Posts Tagged ‘cholesterol’

Life Line Screening

September 18, 2008

I think it’s important from time to time to have some health screening done. If everything is fine, great. If you need to adjust your diet and/or lifestyle, it also can provide the impetus to do that.

Life Line Screening was in Westcliffe yesterday. This company does ultrasound screening for carotid artery disease, atrial fibrillation, aortic aneurism, peripheral arterial disease, heart disease and diabetes. They tell you up front that if they find something terrible you will be told right away, but otherwise it takes three weeks to get the results.

I took it as a good sign when I was not escorted directly to an ambulance.

Life Line also offered a blood lipid profile test taken from a simple finger stick with results available in 6 minutes. Life Line says the test meets the Centers for Disease Control “Gold Standard” for accuracy. I was disappointed the pre-test survey, which is most likely used for scientific analysis, did not ask about eggs or lard, which I consume almost daily along with a lot of vegetables and fruit. My results:

  • Total choleterol: 196 (below 200 is considered good)
  • HDL “good” cholesterol: 87 (above 40 is good)
  • Triglycerides: <45 (below 150 is good)

Because my triglycerides were so low, the test was not able to calculate my LDL cholesterol, which people often call the “bad” cholesterol but is actually only bad when it oxidizes. It’s another discussion altogether.

The blood test also measured C-reactive protein, which is a marker for chronic inflammation, with high levels now considered a major risk factor for heart trouble. Mine registered at 0.67. Anything below 1.0 is considered a low risk, with 1-3 being average.

For those in need of some guidance about health screening and what to do about the results, I recommend the book “In Fitness and In Health” written by Phil Maffetone and edited by myself. 

Chickens, eggs and cholesterol

July 12, 2008

We set two new records here on Wednesday. Sixty-seven people visited Hardscrabble Times in one day. And the hens — nine araucanas and three buff orpingtons — laid 10 eggs. The chickens and rooster are a new and welcome addition — the first livestock that actually paid me back the first day I owned them. They are also fun to watch. The araucanas lay big greenish-blue eggs, and the buffs’ eggs are brown. Both have deep-orange yolks. I typically eat several eggs a day, at least two and sometimes as many as six, so it makes sense to have my own hens, not so much for cost-saving reasons, but to ensure the highest-quality eggs

My chickens eat vegetable scraps from the kitchen, are allowed to free-range daily to eat grass, bugs and whatever else they want, and are supplemented with Purina Layena, a feed that does not contain any animal-part ingredients.

Many people do not realize eggs carry the highest protein rating of any food and also contain high amounts of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Eggs also provide significant amounts of micronutrients such as vitamins A, D, E, B-1, B-2, B-6, B-12, folic acid, choline and biotin, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron.

Researchers from the Department of Human Nutrition at Kansas State University have identified a substance in eggs that appears to prevent cholesterol from being absorbed through the intestines and into the blood stream. This substance, phosphatidylcholine, may partly explain why eggs do not contribute significantly to blood-cholesterol levels as once believed, according to the researchers’ study published in the Journal of Nutrition.

To back this up, the Framingham Study, the largest ongoing medical study, found no relationship between cholesterol consumption and blood levels in 16,000 participants tracked over the course of six years.

While this news is welcome to egg-lovers everywhere, it only adds to the growing body of scientific evidence helping to clear eggs of their bad nutritional rap.

By the way, I have my own scientific study going on. I have consumed eggs nearly every day for more than 10 years. A recent blood-lipid profile scored my HDL (“good”) cholesterol at 87, which the lab said was “abnormally high.”