I'm afraid there is a chance you have a slightly wrong focus here.
The effect of not eating cholesterol is very minor compared to 1) avoiding food that stimulate insuline production (which again stimulates a hormone that increases cholesterol production in the liver) and 2) avoiding saturated fat and trans fat.
An example: So-called plant sterols (a supplement) blocks the uptake of cholesterol in the GI tract. It can lower cholesterol by up to 0,5 mmol/l.
Statins block the hormone that increases cholesterol production in the liver. The effect can be enormous.
Once I tried eating a lot of eggs (several hundred mgs of cholesterol) but I avoided sugar and white bread. My cholesterol levels dropped significantly (from 5,7 mmol/l to 4,4 mmol/l).
So - I think avoiding unhealthy food (saturated fat and sugar) is a lot more important than avoiding cholesterol intake.
Can you state where there is more to be read about your first point: avoiding food that stimulates insuline production and as such stimulates more cholesterol production in the liver?
There isn't anything I can't disagree about what you write :)
Fact is that there are conflicting data about 'can we eat eggs or not',
also conflicting data about the relation :
lowering your cholesterol intake vs lowring your LDL cholesterol.
It does seem that most agree that avoiding trans fats and saturated fats is benificial.
So my plan is "to start somewhere" and start counting cholesterol (below 200 mg/day). The "side-effect" is that my diet becomes automatically lower in saturated fats as well (due to no more diary products and extremely reducing eating meat with visual fat), so I want to see how far that gets me.
Trans fat is "completely" out: at least I do read all the food labels and don't buy anything that contains trans fat. But I wouldn't be surprised to have minimal intakes when eating out.
Personally, I do believe that I should be able to eat 1 free range organic egg a day, (how many did you eat when you say a lot of eggs?) yet "believe" isn't very "scientific", so I am writing down what I eat and see what happens.
White bread was already out of my diet as well :)
Sugar is still in my diet though. Do you substitute sugar (and if so with what) or do you lower your daily intake? And what about eating sweet fruits like grapes?
I applaud your efforts to start consuming low Cholesterol. You have to start somewhere, and asking for low Cholesterol ideas is an excellent start. As is_something_wrong implies, there are a whole lot of theories and opinions on this subject. My cholesterol was sky high, so was my diabetes scores. I decided to use just diet to correct both. The numbers went down, but not far enough, it wasn't until I chose a balanced path that finally things leveled out regarding cholesterol and heart disease. For me, statins were vital, so were diet and exercise changes. Like the previous poster states, avoiding processed food is an excellent first step.
If you have high blood pressure or goofy heart beats, avoiding salt is very important.
This isn't exactly a recipe, but I do buy a whole chicken when on sale, and remove all the skin and visible fat, boil it down in the big pot until it breaks apart. I add bay leaves and Italian seasonings, about two Tablespoons and pepper. I reserve the chicken, then after the broth cools, I strain it through a strainer lined with cheesecloth, and cool it outside in the winter or refrigerate it, and skim the remaining fat. This results in a salt-free broth and start to several meals of chicken soup. The retained chicken is picked through and edible parts retained, and the rest of the usual vegetables added.
I'm also a huge fan of Costco's egg substitute. It has some additives, but I use it often for scrambled egg/onion/peppers/whatever breakfasts or dinners. The egg substitute is a great palate in the Fall of the year when all the garden tomatoes, green beans, onions, potatoes et all are in your garden or the farmer's market.
Egg whites contain no cholesterol, the yolk of the egg has been considered the LDL villian since the 1970's. Egg substitutes are 99% egg whites. If using real eggs, consider using three egg whites for every recipe that call for whole egg. For your pancakes, consider using fat free cow milk plus about a teaspoon of canola oil or olive oil. Canola oil stands up to heat better than olive oil in my opinion.
My exercise regimine is usually daily, at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at the fitness center or briskly street walking. I'm an old guy, but when in my late 50's and during my 60's I mixed in a lot of weight work, but I can't do that anymore. About six weeks ago I took a bad fall and haven't been able to exercise as usual, and last week a blood test showed a big bump in my LDL and Triglicerides. Exercise is vital.
I have very aggressive CAD and will take a statin drug for life. Diet and exercise combined with about 10% total weight loss alone will reduce LDL/Triglicerides about 30%, but statins in my opinion simply have to mixed in if you want to avoid heart troubles. I rejected them early on when my cholesterol spiked and have payed a very heavy price for being a pig head (look at my profile).
Hope your fall isn't bothering you as much as it did when you last answered me.
Meanwhile it took me 2 months on a <200mg/daily cholesterol diet to get my LDL from 143 to 104.4 mg/dl, where my wife went from 193.3 to 162mg/dl. Since we don't smoke, don't have diabetes, no high blood pressure, not overweight and no family CAD history, we opted not to go for the statins, as long as we manage to bring the cholesterol down by change of lifestyle.
We did another experiment: my wife added 30 minutes exercise in her daily life, I stubbornly kept away from the treadmill and to our amazement, her HDL didn't go up. Anyway's it goes without saying that our bodies are made for moving, otherwise we would have roots for legs :)
Thanks for the egg advice, it's just feels like such a waste to throw away 3 good egg yolks to end up with one eggwhite egg replacement. So we will keep that in mind and if like you say egg-replacers are just egg whites, then that saves us trying to look for then in shops here.
Main thing I noticed is that we are eating in more often last 2 months, and if we eat out, we try to avoid squid, prawns... Eating out is a pass-time here in Malaysia, and having for outings a day is more rule than exception, so I guess I spotted the problem :-)
Thanks for your replies, all experience is most welcome.
If you are really motivated AND feel the need, you can go much further with dietary changes. A personal choice of course.
The two heart disease forums on this MedHelp site seem to be using doctors from the Cleveland Clinic which is very well known.
There is a doctor associated with that Clinic who is well known for using dietary changes to avoid heart disease. His name is Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., a former internationally known surgeon, researcher and clinician at the Cleveland Clinic.
You can Google him. His ideas may be well beyond what you want to do given your current status.
Former president Bill Clinton attributes his changed diet a great deal to the ideas of Dr. Esselstyn.
Clinton has completely revamped his diet. Of course he has already had troubles that led him to a bypass operation and is highly motivated.
You don't have to do 100% of what that doctor advocates, but it will give you an idea of what the full course of steps are for those really motivated, often due to existing heart disease or difficult cholesterol tests results.
Another doctor along those lines is Dean Ornish.
I've gradually adopted some of their ideas, but do not eat entirely as they advocate. Like you I am seemingly healthy, but always looking to improve my numbers. My recent total cholesterol was under 155.
I'm not trying to go any further down unless it just happens as it flucuates from test to test. BTW, my LDL was a bit under 90. I just pay attention to the total and the HDL. My HDL was just under 50, but when I exercise a lot, it gets up closer to 55 or 60.
However, it is quite natural and acceptable for your HDL to drop somewhat if you make a large reduction in your total cholesterol.
Yes, the oil thing is a significant step beyond what most are willing to do.
However many people are making changes AFTER a significant cardiac event. Either a heart attack or having had stents placed in a 90% blocked artery. Some, like Clinton, after both bypass surgery and subsequent stents where some of his bypass grafts were clogging up.
Now, Dr. Ornish had been talking to Clinton way back when he was president, but he made few changes when first told.
I made most of my changes to prevent, slow, or postpone, possible prostate cancer and alzheimers since my dad had both. Heart disease was not a major concern. You see, the exact same diet is recommended for all three conditions. Dr. Ornish did some studies on groups of men with early stage prostate
Back to heart disease and diet. Personally, I am not against eating walnuts. I also eat some salmon about 2 times a week, and I use a salad dressing with a small amount of oil in it.
Oh yes and I eat about two eggs a week though I only eat about 1 of the yolks in total.
So, on all those items I am not as strict as Esselstyn or Ornish.
Still, my total diet probably averages about 10% to 12% of calories from fat, which is pretty low as you'll discover.
So read and read, begin to make gradual adjustments in the way you find most reasonable.
I also began down this road without knowing it, after spending several years traveling in Asia, where eating a big chunk of meat was just not normal.
One last point. I have gained a much better appreciation for many new types of veggies and enjoy them much more than before.
Of course, you living in Malaysia have many alternative choices.
One book that is very popular, though I have not read it, is The China Study.
(One added note. I've since read that the data from he small Esselstyn study was made up of participants who were ALSO all taking cholesterol lowering drugs. )
@Circa49: your diet with 10 to 12% calories of fat indeed is low. Munching on a snack of a 40g packet of peanuts (20g fat) with approx. 1 gram fat containing 9 kCal, and I am at 9% calories of fat already (assuming 2000 kCal is what I eat, as I never measure that either).
It feels like you are highlighting something I wans't looking at. True enough Malaysia has lots of food alternatives :-) But the amount of oil that simply floats above some of the dishes (curries, stews) is mindblogging. Add to that heart.org recommending to "Limit total fat intake to less than 25–35 percent of your total calories each day", it could well be the excessive amount of fat in our "outside food" that's contributing to the "high blood cholesterol affecting 35.1 per cent of the Malaysian population".
Thanks for pointing out that in the Esselstyn study, people were taking cholesterol lowering drugs. It's so common to tell people half of a story, or to do "scientific" research without highlighting the sponsor.
For the time being, I am reading "The Harvard Medical School Guide to Lowering Your Cholesterol", so will add Esselstyn, Ornish and Dr. T. Colin Campbell on my to read list :)
For The China Study: I was in a huge Tesco supermarket lately trying to find a package of pistachio nuts without anything but nuts... just couldn't find it. Ended up with peanuts in their shell, as those ones didn't have any non-nut stuff. Other than that rows and rows of cookies, cereals, candies... all stuff you won't find in "rural China".
Happy to see that your LDL is 90 and you are eating fish and eggs once in a while :) Myself I thought I was doing fine, but the LDL readings tell a different story. Anything that benefits a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle is most welcome. My father passed away with cancer, since then I stopped eating red meat (dad was a "meat eater"), but now with this diet: lots less meat and almost no diary intake, maybe the universe is telling me a second time "something", first time through fathers disease, now through the LDL readings.
The challenge I find is to discover what you mention: many new types of veggies and enjoying them much more than before. That's why I was asking for people's proven recipes. It's just no fun to ending up still cooking dried chickpeas 3 hours after dinner was supposed to be ready :) So any recipes or cooking ideas you have that are delicious are most welcome.
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