Bad Cholesterol

I have decided to consult a cardiologist last April due to persistent chest pains. My ECG test, blood pressure and physical examination were all fine. What I had actually was muscle pain probably caused by carrying my then just 9-month-old baby boy who’s growing up pretty fast and heavy.

Since I was also quite concerned about my weight – I seemed to be losing a pound each month for the past two or three consecutive months then – I insisted to have a series of blood tests, which I had done only a month after this cardio consult.

I was only able to see the results last September – because that’s my only free time; I’ve been really busy with work and the baby – by paying my cardiologist a second visit. The good thing is I’m not diabetic. I initially feared I had problems with my blood sugar. I still need to be extra careful, though, about my sugar intake because my mom is a confirmed diabetic. Better be safe than sorry.

The alarming finding from my blood tests was actually this: my LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or bad cholesterol level was alarmingly high. From a normal range of 0-100, mine was 170. Holy cow! I mean, blame it on the cara beef.

You see, we’ve changed our family’s diet from pork-centered to cow-centered late last year on the pretext that cows are cleaner, ergo, safer and healthier to eat than those infamous pigs. What’s worst, we serve beef on the table three or four times a week, which leaves little room for fish and veggies. So more beef equals more grease, err…more bad cholesterol equals more risk of stroke and heart disease. Yikes! I’m too young for those.

So, along with the one-month cholesterol-lowering medication, I have embarked on a penitence, red meat-fasting, that is, to the extremes. I meant to pass my next round of blood tests with flying colors. I’m going to ace it this time. And I’m going to show my doctor how good a patient I am. Here’s a list of my achievements so far.

1. I have not had my fill of Jollibee cheese melt burger (good thing, this product is now phased out) and large fries for three, going four, weeks now. Come to think of it, I’ve been really fond of this combo meal for quite some time now. I think this is also a major contributor to my elevated LDL level. Thanks, but no thanks. I’m better off without you, at least for the time being.

2. I have been consuming fish after fish after fish I might soon have gills and fins appearing. FYI: Bangus belly, which I’m very fond of, is actually a good source of HDL (high-density lipoprotein) or good cholesterol, so I’m taking my sweet time gorging one belly after another as milkfish is actually my all-time favorite. I don’t really mind having paksiw na bangus three to four times a week. Yummy!

3. I have successfully avoided beef having only had one full serving of it in almost a month now. I also realized we’ve been spending more on food that does more harm than good. We’ve actually cut down on market spending because I somehow altered the whole family’s diet too, but not as extremely as I did mine. The whole family’s weekly menu now consists of one beef day, one pork day, one chicken day, and four seafoods day. There are always veggies included in the menu, by the way.

Am I being too hard on myself or what? Nah, I’m just being totally subservient to my doctor. I hope my hard work pays off. By the way, I had one sinful treat of grilled sisig last Sunday. Can’t say no to the husband. I hope that does not count.

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