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1. Is lowering your calories the only way to lose weight/burn body fat?

It is true that eating less calories than the body needs can lean a person down as long as the body is getting enough calories to maintain a good metabolism. Many people don’t get enough quality calories and they fall short of their metabolic needs. Further reducing calories puts the body in a semi-starvation mode preventing any chance of burning unwanted body fat.

2. If I reduce the amount of cholesterol I eat, will this reduce my total cholesterol level?

Not likely. The body makes 80% of the cholesterol it needs and gets the other 20% from the diet. If the body requires more cholesterol, it will make more from the fat you are eating. Eating cholesterol from healthy sources like eggs and shrimp, are just supplementing the body with the cholesterol it needs.

3. What if my HDL-cholesterol and TG levels are good but my M.D. is concerned with my Total LDL numbers?

In 1955, Dr. John Goffman’s research showed that the best indicator for risk of heart disease was the Atherogenic Index. Europe uses this predictor instead of Total LDL to determine risk of heart disease. Here’s what you can do…Ask your doctor to write down your HDL-C and TG numbers with the proper units. Google “Atherogenic Index Predictor Calculator” or “AIP Calculator” to find an on-line calculator that can assist you. Plug your TG and HDL-C numbers into the calculator (making sure you have the correct units) and hit ‘Send’. Your calculation result will be displayed in colour so that you can quickly see your risk of heart disease.

4. I really have no time and no interest in exercising. What are some good active living activities?

Some examples of active living are housecleaning, walking the dog, cutting the grass and going for a bike ride; anything where the intention is not to change a physical aspect of the body. If you are biking hard to win a race, that’s exercise.

5. My mother and grandmother cooked everything in gallons of oil. I’ve revised their old recipes by steaming and baking most of the ingredients. Have I done the wrong thing?

Who is to say that all of our favourite old recipes were healthier than the ones of today? We have become a low fat society with an obesity epidemic so maybe there is something to be said about bringing some of that fat back into our menus. Or maybe it’s just that everything was homemade, never processed and made from fresh ingredients. Our rule of thumb is “If your grandmother ate it, then so should you!”

6. My blood pressure is high and my doctor keeps telling me to cut out salt and eat healthy fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains. Is this advice not correct?

When lowering blood pressure, it does help to choose healthy fruits and vegetables over processed sweets such as cookies. However, if the body needs to absorb glucose (from carbohydrates), it requires a lot of water to accomplish this. Conversely, the body doesn’t require as much water to absorb fats and proteins. Blood pressure rises with the addition of water in the blood stream. Eating fats and proteins and fruits and vegetables that contain their own water, limits the need for the body to absorb extra water and your blood pressure should decrease close to a normal range.

7. Is a low carbohydrate diet which entails eating only low glycemic fruits and vegetables, the best way to lose weight?

No. Reducing one of the three macronutrients as in the Low Fat or Low Carbohydrate Diets leaves the body compensating to nourish itself in other ways. Mentally and/or physically depriving the body of any food is the epitome of dieting and we ignore the signs the body is showing us when it’s trying to provide with the nutrients and calories it needs.