Many things come with age. Unfortunately, some of those are narrowed arteries and high cholesterol. These days, being prescribed medication for high cholesterol is almost a given, maybe even a right of passage from middle age to senior citizen-hood. But let’s face it, no one likes to take medication and many people would like to try supplements and lifestyle changes before they jump on the prescription bandwagon.
So first, let’s define a few things. When you get a lipid panel here are things you will see and what your target numbers are:
- HDL=good cholesterol Goal: Greater than 40 mg/dL for men, greater than 50 mg/dL for women
- Total cholesterol = combination of your LDL/HDL and other components Goal: Less than 200 mg/dL
- Triglycerides = Fat that your body stores Goal: Less than 150 mg/dL
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Atkins has long been a divisive and controversial diet. There have been studies supporting the diet, and others that don’t. The latest doesn’t.
Dr. Michael Miller, director of preventive cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, said that Atkins caused LDL (bad cholesterol) levels to rise by about 7 percent. The Ornish and South Beach diets had the opposite effect, causing LDL levels to lower by 7 – 10 percent.
While there have been varying results in previous studies, Miller claims his study is different because he designed it to see how people fared once they stopped losing weight on the given diet. Studies show that people usually lose weight rapidly on any diet if they follow it properly. It’s what people do after that is key.
“We don’t recommend the Atkins diet,” Miller said. “Why not start out with a diet that will be healthier for you in the long run after weight loss?”