Sunday, September 20, 2009

a hard lesson~


so i've been essentially going through what is known as "preconception counseling" so my honey and i can be in the best health possible before we uh, try to conceive. so i got my bloodwork done like a good girl which included about 15 tubes, a urinalysis, an ear swab and a fingernail sample. ok, i lied about the last two. but that's what it seemed like they were gonna do next. i was like, why don't you just do a body catheter and take whatever you want! haha.
so it all came back great.
ah-hem.
except my LDL (bad) cholesterol was like a normal human being's.
*sorry, diabetic friends. i couldn't resist. but you know the drill:
we have to be FREAKIN' AMAZING! we're diabetic! we're not normal! nothing about us is normal!
(by the way, this was all intensely discussed with grave concern (ie, you might have to go on a statin drug to get it down , WTF?!) in spite of the fact that my HDL (good) cholesterol was 'abnormally' high and my total cholesterol number was below average, i.e., meaning: MY HDL WAS A COMPENSATOR.
ya. i exercise and eat right (this is how you increase your HDL.) but no i don't scrape EVERY LITTLE SPECK of butter off my bread at the irish pub we like. would you like me to throw the foam off my cappuccino into the garbage, too, doc?
i must say, for such an elegantly chained molecule you see up there, that little guy can start some serious fights!
the American Diabetes Association loves us so much they expect us to keep our LDL cholesterol at or below the 'average' person's : 100 (god forbid mine was 115.) ok, i understand. we're special. we have a higher risk for heart disease. but we're also human and capable of maintaining our health. um, hello, i do that every day. and my A1c's 5.8%! so when you look at someone's lab results, you've gotta look at the person overall before trucking out the Big Pharma reps to pour pills down our throat. especially the wrong person's throat. that fat guy sitting next to me on the bus is at a way higher risk for heart disease than i am (not to mention type 2 diabetes...) i don't care what you say. i'm not gonna have cardiovascular problems just because i have type 1 diabetes. so how 'bout this to mess with your little med-school mind:
i could end up with heart disease if i choose not to take care of my diabetes.
i really hate how they never even try to talk nutrition or health, even with a super-health nut like me. it could go something like this:
emily, can you think of anything you might be eating too much of in the saturated fat group that might've increased your LDL?
my response could've then involved something like,
why yes, despite my tremendous intake of monounsaturated fat, i do enjoy coconut oil, if i do say so myself.
so then i could've admitted the only thing i could think of that might have increased the LDL: my slight addiction to coconut oil the last few months; which i did not know was such a bad saturated fat. i used it in my baking, especially. ok, i was going pretty overboard.
so we could've discussed eliminating it and checking back before pregnancy to see if any changes occurred. instead of always hailing some drug i'd have to go off of anyway (because it's not safe for pregnancy) as the savior to my fifteen-points-to-a-nondiabetic-status-freak-out-session.
so here's the dealio, folks:
OLIVE OIL, SAFFLOWER OIL, CANOLA OIL:
all are monounsaturated fats, excellent for cooking, what i usually use anyway...and try not to bake with coconut oil like i obsessively did. now i'm using safflower and canola for baking because olive oil is a bit too...let's call it too peppy for baking.
oh, and keep it ORGANIC ORGANIC ORGANIC.

note: you should know by now i'm not a doctor and you are absolutely stupid if your own bad cholesterol is dangerously high and you refuse to do anything about it through diet-change, drugs, or both.

so hello, i'm cutting out my beloved coconut oil, alright?! it's not like i have a reserved booth at mcdonald's.
however, i stand by the fact that coconut oil makes a very nice base for all natural sunscreen.

3 comments:

Lili said...

I got in "trouble" for having a "high" LDL, too (mine was 107! the horror!). I had tried to cut down on high-fat dairy (I'm a vegetarian) over the previous few months and had been exercising regularly. My HDL was also high. I remember the nurse, especially, said I needed to "work on" my cholesterol. Seriously?

I got kind of annoyed and just went back to eating the high fat dairy and not caring about my fat intake. I also wasn't able to exercise as often. What happened? My LDL dropped under 90 on my last test. so I'm at a loss.

Stephen said...

Actually coconut oil is said to be a very healthy oil, especially for diabetics. There is a ton of info on the internet about how good it is for you.

birdy said...

Lili:
that sucks! man, i can't stand how these docs/nurses/CDE's do that sometimes. i admire you for just going about your business; i really think it's a fluke b/c my LDL was fine last year. i'm gonna try the coconut oil elimination and see how that goes, b/c really, i think i did go overboard on it, haha.

Stephen:
thanks for the comment. however, i really do think coconut oil has too many hydrogens for the comfort level of my arteries. i have read the info and studies you speak of, but most of it was done on islanders whose diets are nothing like americans'---and i must say i eat a really, really great diet, but still think it's possible to overdo lots of things. even good things. i also think there's a whole bio-cultural aspect to food. i'm just gonna take it easy on that satfat for now and check back in on my blog in a few months to follow up about it...to me, it's all about balance. and i'm not arrogant enough to act perfect; i can admit when i think i've overdone something! :)