Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Q it up!

My very first question!

(Remember the following answer is merely a suggestion. Any alteration to your diet should be discussed thoroughly with a licensed health care provider or a physician. My answer is just something to consider, or to use as a starting point when speaking with your providers)

Q: I have high cholesterol. How do I take care of that while also trying to put on healthy weight?

A: Quantity and quality. The phrase "everything in moderation" is also a good summary, but it's become very cliched. The concept of quantity and quality comes from anatomy & physiology where the basic items organisms need to function (water, heat, food, pressure and oxygen) should be of good quality and abundance. If you're drinking water that's junk, your body will have junky functions.

So, how does this relate to cholesterol?

A co-worker of mine is a good example of quantity & quality. He is predispositioned for high cholesterol, so he avoids a lot of the typical things we associate with bad cholesterol such as smoking, heaving drinking and fried foods. But, when he really craves something, he eats something "bad" and very specific on that rare occasion. He chooses something he deems of quality and limits the quantity. Meanwhile, in his daily regimen he eats healthily -- recently he's been eating cooked rice & meat add adding fresh baby spinach for lunch -- and drinks nearly 1/2 gallon of water everyday. He's jubilant and although he works a desk job, he moves to and fro.

Also, the idea of quantity can be applied to limiting the amount of saturated fat consumed when eating animal fats. When choosing a protein, lean is best, but if you must go for fattier cuts, either trim the fat yourself before cooking OR select cuts of meat where it's labeled the animals were fed an organic or whole grain diet. These animals will be naturally leaner because the quantity and quality of their food was considered and will have less fat than the animal that was fed random feed.

Be choosy, limit amounts of alcohol: if you're going to have beer and cocktails, select quality and reduce the amount of alcohol you consumed by alternating water in between alcoholic sips.

Lastly, exercise the mind and body. Stress will ruin your body faster than a fattier meat, mainly because you'll stress out and pig out on the bad stuff to feel better! Exercise releases toxins in the body (such as lactic acid) and keeps the blood flowing. It may also release endorphins, which will give you a nice "pick me up" feeling. It can also improve blood flow. If your circulation remains good, the likelihood of clogged arteries can be reduced.

Also (lastly lastly) water is also a key factor because it's responsible for a lot of the movement of bodily functions, so you need to supply your body with it.

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