But, I am beyond grateful for the healthful “side effects” of this beautiful and nutritious diet.
As a vegetarian, as best as I can recall, my cholesterol level was 200ish. And, by the way, I am hereditarily predisposed to high cholesterol and high blood pressure, especially on my mother’s side (Mama takes medication for both), though my 84 year old father recently started taking medication for the latter.
Tough I have a severe needle phobia (my doctor’s nurse called my a whiny baby…jokingly), the “carrot” of a new $500 health insurance credit based on a health screening convinced me to combine the latter with my annual visit to my gynecologist, Theresa Whibley (yep, the Norfolk City Councilwoman) last week. Part of that screening included a cholesterol panel.
Dr. Whibley’s nurse, Sandra, called me with my profile yesterday practically giddy. Not only have I long had textbook blood pressure, which can tip a little toward the low end, but get a load of these numbers which, incidentally, have varied little since my January 2009 numbers (in parentheses) or improved:
Cholesterol: 154 (153)
HDL (the “good” cholesterol): 89 (79)
LDL (the “bad” cholesterol): 53 (62)
Triglycerides: 62 (58)
I’ll drink (a glass of red wine) to that!
If you aren’t up on the new target numbers, these are off-the-charts fantastic. According to the Mayo Clinic, below 200 is “desirable.” For HDL, 60 or above is considered “best.” for LDL, 100-129 is “near ideal,” but 70 is ideal for those at very high risk for heart disease. And below 150 is desirable for triglycerides.
Wow. I feel incredibly fortunate. And so healthy! But pride cometh before a fall, so I am taking nothing for granted. Still, can we all agree that the vegan diet–not to mention exercise–is truly the heart healthiest way to go?
Here’s to all of us…may we long live in the full bloom of rosy good health!