The Truth Is In The Numbers…

After writing my previous post about cholesterol, I thought that it would be a good idea to post some details about my health. We can talk ourselves silly about different types of food, but none of it really matters until we look at the science behind the ideas. I am a numbers person and I love to see the details behind nutrition: specific research numbers, vital statistics, etc. So, I decided that I would really put myself out there in this post… I recently had my blood tested to see what my cholesterol levels are, here are the results:

Total Cholesterol Level: 176

HDL (Good) Cholesterol: 70

LDL (Bad) Cholesterol: 85

Triglyceride: 104

These numbers are awesome! According to the American Heart Association, it is recommended that Total Cholesterol Levels should stay under 200, HDL (Good) Cholesterol should be over 60, LDL (Bad) Cholesterol should be under 100, and Triglycerides should be under 150. (You can read more about the recommended cholesterol levels here at heart.org).

I also had my blood pressure taken, and it was 114/70 (recommended levels are less than 120/80).

So, what does this all mean? These numbers show that I have very healthy levels of cholesterol and my blood pressure is fantastic! In fact, the nurse that was reviewing the results with me said “You should keep doing whatever you are doing, because whatever it is… it is working great!”

The main question is this: how did I achieve these numbers? Some people may assume that is it just genetics, but that is WRONG! High cholesterol and high blood pressure actually run in my family.

I attribute my good cholesterol and blood pressure levels to the fact that I follow a whole foods eating plan. I eat abundant amounts of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes. I eat minimal amounts of meat and dairy products, and I also try to limit the amount of processed foods that I eat. I also try to be active throughout the week, exercise can help to improve health as well.

Study after study has shown that a whole foods diet is one of the best ways to improve overall health. You can read on the American Heart Association’s website that they recommend focusing on plant-based foods and limiting junk food and animal products.

Don’t worry if you are not following these eating guidelines, because there is always an opportunity to change! Even if you are dealing with high cholesterol or other health problems, you can reduce your risk by eating more fiber and cutting out the bad foods. Some people are even able to stop taking their cholesterol/blood pressure/etc medications when they start eating a whole foods diet!

Of course, you want to consult with your doctor before changing your medication regimen. But, there are tons of stories out there about people who changed their eating habits and shocked the doctor, because their health had improved so drastically.

So, don’t feel hopeless if your health isn’t optimal, because whole foods can heal and help to prevent disease. Start working towards a healthy lifestyle, and you will notice a difference in the way that you feel!

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