Excess cholesterol is bad for your immune system and dangerous for your “doctor within.” As I said earlier, I like to see my patients with a cholesterol of 100 plus their age. Thus, a healthy 4 5-year-old person should, have a cholesterol of about 145. I tell my patients that their cholesterol should certainly be no higher than 150-180 mg/dl.
HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is the “good” cholesterol I discussed back in Chapter Two. It’s felt that HDL acts like a garbage truck, picking up cholesterol from the blood and walls of the arteries and carrying it away. I like to see HDL levels of 45 mg/dl or higher.
LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is the “bad” cholesterol that seems to function as a delivery truck, bringing cholesterol to the arteries for deposit. I prefer my patients to have LDLs of 100 mg/dl or less.
Triglycerides are the fats in your blood. High blood fat is deleterious to your “doctor within” and to your immune system. I tell my patients to keep their triglycerides below 100 mg/dl.
I also look at what we call anthroporhetric measurements (measurements of the human body), which can be done in a doctor’s office, or anywhere else for that matter. These simple measurements are used to estimate the nutritional status of a patient in terms of fat and protein reserves.
We’re all familiar with how height and weight are measured. Unfortunately, there is no specific formula for height and weight that will tell you if a person is obese or malnourished. Height and weight can only be used in a general way to estimate a person’s status. Height-weight charts are flawed, but those of us in clinical medical nutrition need some sort of standard. The 1983 Metropolitan Life Insurance Reference Weights have been judged to be a satisfactory reference point.