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Lowering Triglycerides and Cholesterol:
A Personal 2-week Solution


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July 20, 2005


I did not know what a Triglyceride was until an insurance company told me I was extremely healthy except that they were worried about my triglyceride count being 660.  Being a daily runner and weightlifter, and having a muscular build, I had not taken much consideration of my diet.

I asked my doctor about this number as well as my cholesterol count of 196.  She asked me what business I had being alive with that kind of reading.

A subsequent visit to medical websites and in particular, the FDA government site told me that "high blood levels of fats known as triglycerides may increase risk of heart disease. So may an unhealthy ratio of the good HDL cholesterol to the bad LDL cholesterol. Coronary heart disease that can result from these or other factors kills more Americans than any other disease".

see http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/sep98/dha0998.htm

According to the American Heart Association, here are the numbers to be aware of for triglycerides:

Normal Less than 150 mg/dL
Borderline-high 150 to 199 mg/dL
High 200 to 499 mg/dL
Very high 500 mg/dL or higher
These are based on fasting plasma triglyceride levels.

What the heck was I doing wrong, I thought after finishing my grande mocha foo-foo coffee drink and glazed doughnut...I...I work out every day for crying out loud.

After the "you should be dead" email from my doctor and the "If you die I want a better insurance payout so get healthy now" suggestion from my wife, I took action.

First - Consult with your doctor! I am not a doctor - yet what I will tell you lowered my triglycerides from 660 to 150 and my cholesterol from 196 to 150 in two weeks.  I also lost 8 pounds

Second - I cut out all (well mostly all, but all is better) forms of refined sugar.  I started to put the fake sugar from the blue or yellow packs in my coffee.

Third - I started taking Omega 3 fatty acid tablets (i.e. fish oil).  I used VB Brand Omega-3 and took 1 capsule in the morning and one in the evening.  They are very expensive (about $27.00 a bottle), but I now use Nature Made Omega 3 tablets.  Also be sure you take with food and a multivitamin.

Fourth - I followed a diet and exercise which is not unrealistic for anyone.  I believe that I was able to achieve normal readings in two weeks because I already exercised on a daily basis.  Once again, consult your doctor before starting any fitness program, especially if you are overweight.

The best workout and diet program I have found is laid out in Body for Life by Bill Phillips.  No gimmicks or special food purchases - just common sense.

Here is a sample of the daily regimen that I followed for 12 days to cut my triglyceride count from 660 to 150 and my cholesterol from 196 to 150:

Day 1

0600

Small bowl of Cheerios with a little skim milk, multi-vitamin, omega-3 (fish oil) tablet, 8 oz water.

0900

Apple, 2 boiled egg whites, 3 pieces of pineapple.

1000

Grapes.

1200

Workout (45 minutes) – upper body weights, 2 mile treadmill run.

1300

Small green salad with cold peas, small amt of vinaigrette dressing, small bowl of lentil bean salad.

1400

Apple.

1500

Small bag of carrots.

1730

Shredded chicken stir-fry with broccoli and white rice.

All day

1-2 quarts of water.

2000

Small bowl of Cheerios with a little skim milk and 1 6oz glass of skim milk.

Day 2

0630

Multi-vitamin, omega-3 (fish oil) tablet, 8 oz water.

0800

Banana, 6 oz coffee w/ tablespoon skim milk.

0900

1 boiled egg white, apricot half, 3 pieces of melon.

1000

Grapes.

1200

Upper body workout, abs workout, 2 mile run. (45 min)

1330

Small green salad with tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, vinaigrette dressing.

1400

1 cookie.

1430

Small bag of carrots.

1530

Apple.

All day

1-2 quarts of water.

1730

Pork loin, brown rice, snap peas, glass of water.

2000

Small bowl of Rice Chex w/ skim milk.

Day 3

0600

Small bowl of Rice Chex w/ skim milk, multi-vitamin, omega-3 (fish oil) tablet, 8 oz water

0730

2 boiled egg whites, 3 melon pieces, 1 pineapple piece, decaf coffee w/ tbsp of skim milk

0800

1 cookie

1000

 apple

1200

1 Popeye’s chicken breast with skin removed, brown rice, piece of smoked turkey, piece of garlic bread, 1 chocolate chip cookie

1230

Baby carrots (10)

1400

Banana

1500

30 minute workout - weights, pushups, 2-mile treadmill run

1545

Apple

All day

1-2 quarts of water.

1830

Bean soup, salad, prime rib w/ fat cut off, green beans 8-9 pieces of roasted potato, part of a slice of apple pie.

Anyway, you get the idea.  Small portions through the day and exercise as part of a daily routine.  Even when I cheated and had my cookies, it was only a small portion.  Sometimes it is hard to give up the vices!

You should also give up any alcohol while going through this process as well. Good luck, and long life!

 


Comments:

From Lesley 
This was super helpful! My triglycerides are in the 200s, and I've been on a diet to lower them, as they wanted to see me again in 6 months. The tips for small fruit and veggie snacks, and the suggestion to take the omega-3 pill, are helping a lot! I was already eating fish, but there's only so much fish you can eat. I don't know what my levels are at right now, but I've lost 7 lbs in about two weeks. Maybe it's working. We'll see!

 

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