Managing Cholesterol and Blood Sugar with Food

July 26, 2020

Two nutritionists help you understand how the foods you eat and the beverages you drink can affect both your glucose number and also your cholesterol numbers – for better or worse. Learn how to avoid the danger of prediabetes today, starting with what you next put on your fork.

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TERESA: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. I am Teresa Wagner. I am a registered and licensed dietitian and I work with clients either by phone or zoom two to three days a week at Nutritional Weight & Wellness. On the other days of the week, you'll likely find me in the kitchen or in the grocery store thinking of or prepping healthy meals for my family. I have three kids who are 11, 9, and almost 6, and sometimes I need to be a creative cook in order to interest my active kids in eating vegetables. Let's face it. They're regular kids and would prefer to eat treats like cookies, chips, crackers, candy, ice cream bars, or pizza, and on and on, right? But in working in the field of dietetics, I learned that those types of foods that can affect long term health or that they can affect long term health when they're eaten more than just occasionally. Because of my love for my children, I'm always trying to cook good, healthy food for them, even for breakfast. Some may think it's odd that I don't like to keep boxed cereal at my house.

LEAH: I don't think it's odd! But you and I work together. So that makes sense.

TERESA: I think I'm in good company here. It's not easy though, to be honest. Especially now that we are dealing with the coronavirus, there is a lot of cooking going on at my house. As a lover of nutrition and wellness. I'm aware of the long term impact too many treats can have on my kids' current and their future blood sugar levels and cholesterol numbers. So I try to cook fun, but healthy meals. One of my tricks to get them to love vegetables is to make zucchini pancakes. It's that time for zucchini, isn't it, Leah?

LEAH: It is, I was gifted a zucchini, like a GIANT zucchini a couple of weeks ago. So I had to put it to good use.

TERESA: Yeah, I bet. There's... they're just coming in the gardens right now and so the perfect time to use them in something other than zucchini bread, right? That's full of sugar.

LEAH: Yes. Yup, that's a common recipe that I hear in the counseling room these days.

TERESA: Yes. So what these zucchini's a great way to slip in a few more vegetables into their diet. Before I share more of my healthy food tricks, let me introduce that other voice, our cohost Leah Kleinschrodt. Leah is also a registered and licensed dietitian and she also works two to three days a week. She's also a mom and she is dedicated to feeding her young son foods that will help him have good long term health. Now in my adult years, especially after having children, I understand what children eat during childhood affects how healthy they will be as adults. It is often as simple as just making peanut butter protein balls with mini chocolate chips as a treat rather than your standard chocolate chip cookies. So, okay, Leah, it's time for you to jump in here and let's get onto our topic.

LEAH: Thanks for the introduction, Teresa, and good morning to all of our listeners out there. So yes, I really make that effort as well in my home to cook real food for my whole family, but especially for my son, Landon, who is going to be two years old next month.

TERESA: Yay! Fun age.

LEAH: Yeah. And I know Teresa, I go to you a lot just because you have three times the parenting experience that I do with three kids versus my one, but, you know, so we bounce ideas off of each other here and there, but I also decided to try the zucchini pancakes with my family and like, actually we thought it was very tasty and it went over well with Landon, so it was like, okay, this could be a regular thing. And then sometimes we'll even do...I love the idea of breakfast for dinner. I don't know if you ever do that at your house.


LEAH: So yes. It's like I could absolutely see those zucchini pancakes coming in as, as a breakfast for dinner type of thing. So those zucchini pancakes are on our website, And also those peanut butter balls that Teresa mentioned are also a recipe on our website. So if anyone is looking for some of those fun ideas for kiddos or even for you who are working at home and just need that break in the afternoon, keep that blood sugar up like those are some great recipes to turn to. And then we also have a video of Marianne, who's our kind of resident chef who works the front desk with us. She did a video of making zucchini pancakes, so if you are more of that visual learner, you like to just see how other people do it. This is a great tool that's on our website and she gives you the tricks, the tips and the tricks to help you make sure that these zucchini pancakes turn out every single time. And one of her big tricks is that actually, you know, zucchini, they're a vegetable, so they hold a lot of water. But in order for those pancakes to come up with a good consistency, you have to try to get as much water as you can out of that zucchini before it gets mixed into the batter.

TERESA: Oh, that's a good tip.

LEAH: Yeah. And so I think Marianne said you could do this with like a cheesecloth or even getting some paper towels in there, but just trying to get that moisture off, so then when you flop it in the pan, it doesn't just become kind of a sloppy mess. So this morning, Teresa and I want to help you understand how the foods that you eat and the beverages that you drink, how they can affect both your glucose number or your blood sugar numbers, and also your cholesterol numbers.

TERESA: Yes. Perhaps your last blood sugar or glucose test indicated that your glucose numbers were in the prediabetes range. If you look at your last printout from your doctor's appointment, you will find your fasting glucose number and many of you will also find your hemoglobin A1C number. The hemoglobin A1C test measures your average blood sugar level over the past three months, so it's a really good measure of how you've been doing over time. Whereas that fasting blood sugar is telling you what your blood sugar is doing in that moment. The normal fasting glucose number is no more than 99. So that's the number that's just right in the moment. So a normal fasting glucose levels under 100. The prediabetes range is 100 to 125. So if you have that test and it falls in that range, it's indicating prediabetes and the type two diabetes range is 126 and over. Sometimes the numbers can go as high as 500 though. I mean, I've seen them higher than that even and it's really scary and alarming and very serious actually.

LEAH: That's an emergency situation at that point.

TERESA: Absolutely. Yes. These blood sugar numbers typically represent how the foods you eat are affecting how well your cells are using the sugar and the carbs that you eat. If your numbers are above 100, you have some impaired glucose insulin functioning. So glucose is the sugar that we eat. Insulin is the hormone that helps keep our blood sugar numbers in the right range. In the healthy range. Oftentimes when you are in that prediabetes range, the extra glucose that your cells are not able to use for energy is now getting turned into body fat. And particularly it's typically carried right around in the abdominal region. That's a really good indication of insulin resistance and insulin resistance, or our body's inability to use that hormone insulin well, is the leading cause of obesity.

LEAH: You had some really powerful statements in there, Teresa, and especially like when we're sitting down with clients or well nowadays talking over zoom and phone and stuff like that. But, that is one question I will definitely ask if someone has been talking about how I've gained some weight and I just, I can't get it off. And I ask them, where does that body fat for you? Where do you gain that weight? And when it's right there in that belly section, then we know this person probably has some carbohydrate intolerance, if you will, or they're just not using those carbohydrates as efficiently as they should, which is.. That's what insulin resistance is. You're just not able to use those carbs in an effective way

TERESA: Right. We should be able to take those carbohydrates we eat, break them down into sugar, and use them for fuel for our muscles, for our brain. You know, so we have energy basically.

LEAH: Yup, absolutely. When I, when I started kind of going through lab work with clients and like Teresa, you mentioned fasting glucose and A1C numbers. When we start looking at these numbers and we start saying, okay, your fasting glucose was over a hundred. Maybe we are starting to get a little high with that A1C. They're sometimes quick to tell me like, well, my mom had diabetes or she had gestational diabetes. I'll hear that sometimes. Or my grandmother on both sides of my family had diabetes also. That it's all, it's like, I'm just kind of predisposed to this or that it's in my genes. And this is a myth around the cause of type two diabetes. Like, yes, we have some genetic predisposition, but I find so many people just, they attribute that cause of type two diabetes to their genetics. But I know we quoted Dr. Jeffrey Bland at least a week or two ago. And he wrote a book called *The Disease Delusion*. He says that 90% of your health is from the food that you eat and from your lifestyle habits. So this means we actually have control over what is happening physiologically in our bodies. So in reality, it means that what your grandmother ate and what your mother ate was really the cause of their diabetes and not their genetics. And then looking at that family history, I say to people too, like, well, you probably ate meals and food together as a family. So is it possible that just what you were eating as a family actually had some of those negative effects that lead to blood sugar dysregulation. And that's just, that was the family connection. Not necessarily the genetics.

TERESA: Right. Yes. That would be that lifestyle factors that 90% of our health is related to the food we eat and our lifestyle factors. So yeah, absolutely. Well, you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. Recently I have found myself scratching my head thinking, what am I going to cook for dinner tonight? Because like I said earlier, I am constantly cooking. When I need a new idea, I grab the Weight & Wellness Cookbook and planning guide and I truly truly do this. And when I do that, I find something that maybe I haven't made in awhile. And I remember, oh yeah, I love that recipe and it went over well with the family. I always make notes in my cookbook too, to say who liked it, what kind of modifications I made so that I can go back to it and see, I also date it so I know when I, the last time I made the recipe.

LEAH: Oh, that is a great idea!

TERESA: In any case, this keeps things fresh and I know how to keep things or keep it easy, right? The recipes in the cookbook are simple and they use real ingredients that are naturally very low in sugar. And if you are gluten-free, each recipe has suggestions to make the recipe gluten-free. And to be honest, most of the recipes are just naturally gluten free, so there's not too many modifications. Best of all my family loves most of the recipes, almost all of them that I have made from the cookbook. The Weight & Wellness Cookbook is available online at and we will ship it to you free of charge.

LEAH: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you need a little help with your digestion and you even, you have even experienced some heartburn after eating, I would like to suggest adding potentially one to two Key Digestive Enzymes capsules at meal times. And the Key Digestive Enzymes, they're a broad spectrum digestive enzyme that we carry at Nutritional Weight & Wellness. And here's some good news: we're actually offering 15% off of our Key Digestive Enzymes for the rest of July. Even better news: there's still five days left in July to take advantage of that. You can easily order online. Our offices are open to taking phone orders. So there's many ways that you can have access to these Key Digestive Enzymes, but Teresa, I mean, how many clients do you see every week that come in and they have digestive issues, whether it is the heartburn or indigestion or bloating or constipation, diarrhea.

TERESA: Oh gosh, I'm not really great at percentages, but I would say the vast majority of my clients have some sort of digestive issue. Whether they think it's serious or not. Yeah. It is very, very common.

LEAH: Yeah. I was going to say the same thing, even if it's not the main thing that they're coming in for, like we have that extensive health questionnaire that we're looking for and I always highlight those areas where the heartburn comes in or the bloating after meals and things like that. And so we know that there's something going on in that digestive tract that's causing some inflammation or some irritation. And sometimes the digestive enzymes are just really the ticket that people need to be able to actually break down their foods well so that they can absorb those nutrients well. So many of our clients report really great results while taking Key Digestive Enzymes, so if that sounds like you look into these products. It may be just the ticket you need to just help that digestive system out a little bit. So now that we're back on the other side of break, Teresa, you and I were actually just talking while we were on break, you actually had some comments about *The Disease Delusion* book that we were just talking about. I've never read it, but you have. So let's just hear your thoughts really quick.

TERESA: Well, so *The Disease Delusion* book was the first book that I read that I would say is more in this holistic functional medicine view of healthcare. And it totally changed my life. I mean, that book and…

LEAH: That's a strong statement!

TERESA: It did! The total direction of my life and actually listening to this very show of Dishing Up Nutrition, because before I had just had such the conventional thought on food and nutrients and, Leah, we were talking about how, when I studied dietetics, it was so funny the separation between actually food and how we were more focused on calories and the carbohydrates and the fats and the proteins, not the quality of them, just the numbers.

LEAH: Just the numbers. Uh hmm.

TERESA: And so, just that disconnect of the actual food that you're eating, you know? So, in any case that book was, was life changing for me, for sure.

LEAH: That's awesome.

TERESA: So in any case, I just love that book. So if you're looking for a really interesting book, check out *The Disease Delusion* by Jeffrey Bland. Okay. So in any case earlier, I mentioned making the zucchini pancakes and so did Leah. They're a savory pancake, so they taste great with sour cream and chives. And if you're feeling kind of fancy, you could throw some smoked salmon on it, I guess maybe that's not fancy, but that seems fancy to me.

LEAH: It seems fancy to me too. It's like, that's not something I keep in my house all the time, but I mean, it's great for some of those Omega-3s.

TERESA: Yeah, absolutely. So that can up that protein content on that as well. Serve these rather than giving your family frozen waffles or dry cereal or have breakfast for dinner, like Leah had mentioned. But do this because you understand the negative effect excess sugar has on your cell receptors and how well you produce and utilize insulin.

LEAH: Yeah. And Teresa, I think you summarized it really well before in saying when we have, when we take in carbohydrates and sugars and things like that into our body, we WANT our body to be able to put them into our muscles, into our liver, give them to our brain so that we have energy to move around, energy to think, and so that our body works well. But when we have too much sugar, too much insulin, over a long period of time, that process gets kind of gunked up. It doesn't work as efficiently as it should.

TERESA: Right. Leaving us feeling low energy. So let's talk about two different breakfast ideas. One that will give you lots of energy and maybe one that will slow you down like Leah was talking about. So I compared two frozen waffles, to two of the zucchini pancakes that we were talking about today. Two waffles have 30 grams of carbs, which carbohydrates break down into sugar in digestion, right? Which that conversion from 30 grams equals almost eight teaspoons of sugar. If you add some maple syrup to your waffles, like I would....

LEAH: I was going to say, who doesn't?

TERESA: So I would add probably about two tablespoons of maple syrup and that would equal about 14 teaspoons of processed sugar. That could damage cells. So in the two frozen waffles, there is less than even a half an ounce of protein in it. So it's very low in protein, high in carb, low in protein. And it has zero fiber.

LEAH: And not to mention, I also looked at the ingredients list for some of the frozen waffles also. And of course, right there in the middle there's some of those vegetable oils as well. So soybean oils, the canola oil, the cotton seed oil, actually, there were three different kinds of vegetable oils listed on the package, those ingredients. And we know, we don't touch too much on this during this show, but we do know that those more refined oils, they do play a role in this insulin resistance story and that they put a coating over those cell receptors. Over the little doorways in ourselves. So they also gunk up the process. They make sure that our cells can't communicate really well with one another or use the nutrients really well. And like you said, then we end up with low energy, with brain fog, and our body just doesn't function as well.

TERESA: Right. Yep. And really if my kids, or if I had this for breakfast, it's not very satisfying because there's no fat in it. There's no fiber in it. There's nothing to hold it and keep you satiated. So about an hour after eating it, I'd be hungry again. Okay. So now let's compare and look at the nutrition facts for the zucchini pancakes. Two of the zucchini pancakes contains 14 grams of protein, which is about two ounces. And that protein comes from the eggs that's in the recipe. And the carb count is 12 grams and that comes from the zucchini. So it only has about three teaspoons or the equivalent of three teaspoons of naturally occurring sugar. And then it also has four grams of fiber. If you want to add maybe some fruit on the side, maybe you have a quarter cup of blueberries that adds a little bit more of natural sugar that you could use for energy. It adds some fiber and it also adds some nutrients to it. A serving of those zucchini pancakes is a totally balanced breakfast because it has all three protein, fat, and carbohydrate that will keep your glucose and insulin receptors working perfectly. The processed, frozen waffles lack fiber and nutrients. Eating them over time can be a problem for good blood sugar control. At Nutritional Weight & Wellness, we teach our clients to look at the nutrition facts. More importantly, we tell them to look at the ingredient list on the food item to determine if it's good for blood sugar control or not. Okay. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition as we go into our next break. I want to share a few comments from a long time client. Bonnie, who has been following our Weight & Wellness real food plan since 2008. She went off the rails during this stressful time and started to gain weight. Bonnie and her daughter decided to join the Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program via zoom. Since taking the class, Bonnie has lost 17 pounds and her daughter has lost 22 pounds.

LEAH: That's amazing.

TERESA: Bonnie feels so much better. She has fewer aches and pains, and she is feeling grateful that she's back on track.

LEAH: Starting Wednesday, August 19th, we are offering the Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program virtually through zoom. The Nutrition 4 Weight Loss programs led by an experienced teacher, actually two experienced teachers plus a moderator to ensure that you get all of your questions answered and you can sign up at or you can call our offices at (651) 699-3438. And we will be happy to sign you up and answer any questions that you may have. I will actually be teaching the Wednesday, August 19th series, I believe with Carolyn, but Teresa, you have already been teaching some of these virtual Nutrition 4 Weight Loss classes. So it just, how has that been going?

TERESA: Yeah, I've been teaching the Monday class and, or at least one of the Monday classes, I don't know if there's more than one going on, but it's been fun getting to know the class participants. It's a very different setting in teaching, but I'm really enjoying it. We're getting better at it. We're getting pretty good and tech savvy, I would say. But it's fun to get to know the class participants. And what's so fun about it too, is that there's people from different states and there's even different people from different countries. So feel free to, you know, to join us if you're not from Minnesota, because it really there's no, there's no borders with zoom, so it's great.

LEAH: Yeah. One of the benefits, right? And it's like you said, it's still, it can be a learning process, but I like, we're all getting better with practice, whether it's a zoom or whether you're using another platform, but with Nutrition 4 Weight Loss, I mean, you will experience an eating plan that helps with weight loss, but then we see our clients like their blood sugar stabilized, their cholesterol numbers get better, I mean, all sorts of other benefits so much more than just weight loss. And I think that's something we really try to drive home in that class as it's about overall wellness and health. Yes, weight loss is typically one consequence that comes of overall health, but LOTS of other factors improve as well. So Teresa, before we went to break, you were kind of giving us a breakdown of frozen waffles or frozen pancakes to the zucchini pancake recipe. You're giving us some numbers about carbohydrates and teaspoons of sugar and things like that. I just wanted to give context to our listeners for what we're actually looking for in terms of carb intake for a meal. So whether this has breakfast, lunch dinner. Our goals for a meal is around 30 grams of carbohydrates. Like that's a pretty general place where we start a lot of clients. We may need to taper up a little bit or down a little bit, depending on how the client is feeling or how they're going about their day or what they're experiencing. But 30 grams of carbohydrates, which is around seven to eight teaspoons of just real food carbohydrate, real food sugar. And that's what we're looking for at any given meal and kind of spacing that throughout the day, that really helps balance out those blood sugars very nicely.

TERESA: Yeah. And if they have a condition like prediabetes or type two diabetes, sometimes we go down from there, you know, sometimes they don't need 30 grams of carb in order to get their blood sugars under control.

LEAH: Yep. Yep. Sometimes healing that insulin resistance, we need to go a little lower for a period of time. Yup, absolutely. So this week we were listening to a podcast. It shared some interesting thoughts and observations I thought. The podcast was by Lori Warren - she's owner of Warren Wellness, which is a clinic out in Boston and Lori, she has a master's degree in clinical and integrative nutrition. She talked about COVID-19 and this kind of being our new normal right now. She said, "for survival and growth, every business now needs to be a health business. It's important at this time that large and small businesses must create work environments that support self care and that includes physical AND emotional wellbeing." So she went on to also say that because of today's stress, you know, people are assessing every experience and every product as to whether or not it supports their health. You know, people are actually really analyzing things in a much different way. And at Nutritional Weight & Wellness, we are a health-driven company. We mentioned this, you know, just a couple of minutes ago, that health is a very broad all encompassing type of term. And we help other companies support their everyday worker's wellbeing through corporate classes and through offering counseling as well. So we not only are we helping our clients, but we're also trying to help other businesses offer some of these services to their employees as well. And Lori Warren also stated that your organs in your body, so think your heart, your kidneys, your thyroid, your skin, just to name a few things, they can become 60% weakened or damaged before it even starts showing up on a blood test that this is potentially a problem.

TERESA: Yeah, that's scary. Huh? Think about that for a minute. Your cells, your brain, your liver, and all of your other organs can be damaged long before it shows up in your blood sugar numbers. What you feed your family today can very well affect their health in the future. Your food choices absolutely can have a direct influence on your blood sugar level and your cholesterol numbers. If you want, or need to lower your blood glucose number to reduce your risk of diabetes, the nutritionists and dietitians at Nutritional Weight & Wellness, we all recommend eating a balanced diet of real food. I'm sure you will see amazing results when your meals are based on real food with three to four ounces of meat or fish, two to three cups of vegetables, and a tablespoon of natural fat, such as butter, olive oil or coconut oil. To keep your blood sugar in check, it's best to avoid grains like pasta, bread, and rice, and keep servings of starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes to a half a cup or less, because all of these foods raise our blood sugar levels.

LEAH: Yeah. It's, it's important to note there are definitely, like you said, Teresa, there are definitely real food carbohydrates, which those are great to eat. They have nutrients to them, but when they're more starchy, like the potatoes or the beans or things like that, you still want to keep those to about a half a cup just to keep those blood sugars nice and on an even keel. And the nice thing when I counsel clients with blood sugar and whether or not they have diabetes or prediabetes or anything, that blood sugar is something that we can have a major impact on in just one meal even. You can have those balanced blood sugars after just one meal and start reaping those benefits. You don't have to wait two weeks or four weeks or eight weeks before you start seeing that difference. Blood sugars are something that respond immediately to the things that we are eating. So you can make a huge difference in a very short amount of time.

TERESA: Which can be very satisfying.

LEAH: Absolutely. We all want those quick results!

TERESA: That's right. That's right.

LEAH: So now we're going to just transition over to talking a little bit more about cholesterol. We've hit on blood sugar a bit. So now we're gonna talk cholesterol. Now for over 30 to 40 years, I would even say around 50 years, there's been this myth surrounding fat and cholesterol. And this myth got started in the late 1950s, about 70 years ago from flawed research reported by Dr. Ancel Keys. He was using false data and what was coming up in his data was showing that fat was really the culprit behind heart disease and cholesterol levels going up. But the reality actually was when people started going back and actually looking through his data and looking at some of the newer research is that it's actually sugar that causes an increase in cholesterol. So unfortunately the past 50 to 60 years before we started tuning into just some of the damage that sugar causes. The recommendation has been to follow a low fat diet. Unfortunately in following the low fat diet plan, this actually resulted in people's cholesterol numbers going up and actually it becoming a problem. So the advice that was being given to help cholesterol was actually having the opposite effect. Low fat eating, eventually it leads to cravings and eventually eating those high sugar, highly processed carbs, and then down the road, we start packing on that weight, that belly fat, and then we have an increase in obesity in our nation.

TERESA: Yeah. Do you remember those low fat cookies, Leah

LEAH: Yes?

TERESA: I don't know...I was going to say, I don't know if you're old enough for those or not, but I remember the one that was chocolate and had that like rounded top flat bottom. And there was like cake in the middle or something. Oh man.

LEAH: Yup, absolutely.

TERESA: They didn't contain any fat, which helps, you know, that fat helps to satiate us. Right?

LEAH: We're not saying eat cake and cookies, but fat does still play an important biochemical role.

TERESA: So what would happen is people were eating these fat free cookies, thinking that they were helping, helping them lose weight or being healthy, but you couldn't eat just one or two of those cookies. And so we would eat the entire package of the cookies and we weren't satisfied at all. Even after you ate all of them. Maybe you felt kind of sick, but not really satisfied. Research conducted in 2010 and published in the journal of the American Medical Association found that those who ate the most sugar had the lowest HDL number. HDL is that good cholesterol. And those people also had the highest triglyceride number. And triglycerides, those are those sugar fats that are floating around in your blood stream. So we don't want that number to be high. So eating large amounts of sugar, more than tripled the risk of having low HDL levels, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. The HDL number for men should be at least 40, but you know, 60 to 80 is probably better or is definitely better. And the HDL number for women should be at least 50, but above 70 is better. So really what they found is that when you ate sugar, your good cholesterol went down and the bad cholesterol went up.

LEAH: Quite the opposite message that we were receiving just from some of the literature at the time. Right?

TERESA: Yes. Yep.

LEAH: Yeah. It's interesting. I do... like when I sit down with clients and again, this is via zoom or phone, and we start going over those lab numbers and if they have a lipid profile, if they've had those cholesterol numbers done, my eyes immediately go to triglycerides first. I don't look at that LDL. I do look at HDL, but I look at those triglycerides first because those are a huge marker just for how that body is managing carbohydrates and sugar, or like how much sugar is potentially coming into the body. And triglycerides, just like blood sugar, are one of those things that we can actually have a huge impact on very quickly just by switching over to those real food carbohydrates, keeping those starches to about 30 grams, keeping those carbohydrates to about 30 grams per meal. So just for reference the triglyceride number, I'm just going to put this in before break. We're looking for that number to be under 100. And ideally if we can get that more like 75, even 50, that's even an even better range to be at.

TERESA: Yeah. We'll talk about cholesterol a little bit more after the break. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. I found it surprising to learn that more women die of a bone fracture every year than uterine cancer and breast cancer combined. Preventing osteoporosis is so critical to your long term health and wellbeing. Working as a dietitian, I help many women who are being proactive in building strong bones, all of the dietitians and nutritionists at Nutritional Weight & Wellness, help women learn the real value of eating food that supports healthy, strong bones. We can set up an appointment with you with phone or zoom to address your individual needs. It is never too late to restore your bone density and bone strength. Call (651) 699-3438 to set up a time that works best for you. We look forward to working with you.

LEAH: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. These are stressful times we live in and that's the case for many people. I think that's an understatement for many people. It is reported that one out of three adults are showing signs of clinical depression. So next week join JoAnn and Nikki next week, which is August 1st, as they discuss stress, sleep problems, and weight gain. And I know we kind of opened it up to some clients before we took some just very common questions around sleep and we put that together in the show. So if sleep has been an issue for you, whether it's a long standing problem or something that has really crept in these last couple of months, this would be a great show for you as a listener to tune into. You may also find that taking one of our online classes, such as Getting A Good Night's Sleep or Good Foods for Good Moods or Five Steps to Boost Metabolism will help get you through some of these troubling times. I encourage you to check out the classes that we have available online. It's on our website. We've given address a couple of times, but here it is again, you go to and click on nutrition classes, and then there's a way to filter just for the online classes. And you can see all of our recorded classes that we have online and that are available for you. So lots of great topics. One of my favorites is the Pain and Inflammation class. I think that tends to be a popular one for most people as well, because you want to be able to move around without pain.

TERESA: All good.

LEAH: So on this side of break, we left off, we were talking, we were starting to dive into the cholesterol story and just how the things that we eat, especially the sugars, the refined carbohydrates, how those have an impact on our triglyceride numbers, on our HDL numbers, and just kind of cholesterol in general. And I mentioned before we went to break that for triglycerides, so if any of you, if you've ever seen that lipid panel, you know you get your numbers back: you get a total cholesterol number, you get a triglyceride level, you get an HDL number, and you get an LDL number. So you kind of get four numbers, all lumped into that one lab result. And those triglycerides, that's that indication of just like how much carbohydrate, how much sugar you're eating on a day to day basis and how well you tolerate those. And your triglyceride number, our goal is to keep that number for sure under 100. And if we can get that more in the range of 50 to 75, even better. And that those triglycerides you can make a huge impact on those very quickly. I remember one of the first clients that I ever worked with here at Nutritional Weight & Wellness, she was actually a returning client. She had seen one of our other counselors previously, but she had shared with me that eating the Weight & Wellness way and eating balance for her blood sugar and really reducing those refined carbohydrates, she dropped her triglyceride number by over 200 points in just a month.

TERESA: And that's impressive.

LEAH: Yeah, very impressive. So we know she was putting in the work on her end and her body was really starting to show that. So that was huge for her. And again, you can make a huge impact. It doesn't take a very long time and you might not necessarily feel triglyceride levels in your body, but know that is really reducing... Having a huge reduction in your cardiovascular disease risk as well. And so people who tend to follow more of that low fat diet naturally when you take out the fat, you are, you start to compensate with other things. And most people aren't usually upping the protein. What they tend to gravitate towards are those carbohydrates and the more processed carbohydrates and the sugars. So in eating a low fat diet and more processed carbohydrates, this increases the risk of heart disease. And so it drives up those triglyceride numbers big time. Studies link low fat, high carb eating to an increase in type two diabetes and having high LDL cholesterol and having high triglycerides. And this makes so much sense. It begs that question, you know: why would, why would we recommend more carbohydrates for someone who is basically carbohydrate intolerant? They just don't process those carbohydrates well. Someone who has type two diabetes or prediabetes, your blood sugar and your cholesterol levels are already high. Why would we layer more carbohydrates on top of that? So that's where that balance and bringing those carbohydrates down really helps a lot of our clients just feel better overall and it brings down their blood sugars and it brings down their heart disease risk. Now, these studies have been reported in major medical journals for the past 20 years, but still so many people, so many of our clients still believe that old inaccurate information.

TERESA: You know, I think some of it is because it just makes such logical sense. If you eat fat, it'll make you fat. Right? That seems to make logical sense. If you have a high cholesterol diet, it would make sense that you might have high cholesterol in your blood. So high fat, high cholesterol equals heart disease. And while that makes logical sense, it doesn't mean that it's true, right? It's not biological. I like to say it's logical, but not biological.

LEAH: I love that.

TERESA: And it's, it's basically, it's based on a really, you know, logical theory, but that has not been shown to be true in the research studies.

LEAH: Yep. That's a great point. I love that saying it's logical, but not biological. That's just not actually how our bodies function. And sadly, just still some healthcare practitioners still recommend these types of diets for their patients or for their clients to keep the fat low. You can go higher on the carbohydrates and that's what they're trying to do to manage those cholesterol numbers. And it's unfortunate that the answer then when these cholesterol levels don't improve, then the solution then just seems to be okay, take some medication to manage your cholesterol, take some medication to manage those blood sugars. But really it's most of those processed foods, especially the things like the bagels and the crackers and the breads and the pastas... they're loaded with processed carbohydrates. They're made from flour, which actually a piece of bread hits the blood sugar even harder than a tablespoon of straight sugar.

TERESA: It's crazy.

LEAH: Yeah, it is very crazy. And so all of these processed carbohydrates, they turn into sugar in the body and this drives up those blood sugars. It drives up the fasting glucose numbers. It drives up that A1C. It drives up triglycerides. It drives up cholesterol in general.

TERESA: I think of sugar as a very addicting drug. And I don't want my children to become addicted to sugar at this young age, or, you know, at any age for that matter. Yes, it does take more time to prepare real food for my kids a lot more than throwing some pizza rolls in the microwave. But my children's health is definitely worth taking the extra time and effort.

LEAH: I notice that too, Teresa, now that I have a child of my own, it's like when you, when the easy button just sounds so tempting when you're tired after work, or it's been a long day, or, you know, it's been one of those days as a parent, it just is you do want to reach for those easy options. But when you don't keep them in the house, then it kind of forces you like you've been doing, doing more cooking at home. It forces you to actually make some of those better choices.

TERESA: Yeah. And I, while I do it and I do it because I love my kids, it is definitely a labor of love. I'm not always happy about it.

LEAH: Absolutely, yes.

TERESA: But I do it anyway. Like many things that we do for the benefit of our kids.

LEAH: Yup, absolutely. Here at Nutritional Weight & Wellness, our goal is to help each and every single person experience better health through eating real food. It is a simple yet powerful message and that eating real food is life changing.

TERESA: Well, thanks so much for joining us today and be safe out there and be well.


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