Tuesday, July 09, 2013

No surrender!

Sponsored Series by Nuffnang Australia


HeartActive is a delicious, 99% fat free milk enriched with plant sterols, which are proven to help reduce cholesterol. Research shows that consuming plant sterols everyday in milk can reduce cholesterol by an average of 10% in three weeks.  HeartActive is currently available in a 1L carton with an extended shelf life (45 days from production) compared to regular white milks with a shelf life of 14 days.

You might remember a week or two ago I had a blood test and wasn't thrilled with my less than healthy cholesterol levels. Back in October or November last year, my total cholesterol was at a slightly concerning 7.2. Then, after I cleaned up my act in the nutrition department, upped my exercise frequency and dropped about 5kg, by mid-March it had decreased to 6.5. High cholesterol taking a beating -yay for me and my healthy lifestyle!

So after a further three months of almost saintly living, I expected to see a further drop. I was even hopeful of a score under 6.0. Instead, it had inexplicably leapt up to a worrying 8.2. What the HELL, body?

Some research and a quick consultation with my guru of all things nutrition sciencey calmed me down quite a bit and I'm not worrying about it all now. The most likely explanation is that some thing or other affected the test on that particular day - something I'd eaten, a particularly vigorous exercise session the day before, even my recent weight loss could have potentially caused a temporary increase in blood cholesterol at that particular time.

As well, my HDL ("good") cholesterol is quite high and my triglycerides are low. My ratio of HDL to LDL is also quite good; it's just the LDL level and the total cholesterol that drag the whole thing down to not so good level.

So I'm completely chilled about the whole thing now. So is my GP, who was so unconcerned that she didn't even want to order up another test for twelve months.

Meanwhile, I'm continuing follow the health guidelines for managing cholesterol levels. I may be unconcerned, but I am aware of the risk of high cholesterol and am not about to just ignore it, especially given that I'm over fifty. High cholesterol is a risk factor for coronary artery disease and suffering a heart attack or stroke would really mess with my plans for the future.

So I'm still following my usual exercise regime, eating plenty of veggies and fruit, keeping dietary fat reasonably low and getting in some protective good fats from olive oil, fish oil and so on.

The Heart Foundation of Australia recommends people concerned about their heart health to have a daily intake of 2-3 grams of plant sterols from fortified foods, including low fat milk, because of their ability to effectively lower LDL cholesterol. With that in mind, I'm continuing to use Heart Active milk in my daily meals - usually in my breakfast porridge, but I do try to be creative and come up with other ideas.

Milk, raspberry, yoghurt...hmm, what to do with these...?

Even when you're following a healthy nutrition plan, there's no need to miss out on dessert. You know how I love dessert. One of my favourite things is a light and creamy milk-based mousse, flummery or pudding, which inspired me to come up with this Lime & raspberry pudding.


I've put a healthy spin on a delicious creamy dessert - this one was a winner with Bike Boy; who is a huge fan of lime and vanilla.

With my ongoing approach to healthy living, I'm confident that when my annual check up comes around again, my cholesterol levels will be much lower.

Have you ever had an "unsatisfactory" cholesterol test result? What did you do about it?


HeartActive is a delicious, 99% fat free milk enriched with plant sterols, which are proven to help reduce cholesterol. Research shows that consuming plant sterols everyday in milk can reduce cholesterol by an average of 10% in three weeks. HeartActive is currently available in a 1L carton with an extended shelf life (45 days from production) compared to regular white milks with a shelf life of 14 days.


Photobucket

4 comments:

Debbish said...

Glad you're feeling more zen about the cholesterol reading.

LOVE the look of that dessert.... Mmmmm....

Kek said...

Yeah, Deb...taking these things as a personal affront is something I need to get over. LOL.

The pudding is really good but I think I can improve it even more...maybe in summer when there's more time to experiment (and more daylight hours to photograph my creations).

Charlotte Orr said...

Yeah, mine's gone up again too, but the bowls of ice cream I ate in the week before my test probably didn't help! The time it was lowest I was doing five cardio sessions a week for 45-60 min at about 70-80% of MHR (and two or three weights sessions I think) and eating products with plant sterols. Might have to give that another whirl...

Kek said...

Charlotte, I'm sticking with the plant sterols and all the other good foods too. I'm not letting one test deter me from my healthy eating path. :)

I figure that if a one-off event (like drinking alcohol or doing an insane workout the day before your test) can inflate the numbers, then the value of an annual test is questionable. I know the costs of health care need to be kept down, but surely more frequent tests to give you an average over a year would make sense?

And on that subject, why are blood tests so ridiculously expensive anyway? In NZ, they can self-request cholesterol tests and only pay around $20 for them...

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