Posts Tagged high cholesterol

What is ApoE4? Why You Should Be Tested – A Quick Primer on Paleo for the Confused Fat Consumer


To Paleo or not to Paleo? That is the question.

If you are ApoE 3/4 or 4/4 that is not a question at all, you do not process lipids well – lipids are fats.

Approximately 25-30% of the population have the ApoE4 variant. If you do, you are at a higher risk for Cardio Vascular Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, and more. Find out if you have this gene though lab testing…do it! You CAN fight your genes and win if you start the fight before it is too late. Get tested. Don’t know where to start? Talk to a health professional familiar with genetic testing and get it done. Here is a link to one lab that performs the tests required to get the ApoE4 answer. There are other labs out there, this is just a sample to help you get on the info track.

The diet data studies are in for us 4’s; low-fat, good-carb, is the only way for us to control our lipid profile. The Journal of Nutrition study looks at the ApoE genotype interaction with quantity and quality of dietary fat consumed.  The Journal of Lipid Research study looks at how the ApoE genotype modulates the LDL cholesterol-lowering response to a diet. Both determine lower fat intake in ApoE4 affected people is paramount in optimizing lipid profiles. More data is out there, please do some Googling!

Paleoists, I am not trying to “harsh your mello”, but I would like you to stop trying to convince EVERYONE that eating saturated fats as a method of weight reduction is safe. I don’t want my fellow 4’s, which could potentially include you, the Paleoista, to be killing themselves slowly.

“If we view the population as a statistical whole, switching from an unhealthy diet to a clean Paleo diet even if it is high in SFAs in average lowers the risk for CVD. Unfortunately, if we break down the numbers according to APOE status, this remains only true for those of us that don’t carry the APOE4 gene.

For carriers of the APOE4 gene consuming saturated fatty acids can substantially raise the risk of CVD

Unfortunately, the wider Paleo community has not yet realized this important fact and still promotes the consumption of SFAs to everyone, potentially putting people in harm’s way.”

Everyone should monitor their lipids. A full cholesterol profile is a must to determine if your food consumption is producing positive health results. Optimal eating habits should be the goal. So many factors are involved and cannot be addressed in one short blog post, but to sum up, genetic testing, lipid testing, and macro balancing are key:

“With all general guidelines and medical research on APOE4 and nutrition, we should keep in mind that the reaction of our metabolism to dietary changes is highly individual. Determining the right balance of macro nutrients, especially balancing MUFAs and carbohydrates for an optimal cholesterol profile requires individual experimentation and frequent retesting”

Read the full article quoted above here.

Please note that losing weight on a Paleo diet, low blood pressure, low BMI, and or being “buff”, is NOT an indicator you are non-ApoE4, or that your vascular system is healthy. FYI -“Grass fed” is not a blanket insurance policy for clean arteries.

I am thrilled if Paleo works for you non-4’s, but please have your lipid profile done anyway. Sometimes even good genes cannot combat a bad lipid profile.

Confusion now cleared, we low-fatters can get down to the serious business of modulating our intake of fats and cholesterol.

No diet is “one-size-fits-all”. Food can be medicine or it can hasten an untimely demise. Choose your menu carefully: do your research – read, read, read, employ balance, stay away from fad diets, make healthy eating choices a lifestyle you can live with while on this earth. Do 20 minutes of exercise at least 3 days a week, more is better.

All the best for a Happy New Year, my peeps! Make 2017 your healthiest year ever!

Epicuriously yours,

Melinda

The Fat Free Gourmet

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Your Health Cocktail – What Are You Drinking?


bandaid heart

We all have a mix, a cocktail if you will, that got us to where we are, our own personal brew that makes up our health profile. “Yeah, right, life is like a cocktail!” you’re saying to yourself. Just stay with me here. ..compare your life to a Tequila Sunrise, a mixed drink made of orange juice and tequila with just a touch of grenadine syrup to make that beautiful  red-orange sunset in a glass. Imagine that is your current life situation contained in that glass. The orange juice is good for you, you could conservatively drink it every day and no real harm would come to you, given that you have no physiological adversities to it. Now, the tequila, well that’s an entirely different story – just a non-essential shot of alcohol to give the drink a kick. The Tequila Sunrise tastes wonderful while you drink it but you probably would not want to make a constant habit of consuming it because the tequila will eventually cause some type of problem.  The good and bad mixed together may be palatable and even make you happy for a while, but it might take a toll on your health.

Your personal life cocktail is made up of many ingredients, some positive some negative. For instance; being sedentary is negative (tequila), daily exercise is positive (orange juice). Some ingredients may be temporarily or permanently out of your control and unchangeable, so we are forced to include them in our mix at present or for the rest of our time here on this planet.  These unchangeable bitter ingredients might include an illness, stress related to our employment or lack of, our relationships, our financial state – these things can be fluid and may change quickly or over time. If you have too much tequila, try adding more orange juice!

I thought I was the hostess with the perfect cocktail, ha ha, silly me! It took awhile to figure out just what was in the bottom of my cocktail shaker! I came from a family where my brother was my abuser, not physically, just a narcissistic bully who never grew up. I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism at age seven. My father, had hypothyroidism, cardiovascular disease, age onset diabetes, and died from his second massive stroke at age 64. I met and married a man just like my brother (just felt like home I guess!). I was married to him for 23 years and had two children with him. I ran a small corporation with my ex-husband and homeschooled my children. Eventually my mother developed Alzheimer’s disease and came to live with us. Stress was a major factor in my life! Over several years, three different medical doctors told me that if I did not change my current situation I would probably end up very ill. My mother passed and after that time I decided to listen to the doctors and left my husband – my kids and I moved 400 miles away. That’s my tequila.

Here’s my orange juice! My father had what the doctor called, “familial high cholesteremia”. No matter how little fat he ate his lipid levels would remain high. He was a chef, owned a restaurant, and had a difficult time staying away from fats. I started to create low and fat-free recipes for him…I was ten years old at that time. His condition made a huge impact on my personal choices. I stopped drinking milk. I stopped eating butter, margarine, and mayonnaise. I ate smaller portions of red meat. By the time I was 19 years old I was on a very low-fat eating regime. I joined a gym. I snow skied, water skied, hiked, played tennis, lifted weights, and took aerobics classes. I took up meditation and yoga. My weight always fluctuated due to my out of control hypothyroidism and pregnancies, but I remained active and didn’t eat much fat.

I was 52 when I finally left my husband. At age 54 I had a major heart attack and subsequent bypass surgery…more tequila to my mix. What a shock that was. Before the heart attack I could do 30 minutes straight, full-out on a ski machine without stopping, lift weights, and play tennis. I did yoga and meditation, and wore a size 3! My cocktail was palatable but it took its toll. Stress and my adrenals had given out. I didn’t realize how bad the stress was until after I left the marriage and moved far away from the situation. Reality set in, I had way too much tequila  in my daily Tequila Sunrise for far too many years.

There are ingredients in your life cocktail of which you are in control, don’t wait, take control as soon as you are aware of them. My cardiologist told me that I probably put off my heart attack by a good ten to fifteen years because of my eating habits and exercise. Too bad I couldn’t have avoided it completely and taken care of myself. I just didn’t get out of my bad situation soon enough and my thyroid and adrenal system was about to fail due to the stress. Out of control thyroid disease causes heart problems.

Some of the best information out there on cutting edge therapies, tests, and strategies for preventing or reversing arteriosclerosis and heart disease are contained in this book, Beat the Heart Attack Gene:  http://www.amazon.com/Beat-Heart-Attack-Gene-Revolutionary/dp/1118454294/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414623249&sr=1-1&keywords=beat+the+heart+attack+gene

Exercise, eating correctly for your genotype (genetic testing to choose the proper diet for the way your body metabolizes lipids), and maintaining well-being are important ingredients that should be generously mixed into your life cocktail, don’t skimp on any of those. Make time for yourself and always make sure you have a good balance to the mix. Get a complete cardiac blood panel with genetic marker testing from a reputable lab that does a full cardiovascular analysis. Here is a link to the lab I use, Health Diagnostic Laboratories, which is also recommended by the above referenced book: http://www.hdlabinc.com

One more thing that helped me to get on track after my heart attack, I found a brilliant thyroid doctor.  My thyroid went completely bonkers after the bypass surgery and I needed individualized thyroid treatment to regulate my endocrine system. I do not take heart medications or cholesterol lowering drugs, just thyroid meds, minimal hormone replacement, and lots of good vitamins, but that is a whole other blog post!

Mix your life cocktail with as many good ingredients as possible, heal and stay healthy. Shaken or stirred, I wish you a long, happy, and delicious life!

Epicuriously yours,

Melinda

Please come visit me at any of my web haunts for more ideas, inspirations, and fantastic fat-free recipes!

My website:  www.thefatfreegourmet.com

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