This is a very useful thing for everyone, not just for PWDs. If you are a parent taking care of a CWD, you especially want to make sure you are helping yourself stay healthy too, so you can take care of your young one.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) builds up within the walls of your blood vessels, narrowing the passageways. For this reason, LDL is commonly referred to as the “bad” cholesterol.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) helps remove other forms of cholesterol from your blood. For this reason, it is commonly referred to as the “good” cholesterol. Higher levels of HDL are associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
Increasing your HDL lowers the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
HDL picks up excess cholesterol in your blood and takes it back to the liver where it’s broken down and removed from the body.
There are some foods you can eat to increase your HDL naturally:
Certain nuts like walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachios, and Brazil nuts
Beans and legumes
Ground flaxseeds and flaxseed oil
Red wine (Moderate amounts! Don’t go crazy! )
Also exercise can improve your HDL, but that is a different topic…
Aww, you are bringing back good memories now. When I was a grad student an emeritus professor used to have hungry grad students over to his house at harvest time and we got to cart away bushels of pecans for free. Paid to have them cracked and voila, bags and bags of free pecans. Yumm.
According to Wikipedia, Lowering LDL:
The most effective approach has been minimizing fat stores located inside the abdominal cavity (visceral body fat) in addition to minimizing total body fat. Visceral fat, which is more metabolically active than subcutaneous fat, has been found to produce many enzymatic signals, e.g. resistin, which increase insulin resistance and circulating VLDL particle concentrations, thus both increasing LDL particle concentrations and accelerating the development of diabetes mellitus.”
I don’t know that there’s a precise objective measure, but it’s what people are trying to capture with waist to hip ratio, which is a predictor of CVD risk (higher is bad—for women you want your hips to be decidedly bigger than your waist, for men you don’t want your waist to be much bigger than your hips). If you have a lot of visceral fat, you’ll have a gut—think of a classic beer belly and how that’s distributed, or the people who have much bigger bellies but not as much fat elsewhere, and that’s indicative of a riskier fat storage tendency. How you store your fat is genetic though (just like a lot of CVD risk)—some people store more as visceral and others don’t (and put more fat proportionately into thighs, hips, butt, etc). For people who do tend to store more of their fat as visceral fat, gaining weight is going to be more dangerous than for those who do not.
Also, I was always someone who both has always had a very high HDL and HDL:total cholesterol ratio and did not seem to have much visceral fat (I take after the side of my family with big hips/butts and similar cholesterol numbers), until I started developing some insulin resistance, and then that shifted and I started getting more of a belly. Taking metformin fixed that for me, and I’m back mostly to my more usual shape.