March 7, 2017
  3 Replies
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Hi Linda, a few questions for you. My cholesterol is 169 after eating wfpbno for over 1 1/2 years now. It doesn't seem to want to go any lower. I am probably 99% compliant, 5'6 and 115 lbs. I read an article a while back which said that T. Colin Campbells cholesterol was 170, so I was kind of feeling ok with mine. Should I still be thinking it could go lower? Also in an interview I listened to recently with Dr. Esstelstyn, the interviewer asked him about the 150 heart attachk proof number. Dr. Esstelstyn started to clairify by saying that he thinks he was a little aggresive with that number in his earlyier book, then the interviewer got him side tracked and he never finished clairifing his statement. I'm not sure what he was going to finish saying. So those are my first few questions. The other is, my husband is over 300 lbs and does not follow twoe. It's all I fix at home but he can eat what ever he wants out of the house. His closet looks like a pharmacy. He is 62. I am very concerned about him and finally got an apt for him to have 3 tests done in a wellness package I signed him up for. They will test for Carotid Artery disease...Peripheral Artereal Disease and Abdominal Aoric Aneurysm. Are these tests going to show enough of his problems or are some of his problems going to slip through the cracks? Sorry for so long. Thanks for any advice!  :)


7 years ago

Hi Colleen,

My sympathies about your husband's health risks.  Although those imaging screening tests may show a problem, other potentially life-threatening problems can be missed if fasting bloodowrk is not ordered.

I recommend CBC, CMP, TSH, Lipid panel, vitamin B12 level, c-reactive protein (quantitative), Hemoglobin A1c, fasting insuling level, BNP, and a sedimentation rate.  Depending on the patient's history, other tests might also be needed.  But for his age and Way Of Eating (WOE), I would start with these.  

You have my best wishes regarding his risks.  It is hard to see our loved ones close their eyes to the science of hope that has lighted our path.

Kind Regards,

Dr. Carney


7 years ago

Hi Colleen,

The higher above 150 the total cholesterol level is, the greater the threats of visual loss and memory loss.

To lower your cholesterol levels, there are a few tips listed below that not everybody knows, but that have worked wonders for my patients over the 31 years I have practiced medicine.

If your LDL-cholesterol level is higher than 80, the following may benefit you:

Despite any possible genetic tendencies towards lipid problems, you may prevent disability and future suffering by choosing now to decrease your intake of cholesterol, which is found only in animal products such as cheese, poultry, sea-foods, fish, dairy, & meats. To lower your lipid level, increase your dietary fiber by choosing legumes (beans, lentils) every day, as do the longest-living populations in the Blue Zones of our planet.

These factors may raise cholesterol levels, as well as triglyceride levels:

  1. Eating cholesterol, which is only found in meat, dairy, & eggs, may contribute to elevated lipids.
  2. Eating saturated fats, which are common in coconut and animal products, may contribute to elevated lipids. Eating oils, nuts, seeds, avocado, and coconut products may contribute to elevated lipids in genetically susceptible individuals.
  3. Being overweight may contribute to elevated lipids.
  4. Caffeine, either in chocolate, cacao, or beverages, may contribute to elevated lipids.
  5. Eating wheat, especially when flour is ingested, may contribute to elevated lipids.
  6. Not eating beans (or lentils) and greens twice a day may contribute to elevated lipids.
  7. Eating too much fruit may contribute to elevated lipids, especially in the form of smoothies, juices, or sauces. Eating dried fruit such as raisins may contribute to elevated lipids in genetically sensitive people who are carrying more body-fat than they need.
  8. Taking in more calories than one can metabolically process may contribute to elevated lipids, especially when those calories are eaten after 5:30 PM. Eating later than 6 PM raises levels of cholesterol, & especially triglycerides, in genetically susceptible people.
  9. Not exercising daily may contribute to elevated lipids.
  10. Not getting to bed prior to 10 PM may contribute to elevated lipids. Sleep that is interrupted by frequent awakenings (from pets, time zone changes, children, or restless sleep-partners) may contribute to elevated lipids.
  11. Having sleep-disordered breathing may contribute to elevated lipids, whether that airflow is obstructed by the sagging of the throat and tongue muscles due to aging, or whether the airflow is compromised by sinus issues such as allergic swelling or prior nasal trauma.
  12. Drinking alcohol in any form may raise blood pressures, cholesterol levels, and especially triglycerides.

To preserve your optimum health, you need to know every 3 months that your cholesterol levels are coming down into a safer range, & that is why a fasting lipid panel is recommended as a fasting blood test, drawn 4 times per year. As you continue improving your eating and exercising habits, I will discuss your blood test results with you here in my office several days after your fasting blood draw. Fasting for 12 hours by not eating after 7 PM the night before the blood draw means that you continue to drink plenty of water while fasting. Eating an oil-free whole foods plant-based diet low in fat may save money at the grocery store (& by helping you to not need the pharmacy, hospital, and surgery center as much) and can also help you to enjoy your best possible health!

A breakfast of lentils, greens, sweet potatoes, other vegetables, and whole grains like millet will help you to losing cravings for sweets, poultry, meats, & cheese. Avoid high fat foods, as well as refined sugar & refined flour products such as those in most desserts & baked goods, choosing instead a product whose 1st word in the ingredient list is WHOLE, Cracked, or SPROUTED. The soluble fiber found in legumes (beans, lentils, etc) & whole grains, like quinoa, steel cut oats, & brown rice pasta will help lower your cholesterol when combined with 8 glasses of water, drunk in between meals each day before 5 PM.

Choose fresh whole fruits for supper at 5 PM instead of fruit juice or baked desserts. Include more variety of vegetables each day, not just those found in salads of spinach or romaine lettuce.

Bring with you to each MD visit your logs on paper of your blood pressures if your blood pressure has ever measured higher than 120/80.  The higher the LDL-cholesterol level, the greater the risk for BP's above 115/75 which is where the damage to the endothelial cells start.  (Not that we would ever prescribe medications to lower BP for a mere 116/76, mind you.)

I hope this was helpful, despite all the detail.

Caring Always,

Dr. Carney

7 years ago

Dr. Carney thank you so much for your response. 

After reading through your list here is where I can see I need to make improvement?...

-I use about 1 T. of  Wonder Cocoa 4-5 times a week. (Fat free and 99.5% caffeine free) but maybe still too much?

-I use whole wheat pastry flour or pasta or bread 1-2 days a week

-probably 2 cups of cloudy apple jucie a week total

-maybe 1/4 -1/2 cup golden raisins a week

-I eat calories after 6:00

-I probably only drink 4 glasses of water a day

-I probably have a tablespoon of brown sugar a day on my oatmeal

-I'll have to check on my LDL level.  I don't think it is higher than 80 but I can't find the paper.  The last check I had done was a few weeks ago but it told total cholestol at 168 plus HDL at 68.  Do you just subtract the HDL and that gives you the LDL?  Or are there other numbers involved.  (And it was non fasting)

-My blood pressure last time checked was 124/76...a couple months before that it was 111/70

-Glucose...non-fasting was 116 (140 mg/dl) (Feb. 8, 2017)

*As far as my husband is concerned, I will print out your suggestions on fasting bloodwork.  Mybe he will take it with him to a doctor apt.

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