High Triglycerides

A place to get your questions answered from McDougall staff dietitian, Jeff Novick, MS, RDN.

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High Triglycerides

Postby sdbenson45 » Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:03 pm

Jeff:

I have a narrow question for you: I love bean burritos and pizzas - how can I still eat these on Ornish's heart disease reversal diet without sending my triglycerides through the roof?

When I got out of the Army in Feb of 07, my total chol. was 273, LDL 211. Triglycerides and everything else was within normal limits. In late Nov of 07, I went on Dr. Ornish's reversal diet. In late Jun of 08, I got my levels checked again just to see where I was. Total chol. had dropped to 202, but triglycerides spiked way up to 526. LDL could not be measured because of the high triglycerides. I think I know what the problem is after having read some of your earlier discussions about this subject. I have been cutting out all of the fat and saturated fat from my diet, but I have been eating way too many processed carbs such as canned beans, fat-free fudge bars, supermarket bread, pre-made pizza crusts, and supermarket tortias.

Since giving up steaks, fried chicken, and Taco Bell, my favorite foods over the past 7 months have been pizzas with no cheese (either just crust an marina sauce, or crust and sauce with veggie toppings). I also love bean burritos and mexican rice and use that to get much of my protein since abandoning meat products.

I know now that I need to alter my carb intake to complex carbs and elliminate the processed carbs to get the triglycerides down, but I would really love to find a way to still eat burritos and pizzas. I don't know much about "intact whole grains." Any suggestions you could give me on my :) pizza crust and tortia crisis would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
Stephen D. Benson
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Re: High Triglycerides

Postby JeffN » Sun Jul 13, 2008 5:17 pm

sdbenson45 wrote:Jeff:

I have a narrow question for you: I love bean burritos and pizzas - how can I still eat these on Ornish's heart disease reversal diet without sending my triglycerides through the roof?

Since giving up steaks, fried chicken, and Taco Bell, my favorite foods over the past 7 months have been pizzas with no cheese (either just crust an marina sauce, or crust and sauce with veggie toppings). I also love bean burritos and mexican rice and use that to get much of my protein since abandoning meat products.

I know now that I need to alter my carb intake to complex carbs and elliminate the processed carbs to get the triglycerides down, but I would really love to find a way to still eat burritos and pizzas. I don't know much about "intact whole grains." Any suggestions you could give me on my :) pizza crust and tortia crisis would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.


Hi

Regardless of the "name" of the diet you choose to follow, a healthy diet would still follow the same basic principles and guidelines. In addition, depending on your personal health/medical issues, similar adjustments would have to be made.

In regard to triglycerides, besides following the principles and guidelines of a healthy diet (as outlined here) and healthy lifestyle, including being active, maintaining a healthy weight, there are several factors known to directly relate to triglycerides. These incllude

- refined and processed sweeteners/sugars

- refined and processed grains/cereals (including whole grain)

- higher fat intakes

- alcohol

- excess weight, specifically around the "middle or midsection"

While you can find healthier whole grain versions of pizza crusts, and tortillas, and these may be "better" choices for you, you may find that you need to eliminate all the processed carbs till you get your numbers in line. Once that occurs, than you can experiment by adding them back in slowly and monitoring your numbers.

In Health
Jeff
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