I’ve been in an exercise black hole since January 29th – the day I hurt my elbow shoveling. Since I had tennis elbow surgery 10 years ago, I knew this time to immediately stop playing tennis and quit spin to let my elbow heal. Suddenly it was 4 months later and I’ve gained weight and am out of the regular exercise habit.
YES, I could have done some other exercise. YES, I have both a treadmill and an elliptical in my home. NO, I didn’t use them and instead wallowed in my sadness that I’d reinjured my elbow.
So I finally bucked up and got my cholesterol tested in November and the results were surprising. First of all, my cholesterol – after a year of reasonably careful eating and a lot more exercise, but no Metamucil or Fish Oil pills – actually moved in the right direction.
Details in a second.
Not only that, my new cardiologist (again, more in a sec on why I needed to finally see a cardiologist) actually called my cholesterol results “enviable.”
This shocked me. Especially because I gave up on the fish oil pills which apparently now,
Did you know there are quick, easy-to-use, online calculators that will tell you how likely you are to have a heart attack in the next 10 years?
There are several, in fact. Most of these online risk calculators are based on the Framingham risk score, which assesses heart disease risk in the next 10 years based on six pieces of information: age, sex, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, smoking status and systolic blood pressure.
The Reynolds risk score goes beyond the Framingham risk score. In addition to all the factors required by the Framingham risk score, the Reynolds risk score asks for C-reactive protein test results (which are not included in a typical lipid panel) and whether a parent had a heart attack before age 60.
In all the ‘bazillion ways to lower cholesterol’ lists I’ve read, not once did I see grapefruit listed. Well, it may have been listed (I don’t like grapefruit so it’s entirely possible likely I, um, skipped by it) but grapefruit is certainly not prominent on any list of foods that can help lower cholesterol.
And yet, apparently, it should be.
At least according to a 2006 (small) Israeli study posted online in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. While the study is a few years old and included just 57 people, these were a pretty motivated group IMHO: they’d been unsuccessful lowering cholesterol with Rx statins,