Friday, May 15, 2009

The problems with modern life

It seems that once you are diagnosed with a health problem, you find that half the world have the same condition.

I’ve been told that my cholesterol is high. The good cholesterol is fine but the bad cholesterol and the total level of the stuff is higher than it should be.

It seems that some doctors have an obsession with cholesterol levels these days, setting targets that are almost impossible to reach without either drastic changes to your lifestyle, a cocktail of drugs or both.

Thankfully, Dr Cartagena, who we are assigned to, takes a more realistic approach. He told me yesterday, that the target set by the American Heart Association for total cholesterol of 200 mg/dL was too low and that 220mg/dL was more realistic. Unfortunately mine is higher than that. In addition, the level for LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff) should be lower than 100mg/dL and mine is considerably higher than that.

When I went to the chemist to get the tablets I’d been prescribed, the lady who served me said she had a similar problem along with half the people in Bigastro. She should know better than anyone the extent of the problem because she hands out the pills!

Spain, with its Mediterranean diet of fish, fresh vegetables and olive oil, used to be one of the countries where cholesterol levels were low but that is all changing now with Americanisation of the eating habits.


As you can see from my diet sheet, Dr Cartegena is recommending me to return to the traditional Mediterranean style of eating. All those comfort foods like chips, hamburgers, cakes and nibbles are in the NO colum. There is no mention of pork pies, Scotch eggs or fish in batter but I think I know which column they would come in!

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