From REAL AGE:
You aced your cholesterol test, but even top grades (low
lousy LDL, high healthy HDL)
BUT you can't protect your ticker if this bully is
lurking in your body: chronic inflammation.
Its latest misdeed? Kidnapping good HDL. Normally, HDL acts like a
spatula in your arteries, scooping away the gunk that can block them.
But new evidence suggests that inflammation transforms good HDL into
bloated blobs that make arteries more likely to clog. The tip-off: Heart
attack survivors were more likely to have a second attack if they had
high levels of both HDL and a key inflammation marker known as CRP.
Here's how to find out if inflammation is doing a slow burn inside you:
- Spend $20 or so and get a CRP test. Make it a
high-sensitivity CRP test (Hs-CRP). Get it sometime in your 20s, at 35,
and annually after 50. A score under 1 mg/L is low risk for
cardiovascular disease; over 3 is high risk; and 1 to 3 is average.
We're less tolerant of the "average" number. If your Hs-CRP is over 2,
we think you should talk to your doc about taking aspirin, ibuprofen, or
a statin drug. (JdP> OR Omega-3 with ZONE Diet!)
- Fight inflammation every day. Do all the things you've been promising yourself: Quit smoking. Follow these steps.
Walk for 30 minutes daily. Take 1,000 international units of vitamin D3
(1,200 if you're 60 or older) and 600 milligrams of the DHA form of
omega-3 (900 milligrams if you're over 50). (JdP> OR 4 capsules of high quality) Battle belly fat. Eat plenty of high-fiber fruits and veggies. And get a good night's sleep every night!