off of it. It was gone. So news flash cholesterol levels are affected by your diet. So eating a lot of sugar and process carbs containing soybean oil or corn oil, and no doubt, your cholesterol numbers are going to go up. So as dietitians and nutritionists at nutritional weight and wellness, we help people develop eating habits that will normalize your cholesterol numbers. I personally changed my diet and was able to get off my statin drugs. So I know that correct nutrition works so feel free to call us at six five one six nine nine three four three eight, and let's get an appointment set up for you. So we have been talking about cholesterol numbers this morning, and I just want to repeat one one fact we talked about earlier that triglycerides are like the storage fat that is produced when you eat processed carbs or sugar or alcohol and just to help people understand what triglycerides are I know that's confusing. And typically when we put move people to our eating plan. Of eating protein animal protein, mostly vegetable carbs and healing fats. They typically have that great side benefit of lowering their cholesterol level and losing weight. So just wanted to recap that a little bit. So I've worked with so many clients who've been able to turn their cholesterol numbers around, especially their triglycerides. Right. Just so the next number were considering when we see clients is to look at their HDL or their high density life approaching level. So we've all always heard of HDL cholesterol as the good cholesterol because it plays a very protective role in your body HDL. Hey helps us to remove oxidized LDL cholesterol particles, and those are the particles that can lead to. Inflammation and disease of the arteries, so JoAnne, another way, maybe to say that is that HDL actually kind of scrubs, the inner walls of our blood vessels of three and it helps to keep them clean and healthy, right though. Maybe people can get that visual HDL, scrubs. Those walls have your dad. That's a really good way to put that. And so take a look at your HDL number. We actually often try to help people improve that number or increase that number in for HDL, a higher number is usually better for men. It should be above forty and for women. It should be above fifty. So an ideal HDL level is is actually within the seventy two a hundred range. So when your doctor sends you to have a blood test one of them. Most important things he or she checks is your triglycerides to HDL ratio. And unfortunately that one is in usually even on your lipid panel tests. Right. It really isn't. So you might be wondering why is that significant the triglycerides level to my HDL level this ratio actually reflects how the inflammatory triglycerides particles are being balanced out by the protective HDL cholesterol particles. So the lower the number on that ratio, the better, so okay. Look at your numbers again, if you're triglycerides level is seventy which would definitely be ideal and your HDL level is seventy you are perfectly balanced. So you re basically not at. At risk for inflammation, and cardiovascular disease. So in addition to lawing, your triglycerides, really the goal is to be sure that your HDL is high enough. Right. So then that ratio is better. Right. Right. So to get a high HDL, you could eat cold water fish, right? A mega threes or you can take some mega three fatty acid. Right. And you need you should be increasing your exercise. Both those things are going to increase your HDL and therefore kind of reduced that ratio. And I think we're saying we don't want to have any more than a two to one ratio from your triglycerides to your HDL. I know that's what I usually tell my clients. So, but we really get concerned when our triglycerides to HDL. L ratio is above three. Right. So for example, if you're tried glycerin level is on one hundred ninety nine and your HDL is forty your risk ratio is about five, right? And that is a concern. And maybe that means it's time to change your eating habits. So again, I just want to repeat our recommendation of getting your triglycerides down by eliminating those processed carb foods the sugar lowering your sugar intake, your alcohol intake, all of those things will help reduce those triglycerides, and then to raise your HDL level. We need to eat more cold water fish or take some mega three fatty acids and increase our exercise. That's right. So as dietitians, we know. No and research tells us that insulin resistance prediabetes and diabetes increase the risk of coronary heart disease, and stroke. So if your triglycerides level is higher than one hundred to one hundred fifty and your HDL level is lower than fifty. We think of time to be concerned. You may want to ask yourself, what am I eating or drinking that's causing those higher blood glucose levels and higher triglycerides levels. What do I need to change in my diet? Well, maybe it's pancakes and syrup eight before going to work or they'll three bottles or cans of mountain dew or any kind of pop pop those are full of high fructose corn syrup or maybe the fast food. Foods French fries that are fried in refined soybean oils or other bad fats. Did you know that two French fries turn into one teaspoon of glucose or sugar in your blood? And of course, that's going to increase those triglycerides. And honestly you Joe, and do you know anyone who eats only to French fries? No, no, it's more like the thirty French fries. And that's going to equate to fifteen teaspoons of sugar in your bloodstream and going to increase those triglycerides in on your lipid panel though. That's right. So. That's interesting because no one thinks of French fries as a sugary food. Right. Right. And yet once you eat one or two people don't stop right, then it just keeps going so research also tells us that high triglycerides levels in women are much more dangerous than men. And in fact, some research tells us that overweight women who have high triglycerides and diabetes have two hundred times greater risk of developing heart disease. So generally that combination is going to result in a medication prescription. Right. Right. Right. So joanne. I think is getting to be time to go for a break continue this conversation. Right. So you're listening to dishing up nutrition next Saturday. We are offering. Our menopause survival seminar at our Saint Paul location. This is a five hour seminar and it addresses health issues from women experiencing Peri, menopause, menopause and post menopause. Seventy five percent of women experience. Incontinence in menopause, and we have many nutritional solutions to offer an osteoporosis is also an issue for menopausal women. Did you know that more women die of a broken bone each year, then from breast and uterine cancer? So we offer nutritional solutions for osteoporosis in this seminar. In addition to the seminar pack, the seminar is packed full of helpful information, Dr and our JoAnne, and Chris will be available to answer all of your personal questions. So come and join us for the day. Call six five one six nine nine three four three eight to sign up. Welcome back to dishing up nutrition. If your HDL is a little bit low in your LDL is too high for your comfort level, we can design a cholesterol balancing eating plan. And in addition to that we recommend supporting supplements. So to supplements that I have found to be cholesterol, balancing in heart protecting our bergamot be PF, and that is from Ortho molecular products and the other product, that's helpful is cardio oxen from neutral, dine both of these products are very effective and clients do not experience fatigue or muscle aches and pains. And those aches and pains, those are coming from those status rhymes the statin medications. That's right. And I just want to repeat a little what? One thing. I was starting earlier is these we always talk about food first, nutritional weight and wellness, right? So we can we always say you can take supplements lots of supplements, and they may not be very effective unless your food is right. I right. So getting the right balance with animal protein, healing, fats and vegetable carbs is the key to making all of this together. Yeah. You can't supplement your way out of a bad diet, right? Right. I just like to throw that little statement in now and again because. Like to take the easy road. Right. A peoples day really stay true to their supplement plan, but the food plan it's a little off sometimes right? Yep. So we were talking about research tells it tells us that high triglycerides levels in women are much more dangerous than men, so overweight. Women who have high triglycerides and diabetes have two hundred times greater risk of developing heart disease. That's amazing two hun hundred that is amazing. And I know that some of the medications that they're prescribed might increase that risk even higher right right of developing diabetes. So if you are diabetic with high triglycerides, maybe at one time in your life, you were told to eat low, fat foods and may be very confused by the eating low fat. But what about the healthy fats messages that that you're getting that advice is absolutely wrong to eat low fat? So those low fat foods often taste bad. So they add sugar or carbohydrates to improve the flavor and texture that creates more try glycerin ads and results in more body, fat higher blood glucose numbers as a result. So a low fat diet is certainly not the answer in regards to my own personal experience. When I changed my food and stopped eating low fat cut out the sugar. I lowered my triglycerides by Lord, my weight, and my aches and pains one away, and I know Caroline, you have a good sorry. How story too? So I think maybe now as good time to talk about that, you know, before I started working at nutritional weight and wellness. Remember, I've been Titian for a long time over three years, but. My total cholesterol was over that two hundred Mark, right? And that's one doctors always say, oh, you need to either go on a cholesterol, lowering med satin, or you know, they don't sometimes even give you an option. But anyway, my cholesterol was just over two hundred two hundred nine my HDL wasn't very good. Remember it's supposed to be above fifty for women. Right. Mine was forty four my LDL, which we haven't really talked too much about yet. But we will was a hundred and fifty one. And my triglycerides were hundred twenty seven. Okay. So what do we say for tranquilize rides? We want it right about that seventy five. So my ratio the ratio that most doctors look at that I talked about at the very beginning of the program was the total cholesterol to your HDL that was four point eight. So that's a medium risk, and my triglycerides to HDL level was two point eight. So it was one twenty-seven over forty four right on and two point eight. So definitely that wasn't that one to one ballon, right? We're looking for so shortly after I started at nutritional weight and wellness, I had my annual of physical, and I'm really happy to report that since I've been eating the nutritional weight and wellness way. I was. One of those low fat people, JoAnne. I was eating low fat everything, and I wasn't you know, I didn't do a lot of processed carbs. But boy, I had too many carbs for my body right now. Yeah. So now my cholesterol still over two hundred but my HDL has risen to seventy eight. That's excellent ads. Really good. And that puts my main general of risk factor as no risk right down to two point seven. I believe it is. And we wanna keep that number below three point five, and my triglycerides are seventy six so perfect seventy five as our goal, right? So happy with that. And my ratio then my triglycerides to HDL it's at point nine. Excellent. That's pretty darn good. And then my LDL has. Lowered to one hundred and fourteen still like to get it below one hundred by. But anyway, I'm in the no risk category. Absolutely are and then the other thing that happened is I also lost weight when I started eating the nutritional weight and wellness way. And I had been struggling I'm over that sixty Mark. And so women do struggle menopause with their weight, and I just couldn't get those extra pounds off. But eating the nutritional weight and wellness way, I was able to drop those pounds and get my entire lipid panel in line. So my doctors are really happy with good grace. Story. Yeah. So as we said earlier on the show JoAnne, and I really have been around the world for a number of years. Yes. So we both have personally followed this whole sugar story. Did you realize that as far back as two thousand and three which is like sixteen years ago, the World Health Organization recommended that no more than ten percent of your calories should come from sugar. Wow. That's sixteen years ago that that remark came out and the report suggested that people could lower the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease by simply reducing their sugar consumption. But guess what happened the sugar industry tried to block that report and very, unfortunately, they succeeded. So the world hasn't heard this message loud and. Claire. So that's one of the things we're trying to really clear up today. Right. I was reading a book to an I was remember is somewhere in the seventies. There was a similar kind of information published about sugar that was blocked from being exposed to the public. So, unfortunately, there's been some of that. But in two thousand five the institute of medicine suggested that sugar consumption could increase the risk of heart disease, also diabetes, and raise our LDL cholesterol. But no one was listening. So by the year, two thousand the average person consumed ninety pounds of sugar each year that is amazing to think about ninety pounds of sugar in a year by two thousand eleven it was up even higher to one hundred fifty six pounds of. Sugar in a year. So think about that amount of sugar so thirty one five pound bags of sugar for every man woman in child in America. Wow. So. Yeah. So, you know, I'm sure some are listening saying, oh, come on idol by you know, thirty one pound thirty-one bags of five five pounds at each bag of sugar. But really what we want people to be thinking about is not just those bags of sugar that you're buying. But it's those processed foods the sugar that comes from those processed foods alcohol, you know, and all of the baked goods and the pop and the fancy coffees through that equate to that hundred and fifty six pounds of sugar. So it's not just the bags of sugar. So it's all of the foods that were eating and how that turns into sugar in our body. Exactly. So I think it's interesting also over fifteen years ago research found that sugar increases are LDL lev. Levels. We were told that is the bad cholesterol. And all along we were told that it was fat that raised our LDL. So there's more to that story after we go to break it's time for our last break here. So you're listening to dishing up nutrition, if the winter weather makes you just want to stay home. Oh, go to love to stay in bed. This morning. But you're also want to improve your nutrition. I'd like to suggest our online program nutrition for weight loss plan, it's twelve separate presentations, plus two one our individual consultations with a nutritionist or dietitian. We realize that sometimes with winter driving can be difficult or maybe you're a real podcast listener. But you still want to establish better habits. So our nutrition for weight loss series as a great solution. If you have questions for us, please call us at six five one six nine nine three four three eight or go online to weight and wellness dot com and check us out and we'll be right back. Have you ever tried one of those deprivation diets that make you thinner for a while? But looking all haggard and sad. I'm here with Anastacia who has the reverse going that radiance of good health. Anastacia you credit the nutritional counseling, you've got at nutritional weight and wellness. Yeah. I met with Joanna about three years ago. She definitely helped me lose a good twenty pounds. But in addition to that, I stopped drinking, energy drinks. And as a result. I no longer battle with restless leg, I sleep through the night hell else other than your weight have the changes that you made impacted your health, I focused better. I sleep through the night. I can remember people's names. And what about the fury? Now. I get to eat all the protein fruits and veggies. I shop at the grocery store like everybody else. Can you eat out with your friends? I do I might edit my meal a little bit. But I'm still out at the bars and restaurants with all my friends and family could nutritional weight and wellness help you like they helped in a stage yet you can check them out at weight and wellness dot com or give them a call six five one six nine nine three four three eight. Welcome back to dishing up nutrition. If you are a person who does better when you attend a class in person and feel you benefit from the other people in the class. Let me suggest our in house nutrition for weight loss program that starts the week of February twenty fifth in all of our locations. That was a well-timed commercial. We just got to hear Nells success story of her ninety pound weight loss, and that was with the nutritional weight and wellness program the nutrition for weight loss. So if you are interested in coming into our in house program, here's a breakdown of what you will receive. We have twelve one hour classes to one our individual nutrition consultations you will receive your own personalized eating plan and a ten percent discount on supplements. During those twelve weeks, you'll also receive access to our private nutrition for weight loss Facebook community and the magic in me food journal the way to weight loss cookbook in all of this for three ninety nine, but we have a special going on as you just heard. Save fifty dollars when you sign up by February eighteenth, and I do recommend taking advantage of the early bird special as some of our classrooms have limited space so sign up at weight and wellness dot com or call us at six five one six nine nine three four three eight call today. So next Saturday on dishing up nutrition Kara and Shelby will be talking about nutrition to ease headaches and migraines. So we'll look forward to that show. Yeah. That'll be great. So just to recap we've been talking today about cholesterol numbers. We've talked about triglycerides talked about HDL and starting to talk a little bit about LDL here. So over fifteen years ago research found that sugar increases are LDL levels previously. We had been told we had to reduce our fat to reduce those LDL levels. But that's not true. It didn't work for me. No me, either me either. So. Yeah. So there there is more to that story and Caroline's going to explain more, right? So when we talk about LDL cholesterol, or that low density like a protein, there are so many layers of information. So first of all what is the accepted LDL range? Generally, the accepted range level is below a hundred and thirty that will put you at a very low risk. But it really depends on what type of LDL cholesterol, you have. So both HDL and L. L cholesterols are made up of different particles. So if you are concerned, it's really best to ask your doctor to run what's called a particle test to determine if you have the lightened fluffy LDL and some people do right in those LDL numbers are high in their get concerned. But if they have the light and fussy that's not bad. That's kind of the good LDL. But you could also have those small dense LDL particles and those are not not so good for your for your health. But I have found to hand that some doctors just refuse to run this test. Right. So you know, what about have you got a grants? Yeah. I agree. And I know a lot of peop- and people just don't wanna pay extra for more tests on their own or maybe don't even know they have that option. Yeah. But then. I say to people. Okay. So you're gonna start taking a Staten. How much is that gonna cost you, and what's your deductible or whatever? And then we kinda reason it out, and I say, okay, maybe it's worth running this one test. Yeah. If you can so also too. If you do have those light fluffy particles it does reduce your risk. But if you have the small dense LDL particles that are oxidized in inflamed, you are at more risk. So when you think of LDL and HDL cholesterol, the LDL carries kind of that ready to use cholesterol molecules or particles to be absorbed by the cells that need the LDL cholesterol. We need some LDL cholesterol. We do and the HDL actually picks up that excess cholesterol and carries a back to your level liver. For recycling and excretion. So the HDL end the LDL actually worked together to keep us healthy. That's right. And I wanna finish up. Our discussion about cholesterol today by sharing some surprising information, most people think LDL is a bad cholesterol. But the reality is LDL cholesterol is really not bad at all. It actually has many functions in the body. So in past shows, we've talked about having healthy cell membranes. And how that is important are LDL kit cholesterol, carries beneficial nutrients to all of ourselves. So we need some of that LDL right yell is a carrier of those good nutrients Elliott cholesterol, also helps to make cortisol and estrogen and progesterone and test. Saas thrown those are all important hormones. We need LDL to produce our hormones. Lastly LDL cholesterol plays an important role in brain, health and brain function. It's a master antioxidant for the brain and helps to make vitamin d. And actually, I thought that the interesting we talked about it being a master antioxidant for the brain when my dad was on a statin medication. But was diagnosed with dementia. They took him off that statin medication immediately. So that tells you something about maybe they do know that there is some risk there and Joanna I gotta say the same thing with my father. He was on a statin forever. And then when he got dementia it again, no he miraculously came off of the Staten. And I never. Oh, really realized that until I came to nutritional weight and wellness. Why that was so? Yeah, you're right. So understanding cholesterol, as you can well, imagine is very complicated. And it's unfortunate that most people have not been given accurate information about it. So if you want to know more about cholesterol, we cover the topic and our weight and wellness series in great detail or you may want to pick up a book one of the books. We recommend is the great cholesterol meth by cardiologists, Dr Steven Sinatra and certified nutrition specialist, Dr Johnny Boden. We have so many clients who have been able to normalize their cholesterol levels through eating real natural fat and limiting their consumption of sugar and processed coup foods. So as we always say food, I we find when people follow our weight and wellness eating plan. And they no longer need cholesterol lowering drugs. The biggest benefits of choosing food over drugs are having more energy, a better memory, and fewer aches and pains. Another great side effect is balanced hormones. So this is right is the end of our show today. So our goal here at nutritional weight and wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet. Powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you all for listening today and have a wonderful day and stay warm. Yes. Happy saturday. Fun. Thanks for listening to dishing up nutrition. You enjoy this podcast. Please share your favorite episodes with a friend or leave a review on I tune, Stitcher or iheartradio, the content and opinions expressed are those of the hosts or presenters they are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. Product statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.