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Wealth Virtues Journal: February 2, 2010




Be an Alpha, and Take Your Omega: How Fish Oil Can Decrease Health Care Costs on a Personal Level


Filed under: Health and Wealth — Tags: , , , — James Ward @ 10:22 am
© 2009 Poor Richard Web Press, LLC

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An article from the Archives of General Psychiatry dated 2 February 2010 states that “Long-chain -3 (omega-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may be beneficial in a range of psychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia.”  On a different level, a UK study published by the BBC stated that the use of Omega-3 have improved the concentration and creativity of children.

As I write about in articles as well as my upcoming book, Wealth Virtues, the attention you pay to improving your health will pay dividends in future health costs savings as well as provide you with positive physiological changes that allow you to create new ways of creating wealth.  Whether you define wealth in terms of money, time, spirituality, or all three, adding Omega-3 fish oil to your daily diet will help you on your way to wealth.

In November 2009, I wrote on the balance of health and wealth to stress the importance of how your own personal health has a direct impact on your ability to have more money inflow over expenses and savings over debt.  With all the recent emphasis on health care, very little was paid to the primary cause of the high cost of health care – our own actions and behavior.  There are always some health issues that are beyond our control, but that which you can control must be part of your daily routine.

In an article I published on Poor Richard’s Web Almanack, I wrote of the impact of high triglyceride levels in the blood and how they can affect your health ad subsequently, your pocketbook.  I reprint that here, but will add to that some recent findings. The original article is at http://almanack.prwp.com/lowering-triglycerides-and-cholesterol-20050720.php.

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Lowering Triglycerides and Cholesterol: A Personal 2-week Solution

I did not know what a Triglyceride was until an insurance company told me I was extremely healthy except that they were worried about my triglyceride count being 660.  Being a daily runner and weightlifter, and having a muscular build, I had not taken much consideration of my diet.

I asked my doctor about this number as well as my cholesterol count of 196.  She asked me what business I had being alive with that kind of reading.

A subsequent visit to medical websites and in particular, the FDA government site told me that “high blood levels of fats known as triglycerides may increase risk of heart disease. So may an unhealthy ratio of the good HDL cholesterol to the bad LDL cholesterol. Coronary heart disease that can result from these or other factors kills more Americans than any other disease”. see http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/sep98/dha0998.htm

According to the American Heart Association, here are the numbers to be aware of for triglycerides:

Normal Less than 150 mg/dL
Borderline-high 150 to 199 mg/dL
High 200 to 499 mg/dL
Very high 500 mg/dL or higher
These are based on fasting plasma triglyceride levels.

What the heck was I doing wrong, I thought after finishing my grande mocha foo-foo coffee drink and glazed doughnut…I…I work out every day for crying out loud.

After the “you should be dead” email from my doctor and the “If you die I want a better insurance payout so get healthy now” suggestion from my wife, I took action.

First – Consult with your doctor! I am not a doctor – yet what I will tell you lowered my triglycerides from 660 to 150 and my cholesterol from 196 to 150 in two weeks.  I also lost 8 pounds

Second – I cut out all (well mostly all, but all is better) forms of refined sugar.  I started to put the fake sugar from the blue or yellow packs in my coffee.

Third – I started taking Omega 3 fatty acid tablets (i.e. fish oil).  I used VB Brand Omega-3 and took 1 capsule in the morning and one in the evening.  They are very expensive (about $27.00 a bottle), but I now use Nature Made Omega 3 tablets.  Also be sure you take with food and a multivitamin.

Fourth – I followed a diet and exercise which is not unrealistic for anyone.  I believe that I was able to achieve normal readings in two weeks because I already exercised on a daily basis.  Once again, consult your doctor before starting any fitness program, especially if you are overweight.

The best workout and diet program I have found is laid out in Body for Life by Bill Phillips.  No gimmicks or special food purchases – just common sense.

Here is a sample of the daily regimen that I followed for 12 days to cut my triglyceride count from 660 to 150 and my cholesterol from 196 to 150:

Day 1

0700   small bowl of Cheerios with a little 1% milk
  Multi vitamin
0830  boiled egg white, 4 pieces of melon
1000  apple
1130-1230 workout (weights, abs, 2 mile run)
1300  green salad with navy beans and small amt of vinaigrette dressing
1400  apple
1700  fish sandwich (fried)
all day  1 qt of water at work plus several glasses at home

Day 2

0600  small bowl of Cheerios with a little skim milk
  multi-vitamin, omega-3 (fish oil) tablet, Garlique tablet
  8 oz water with Metamucil
0900  apple, 2 boiled egg whites, 3 pieces of pineapple
1000  grapes
1200-1245 workout – upper body weights, 2 mile treadmill run
1300  small green salad with cold peas, small amt of vinaigrette dressing, small bowl of lentil bean salad
1400  apple
1500  small bag of carrots
1730  shredded chicken stir-fry with broccoli and white rice
All day  1 qt of water at work plus several glasses at home
2000  small bowl of Cheerios with a little skim milk and 1 6oz glass of skim milk

Day 3

0630  multi-vitamin, omega-3 (fish oil) tablet, 8 oz water with Metamucil
0800  banana, 6 oz coffee w/ tablespoon skim milk
0830  2 girl scout cookies
0900  1 boiled egg white, apricot half, 3 pieces of melon
1000  grapes
1200-1245 upper body workout, abs workout, 2 mile run
1330  small green salad with tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, vinaigrette dressing
1400   1 girl scout cookie
1430  small bag of carrots
1530  apple
All day  1 qt of water at work plus several glasses at home
1730  pork loin, brown rice, snap peas, glass of water
2000  small bowl of Rice Chex w/ skim milk

Day 4

0600  small bowl of Rice Chex w/ skim milk, multi-vitamin, omega-3 (fish oil) tablet, 8 oz water with Metamucil
0730  2 boiled egg whites, 3 melon pieces, 1 pineapple piece, decaf coffee w/ tbsp of skim milk
0800  1 girl scout cookie
1000  apple
1200  1 Popeye’s chicken breast with skin removed, brown rice, piece of smoked turkey, piece of garlic bread, 1 chocolate chip cookie
1230  baby carrots (10)
1400  banana
1500-1530 weights, pushups, 2-mile treadmill run
1545  apple
All day  1 qt of water at work
1830  bean soup, salad, prime rib w/ fat cut off, green beans 8-9 pieces of roasted potato, part of a slice of apple pie.

Day 5

0700  small bowl of Rice Chex w/ skim milk, multi-vitamin, omega-3 (fish oil) tablet, 8 oz water, Garlique tablet
0900  apple
1030  ½ cup black coffee w/ Splenda sugar substitute
1115  banana
1200  ½ bowl of chili with beans
1315  piece of chocolate cake (no icing, equivalent of 2 bite-size pieces) – Office birthday party
1420  baby carrots (9)
1500  handful of roasted peanuts
1630  apple
All day  1 qt of water at work
1730  1 chocolate chip cookie
1830  Vegetable stir fry, 8 oz water, Omega-3 fish oil tablet.
2030  small bowl of Rice Chex w/ skim milk

Day 6

0730  small bowl of Rice Chex w/ skim milk, multi-vitamin, omega-3 (fish oil) tablet, 8 oz water with Metamucil, Garlique tablet
0800  coffee w/ skim milk and Equal sugar substitute (1 pack)
1000  1 chocolate chip cookie, 2 boiled egg whites, 6 strawberrys
1230  Lentil bean salad, banana, apple
1400  handful of roasted peanuts, baby carrots (11)
1700  apple
All day  1 qt of water at work

repeat…

Anyway, you get the idea.  Small portions through the day and exercise as part of a daily routine.  Even when I cheated and had my cookies, it was only a small portion.  Sometimes it is hard to give up the vices!

———-

A response from a reader to the above article stated, “This was super helpful! My triglycerides are in the 200s, and I’ve been on a diet to lower them, as they wanted to see me again in 6 months. The tips for small fruit and veggie snacks, and the suggestion to take the omega-3 pill, are helping a lot! I was already eating fish, but there’s only so much fish you can eat. I don’t know what my levels are at right now, but I’ve lost 7 lbs in about two weeks. Maybe it’s working. We’ll see!”

I cannot stress the importance of Omega-3 fatty acid, especially found in fish oil. The overwhelming affect, I believe, is the increased level of blood flow to the brain and other parts of the body.  Since starting on a dialy dose of fish oil since 2005, my creativity has increased, my workouts have intensifed, my abiity to concentrate has improved, and there are other, more personal benefets that go along with an improved circulation!



 
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