If I am to believe the blood work, I am suffering from kidney disease, though I don’t know how, precisely I am “suffering.” I will see a nephrologist next month to hone the definition and ascribe each ache or moment of fatigue each proper place.
While I wait, I seek a means of control. The numbers on the lab report combined with WebMD and GoogleMayoClinic overwhelm until I fasten on the one number I understand. Cholesterol! My levels, undesirable – Total, LDL, Triglycerides, too high, while desirable HDL, too low and there is a wealth of advice on what to do, with and without medication. I read, voraciously. This is what I learn. Diet:
Ten foods to lower cholesterol in six weeks, amounts and percentages:
Beans – 1 cup per day 5x per week lowers Total Cholesterol 10%
Benecol Margarine – three servings daily lowers Total Cholesterol 10%
Black Tea – One serving twice weekly lowers Total Cholesterol 10%
Walnuts and Almonds 3 to four times a week lowers Total Cholesterol 5.4% and so on. Garlic, Chocolate, Salmon, Soy, spinach and Avocado make the list, with no specific numbers, though I am told 2 to 4 cloves of garlic a day are beneficial while an ounce of dark chocolate raises HDL 24%. Salmon also raises HDL while red wine lowers LDL. Spiffy.
Though no math whiz, my rough calculations go something like this – Recommended weekly intake beans, tea, Benecol, nuts x2 = 68% reduction (rough estimate). Logic assumes chocolate, garlic, spinach, soy, avocado and salmon = 2.5% each x 6 = additional 15%+68% = 83% total reduction in overall cholesterol levels in six weeks if I adhere to a strict diet of mostly beans and nuts, effect on Greenhouse gases notwithstanding. If I triple my intake of garlic, my daughter assures we will be safe from vampires, and if I eat a bar of dark chocolate daily, my cholesterol will simultaneously drop below zero while my “good” cholesterol will rise above 60. Red wine, beans, chocolate and garlic. I can live with that.