High Blood Pressure and High Cholestrol

JerSchmare
JerSchmare Posts: 1,214 Member
edited April 2017 in Food and Nutrition
Not sure how to ask this question. I've been on MFP for many years. I recently left the site for another competing site, but came back here. I have been logging my food and excercise for a long time. I'm 52 YO, 6', last weigh-in was 184.

I workout 6 days a week: M, W, and F I do a 5/3/1 strength training program, T, Th, Sat I run on a treadmill for 3 miles, on Sat I usually hill sprint on the treadmill. Sun I rest.

I eat pretty damn good. Let's keep the snark aside. I never eat fast food. I take my lunches to work everyday. I typically eat baked chicken breast with a serving of BBQ sauce. Some fruit. And a veggie. For breakfast, most days I have a Quest bar (usually chocolate chip cookie dough, 190 cals). Dinner is about the same as lunch except more cals.

Most days I eat about 2,000 calories. I do add my workout calories. For weight lifting it's about 250 per session. For running it's about 400.

The only bad things I do are: I have 2 drinks, sometimes 3 every night. This is how I relax from my extremely stressful work. But, I do stop after 3. The other bad thing is that Sat night is date night with my wife. Since we're new to town, we enjoy trying new restaurants. I eat whatever I want and don't track it.

I'm pissed off because I feel like I really am in good shape, work hard 6 days a week, eat well 6 days a week, and don't really do anything that should be causing this.

I don't know what to change. I'll cut the drinking at night, and I'll cut the Sat eating, and will eat reasonably on our date night. But, I am at a loss because there isn't a lot to improve on.

Are there certain foods I should be eating more of? I have googled it, but I can't find real information. It all seems like uneducated opinions.

I'm on vacation right now, so I'm not logging. But, after this trip, things are going to have to change. I just don't know what I should change. Should I do more cardio? Should I focus more on diet. The doctor didn't have much to say about it. Mainly focus on reducing salt, coffee, and alcohol. I'll do that, but seems like that might not be enough.

Thank in advance. 54bm7uj1x3pa.jpg
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Replies

  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,389 MFP Moderator
    edited April 2017
    Less alcohol is where I would probably start. Increasing consumption of fish, nuts and fiber, while limiting added sugars and SFA have been linked to improved metabolic markers. But there is also a genetic component that might be coming into play.

    What do you actual numbers look like?
  • annacole94
    annacole94 Posts: 997 Member
    Increasing fiber can improve cholesterol numbers. Beans are good - I make a black bean soup that I have for lunch that has 18 g of fiber/serving. If you drink coffee, I've read that using a method with a paper filter is better than methods without.

    I'd try to cut alcohol to the weekend only.

    Meditation could be an option to help blood pressure; check out the Headspace app and/or the book "10% Happier" for more info without anything too crazy.

    Honestly, you should probably book a consult with a dietitian to get specific advice to tweak your existing diet.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,389 MFP Moderator
    JerSchmare wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »
    Less alcohol is where I would probably start. Increasing consumption of fish, nuts and fiber, while limiting added sugars and SFA have been linked to improved metabolic markers. But there is also a genetic component that might be coming into play.

    What do you actual numbers look like?

    Thanks. Dr called me while I'm on vacation, so I wasn't able to write it down. LDL is high. Over, cholestrol was 240. Don't remember the LDL count. BP was 160/93. All else was good. I asked if I needed to do anything. For the BP, they prescribed 12.5 MGhydrochlorothiazide. They told me to clean up my diet and exercise everyday, which isn't helpful since I already do that.

    Triglycerides tend to be a bigger deal, as total cholesterol can be inflated due to high HDL. You might find the below interesting discussion on the important markers.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPDfCcoh0IQ


    How much sodium do you consume daily? What about fiber? Do you eat fish?
  • pinuplove
    pinuplove Posts: 12,874 Member
    Was the bp reading isolated, or have you had repeated elevated readings? I was on HCTZ 25mg for high bp. It's a diuretic, first-line of defense bp med with very few side effects. I understand your desire to control this with diet and exercise as much as possible, though. As psuLemon said, sometimes genetics dictate otherwise and we need a little pharmaceutical help.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,389 MFP Moderator
    edited April 2017
    Re alcohol: To think of it this way, you were roughly consuming 25-35% (~200 cal per drink with a 2k cal limit) of your daily calories in alcohol limiting to weekends will definitely allow for an increase in fibrous foods, fish and nuts (pretty much increase PUFA/MUFA).

    BTW, men should aim for ~25g+ of fiber a day.


    PS - I should note I have high LDL cholesterol (thanks mom and dad). And nothing I have done has really impacted that. One of these days, I plan on getting an LDL-P test to see particulate size.
  • TheChaoticBuffalo
    TheChaoticBuffalo Posts: 86 Member
    The BP could be hereditary. Do you have a family history of high BP or other heart-related issues?
  • kzooyogi
    kzooyogi Posts: 121 Member
    Sounds like you have some good places to start based on what other users have posted in terms of diet. With your blood pressure being high, and the fact that you seem to have a stressful job, I would highly suggest looking into fixes unrelated to alcohol. Have you every tried yoga or meditation? I used to have high blood pressure every time I went to the doctor, even with a vegan diet and no caffeine consumption. It was all related to my stress levels and anxiety.

    Even simple breathing techniques have been proven to lower stress levels and blood pressure over time. I meditate almost every day using the Headspace app and I love it, but if you prefer a free app, there is also one called Insight Timer that just has a bunch of free pre-loaded guided meditations that may be really great to help you get started. Hope all turns out well - cheers.
  • cmtigger
    cmtigger Posts: 1,450 Member
    I'm going to suggest it might be genetic. I made some diet changes, but it really was medication that got my numbers down. My grandparents and great grandparents had similar issues, but didn't have the same medications available.
    Ask your doctor for suggestions, and try them, but don't panic if medications are the solution in the end.
  • dopeysmelly
    dopeysmelly Posts: 1,390 Member
    Go on a plant based diet and do cardio

    My numbers are
    Bp105/70

    Total cholesterol 116

    Damn. Beat me to it. My LDL cholesterol halved (from 202 to 88), and DH's blood pressure zipped to normal. Mine is still a bit elevated but within normal - I'm trying to lose a bit more weight to see if this makes a difference.

    I'm not saying this would work for everyone, but I decided on a plan (no animal products at all) and stuck with it rigidly for about 4 weeks. I figured I do anything for 4 weeks. I then got retested to see what the outcome was. It's a more scientific approach than just trying something/anything. My diet was also very good before I did this, similar to yours.

    There are lots of resources for whole-foods plant-based eating e.g. Forks over knives books and new magazine (which is pretty good), How not to Die by Dr Greger. It does mean you have to cook pretty much everything yourself, but like I said you can do pretty much anything for 4 weeks if you want it badly enough.

    And if it doesn't work, at least you've ruled out something.
  • NewMeSM75
    NewMeSM75 Posts: 971 Member
    You're in way better shape than I am. I tried diet and exercise but unfortunately, my cholesterol is hereditary so I have to take meds. I'm also on hbp meds too. Hbp is my fault. I could reduce it if I watched my sodium.

    Fresh fruit, high fiber and fish like others said. I've heard good things from taking fish oil supplements. I'm not advertising or selling but I found fiber gourmet products online. They're very good. Not cheap as white pasta but very good. A serving of pasta provides 18 grams of fiber and 130 calories.

    Good luck!
  • donovanwoodworking
    donovanwoodworking Posts: 25 Member
    Welcome to the over 50 club!! :-]
  • sammyjo0218
    sammyjo0218 Posts: 108 Member
    I'd focus on diet your workout plan sounds great! Reducing alcohol would be a great start and go for the useful kind with antioxidants like dark beer or red wine, light beer should be fine too since they have less calories. For coffee that shouldn't really be bad unless you're overboard on it and adding a bunch of stuff. A cup or 2 of plain black coffee is good enough. Too much stimulants can raise blood pressure and heart rate. For cholesterol focus on fiber foods, fatty acids, use red meats sparingly or avoid it. Limit trans fats and saturated fats. Plant sterol foods or supplements are great for improving levels. Avoid refined sugars and grains like white rice and flour. Alcohol and stress can affect blood pressure! And reduce sodium intake, boosting potassium can help reduce the effects of sodium on blood pressure. Instead of adding salt to food and recipes use spices and herbs
  • digi051669
    digi051669 Posts: 1 Member
    You need quark and cold pressed flax oil mixed daily. You may be training etc, but the reality of vascular health isn't covered by the fitness industry my friend. Read Johanna budwig, get fixed. It's easy but a life long commitment. I workout too and thought I was healthy. No, there is a whole big world outside of the fitness sector that has the truth about real health. Hope this helps, helped all my friends with high blood pressure
  • cmtigger
    cmtigger Posts: 1,450 Member
    digi051669 wrote: »
    You need quark and cold pressed flax oil mixed daily. You may be training etc, but the reality of vascular health isn't covered by the fitness industry my friend. Read Johanna budwig, get fixed. It's easy but a life long commitment. I workout too and thought I was healthy. No, there is a whole big world outside of the fitness sector that has the truth about real health. Hope this helps, helped all my friends with high blood pressure
    Actually, it's probably best to talk to a registered dietitian. Especially if the doctor said something.
  • TheDevastator
    TheDevastator Posts: 1,626 Member
    I lowered my blood pressure eating navy beans since they are one of the highest in potassium. They also taste great cooked in a crockpot with carrots, onions, celery, and butter.