It was like getting the ACT results in the mail. My hands were trembling as I haphazardly tore open the envelope. Inside were some numbers that I felt might validate all the effort, the research, the time in the kitchen. Even though I wasn’t sure I put much stock in the numbers, I still wanted to see them look good.
My husband’s yearly blood work tests came back.
He’s struggled with high triglycerides and low HDL, and that coupled with a radical family history of heart disease and early heart attack, has always made me nervous. He’s been working out more this year than ever before (but fallen off the wagon a bit this month), and we’ve made soooo many changes in our diet.
We get raw, whole, grass-fed milk from a farm. We get grass-fed beef from a different farm. We eat only full-fat dairy and real butter. We’ve gotten rid of the trans fats in our home (but not in our lives as eating out is still an occasional occurrence). We eat very little white flour in the home; almost everything is whole grain. There’s so much more, but I can’t even think of what exactly was supposed to help his trigs and HDL.
The Good News
- Triglycerides down from 331 to 221. (The doctor said after hubby asked that trigs can change by the hour. We wonder: WHY is this a valid test of overall health once a year?)
- HDL UP from 36 to 50 (We were told that for men, HDL is very hard to bring up. His wasn’t bargain basement low, but it was close, all of the last 3 years. Huge success!)
- The ratio of overall cholesterol:HDL was flagged last year for being too low. This year it’s looking just right!
The Bad News
- 221 is still too high for trigs; they should be around 150. Two years ago he was at 192 after an initial reading the year before that at 371.
- The total cholesterol number went up about 15 points, and it did the same last year compared to the year before.
- His LDL (bad) cholesterol went up about 20 points, but it’s still marked “good”.
What we do Next
- A lower carb diet will help my husband’s triglycerides get even lower. Fewer breads and a lot less soda pop should be the goal! (Christmas cookies will be a terrible temptation.)
The Big Question
Before I even read the results, I wondered if all of it would really matter. High cholesterol is only scary or unhealthy if the cholesterol either causes injury, sickness or death. I have read that cholesterol is more like the paramedics coming to fix an issue that someone is having away from the hospital. So I think I won’t worry, even though I was a little crushed after receiving the results. There has to be something not quite right there, but I’m thrilled that they’re going in the right direction. We’ll keep doing what we’re doing with the healthy, nourishing food, and hubby can supplement a little to keep his immune system up.
Thanks for letting me share a little. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! (And Happy Birthday to my Honey, as well!)