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Cholesterol problem

8/17 9:20:45

Question
My doctor said my cholesterol & triglyceride levels are high but didn't really tell what to eat to get it down, she just gave me "Crestor" pills.  I am 61 y/o I have COPD and can hardly get around because of my not being able to breathe. I can't even walk 10 ft to my bathroom that I'm not huffing & puffing and going into a panic attack before I get there.  So it's impossible to walk or get much exercise.  I am 100 lbs. overweight, because of this plus being on "Prednisone" so much have put the pounds on.  I know you are supposed to eat oatmeal to help your cholesterol go down and I do eat it sometimes.  I really don't eat all that much because I'm not active and don't get too hungry.  But I don't know what else to eat that is good for lowering it.  My other docter  told me to lose weight & not to eat over 1200 calories but I tried that and 1200 calories is not enough to keep me from starving, (or feel like I am )I guess what I am asking is what should I be eating to lower my cholesterol & triglycerides and to lose weight when I can't get any exercise?  Thanks, Mary

Answer
Mary,

Our cholesterol levels are determined mostly by our genetics (about 85-95%) and only a little by our diets (about 1-15%).  Since many people with high cholesterol cannot get it down enough with diet alone, medications are the only way to get to goal.

When it comes to our diets and cholesterol levels, you should AVOID saturated fats (animal fats) and trans-fatty acids (partially hydrogenated oils in margarine and fried foods).  These fats raise our total cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.  You can get more information on diet, go here: http://home.comcast.net/~lipid-clinic/diet.html

Triglycerides can be highly determined by our diets.  Triglycerides are increased by eating too many simple carbohydrates, such as; sugars, processed grains, candy, cookies, cakes, soda pop, fruit juice and alcohol.  Also, people who do not get any exercise and are overweight tend to get higher triglyceride levels.  You can get more information on triglycerides, go here: http://home.comcast.net/~lipid-clinic/triglycerides.html

As for your weight and your appetite, you are telling me two different stories.  First you say, "I really don't eat all that much because I'm not active and don't get too hungry."  Then you say, "1200 calories is not enough to keep me from starving, (or feel like I am )."

It seems you need to find a happy medium - over 1200 calories and less than whatever you are eating now.  The bottom line is - you need to eat healthy, but less to lose weight.  Please refer to the diet link I provided above.  I know that Prednisone causes weight gain, but not 100 pounds worth.

It would be great if you could get into a supervised exercise rehabilitation class to help get you into better shape.  Either a cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation class could really do wonders for your breathing, fitness and the overall way you feel.  The American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) lists many of the programs in the country (but not all).  Go to this link and choose your state: http://www.aacvpr.org/resources/search_program.cfm
Or, talk with your pulmonologist about finding a program near your.  Often, insurance will pay for 2-3 months of rehabilitation (restrictions apply).  Also, there may be a community program associated with the hospital, YMCA or senior center.  Ask your doctor or the pulmonary or respiratory department in the hospital.

Best of luck and hang in there.

Todd
www.lipid-clinic.com
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