So I am not one to blow my own trumpet (ever!) and I am certainly not modest, but I am feeling pretty smug with myself at the moment and thought I would boast a little on my blog.
I had my annual physical at the docs this week and had the results of my cholesterol back. The doc claimed he had never seen such low numbers and said to continue doing whatever it is I am doing, because I pretty much couldn't get much better.
Phew!!! - now that I have exhausted my shameless praising of myself, I thought that I would do a little research and find out exactly what it is that I am doing that works!
exercise: can raise the HDL and lower the LDL - which is the direction you need both to move in.
diet: the 2 main things that can effect your cholesterol levels are saturated fats and cholesterol from food (ie from animals). One of the main causes of heart attacks in the USA are from over consumption of these two elements. I know that I only eat a little meat, chicken and occasionally pork, and the only saturated fats I think I consume come from butter (I refuse to give that up). I also eat lots of good fats, omega 3, which are known to raise the HDL (good cholesterol) and reduce triglycerides.
stress levels: Stress over the long term has been shown in several studies to raise blood cholesterol levels. One way that stress may do this is by affecting your habits. For example, when some people are under stress, they console themselves by eating fatty foods.
genes: it seems there is a form of genetic high cholesterol out there, but even if this doesn't exist in you, your genes can still influence your LDL (bad) levels.
other influences: alcohol level, age and sex.
to summarise: eating well + exercising + staying relaxed = longevity and lower cholesterol!!