I love food, do you? Many of the foods I like contain cholesterol. This is the last article in a series I wrote on the topic. It continues on with research around ending the war on fat. If you haven’t read the other articles may I suggest you start there or you may wonder what all the talk is about!
Foods that lower cholesterol, are green vegetables. You can eat as much as you want. In this final article in our series: Ending the War on Fat, we talk about health and lifestyle.
Stay With The Big Guys – LDL Cholesterol Comes In Two Sizes
Medical scientists now know there are also two types of LDL, small and large particles. The studies show the large particles are mostly harmless. Most saturated fat contains these large particles. You find these large fluffy particle fats in meats, eggs, and some dairy.
So how are you getting small, sticky, dense particles? The answer is one word, refined-carbohydrates. Foods like corn, rice, pasta, breads, grains, cereals, packaged food, and instant foods, or white potatoes to name a few.These food do not promote health, it is that simple.
Dr. Ronald Krauss, a cardiologist and researcher who is a pioneer in the area of LDL has this to say. “There’s a risk that people have been steered in the wrong direction by using LDL cholesterol rather than LDL particles as the real risk factor.”
It’s important we begin to talk about what changes you can make to end the war on fat , I caution you not to wolf-down a triple-decker cheeseburger or pile cubes of butter on bread. It is going to take time to change health nationwide. Fast food, and convenient foods like boxed or canned are hard to give up for many. Start slow to add the foods below to your kitchen and new lifestyle. It is not about eating fatty foods, it’s about eating organic or clean foods.
Adding small amounts of beef, butter, or eggs appear to have little effect on your weight or heart still other forms of fat are more beneficial changes to your diet. At the top of the list is Omega-3’s found in flaxseed or salmon. Both have interesting studies showing they protect you against heart disease. The New England Journal of Medicine 2013 study found a diet rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats significantly decreased your risk of heart attacks.
Finding Omega 3 – Essential Fats For Health
Not a fan of Salmon [I am not], you can purchase flax seed capsules or add it to a smoothie.
Another study suggests, that the right type of dairy fat is okay. Whole milk, plain yogurt, and some butter may be a nice additive to your diet.
Coconut oil can help you lose weight. It’s a large LDL particle making it a great saturated fat. [Recently [2017 edit] some news outlets are reporting this isn’t true. The research is based solely on the fact that Coconut oil is saturated. As a consumer of food you have to research the reach. Food is confusing don’t be mislead.
So let’s get to the meat or rather the heart, of eating changes you may want to consider. Add some red meat to your weekly plan; buffalo contains tons of iron so adjust your vitamins if you are of East European descent. You may absorb more iron than other cultures. I didn’t know this until it happened to me.
Add in eggs for breakfast replacing grains. Cage-free eggs with added Omega 3 are good. Best are pasture-raised eggs. The chickens live outside and eat their natural diet of bugs and seeds. Chicken that is pasture-raised is important. You can find out more here.
If you want to lower LDL, limit your intake of small particle LDL foods. These are breads, flours, grains, rice, pasta, corn, white potatoes, peas, and carrots.
If you eat one of these at every meal, start by treating yourself to one meal daily where you don’t have these foods. Replace it with protein from eggs, chicken, beef, fish, yogurt, or tofu. As of this edit  new research shows that protein from beans and legumes is harmful due to the high lectins. Ah – a topic for another article.
Add to your meal things like spinach, onions, lettuce ‘no iceberg lettuce’, and avocado, or 1-2 oz. of goat cheese.
Speaking of cheese, if it comes in a single plastic wrap, it’s not real. Buy block cheese made with organic non-GMO milk. Goat and sheep cheese is best. Try to stay away from all cows’ milk cheese.
Do these new meal plans, for a month then consider making changes to another mealtime.
Where Do I Begin To Change My Eating Lifestyle?
For many doing lifestyle screening with a Functional Medicine practitioner can help. You enhance the best habits in your life and build new ones to replace foods or fitness that are not serving your wellness and longevity. Mindset is a must too. I see people fail because they don’t have their mind-body connection. It is so important that it is part of every program in my office.
One of the best meals to start with is your breakfast; it is the most important meal of your day.
Lunch can be tricky if you use bread or eat salads with commercial dressings, or pick up lunch out. If this is you, plan your dinners to be ‘Small LDL particle’ free.
Many business professionals meet for lunch, making this a tough meal adjustment. Pick restaurants that support local, organic, or natural foods. You’ll less likely get packaged foods this way.
In either case, you can eat chicken or turkey salad [tofu or fish if you’re vegetarian]. Pack it with celery, onions, spices, red/yellow pepper slivers, along with a few ounces of shredded sharp cheese. If you’re making your meal, you can pick up non-sweetened gluten free mustard or mayo at a health food store or online.
It’s best to limit or end your love affair with sugar. Most research is pointing to it as being an important factor in the increase of Alzheimer’s or other brain diseases. Carbohydrates turn into sugar in your body, so consider limiting these for brain health too.
Some research is saying one piece of fructose or fruit daily, is enough and to eat more vegetables. Other studies indicate unfiltered honey or pure organic maple may be too close to corn sugars when it comes to the sensitive brain tissues.
Time Management Isn’t Just For Your Business It’s For Your Life Too
Planning is essential for busy business professionals. We plan our business and time to be successful in our career. It’s time to put your talents to work for your health too. Get things ready the night before if pressed for time.
Stay with these 2 meals being gluten-free, sugar-free, and free of small-particle LDL foods. Learn to read labels. Ask your grocer questions if they don’t know, shop somewhere else. If you live in a small town, read and be your own grocery expert. Stay out of the middle aisles of the stores, even in natural or health grocers.
Many nutrition experts say, smaller meals 5-6 times daily are better than 3 big meals. To accomplish this, start with your breakfast meal. Create a great egg or tofu dish full of green, healthy vegetables.
Have plain yogurt with a piece of fruit mid-morning. If it’s not sweet enough, begin with a teaspoon of apple juice added. For some, they will need to make it honey for a few days. The goal is not to mix fructose [fruit sugar] and glucose [other sugars] together. Your body can’t break it down very well. The sticky stuff builds up in your brain and arteries.
Next, is lunch you can chose to eat 1/2 of your meal at the lunch hour, and then the other 1/2 a few hours later. This tells your brain-body food is plentiful, and you will increase your metabolism.
Make your evening meal, the smallest if possible. We only eat 2 entries at our home. One is a protein and the other is vegetables, often a super salad with only vinegar infused with natural flavors like garlic, lemon, or even mango! Evvo or oil gourmet stores sell tasty infused olive oils and vinegar.
Decrease the size of your portions too. In the beginning, you will feel hungry and it’s your addiction to food most often, not that you really are hungry. I recommend cutting your portions down to 100 -170 grams of cooked protein, with many green vegetables. This depends on your size.
When it comes to eggs, 1 to 3 depending on your size and activity level is a good idea. Be sure you are exercising 3-4 times a week. This can be a 30-60 minute brisk walk each time.
Rules of thumb use the palm of your hand to measure portions. If you must have a small particle LDL food like pasta, make it 1/2 a cup cooked, not dry.
But I Don’t Want to Be Paleo!
Many people wonder what the difference is when we compare Paleo Diet vs. Atkins, and there are minor differences. We eat moderated Paleo, and purchase for our home what I call straight Paleo foods. There are levels of everything. There are vegan and vegetarian. In my book, there’s Moderated Paleo, Paleo, and Straight Paleo.
What’s the difference? Moderated means you will eat a non-Paleo meal 1-2 times weekly, usually with guests or out to dinner. Straight means you don’t do gluten, sugar, dairy, or other flours. For an understanding of straight Paleo read books, Brain Grain Wheat Belly, or The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine.
Cool! It’s About Eating Better – Not Eating Junk
Consider going organic or natural, free-range and cage-free.
What is the other option? To keep doing what you’re currently doing, or to adjust two meals daily to a healthier eating plan. The later will give you less inflammation, more energy, better sleep, and lower anxiety. Think about how much better ending the war on fat can be in your life, if you investigate a more Paleo Diet menu plan or Tofu Paleo program where all protein comes from fish or Tofu.
How Can I Learn More about Ending The War On Fat In My Diet?
There are many resources on this topic. Working with a Functional Health Coach can help you. This is an exciting clip from 60 minutes on Fructose and Fat. Time Magazine the article is full of resources for research. Bryan Walsh, the Time Senior Editor, has an informative video on the web page. Once you start looking you’ll find many books written by various medical professionals, The choice is yours if you chose to end the war on fat in your life.
All images are courtesy of: Fotolia, Dreamtime, or Google Images [free to use, share, or modify, even commercially].
Some Resources that can be meaningful:
Suggests medical professions expand the scope of treating Cardiovascular disease to include prevention. http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1817256
Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury, MD is but one medical professional on the March 2013 report on the Meta study: http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1846638&resultClick=3
Time Magazine Article – war on fat – article.