Wednesday, April 20, 2016

One-Size Fits All

I know, it's been awhile since I've posted. Between being sick and the nicer weather, and the never-ending schedule of activities, work, and housekeeping, I haven't had much writing time. The one day I did take some writing time, I worked on one of my novels (estimated date of publish 2022). However, I've been steaming over something for a little while, and finally decided to write about it.

In order to get a discount through my husband's work for our insurance, we have to get our "numbers" done at a laboratory every year (cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, etc.) AND spend 20 minutes (or so) doing an "online health assessment" through the insurance company.

I'm not upset (right now) over the health information they have on me, because honestly, Facebook probably has more information on me than I want, and people are much more likely to hack into that than my insurance company.

However, in scanning through the "red, yellow, and green" lights or warnings I noticed something a bit strange. My weight was healthy, my overall cholesterol and blood pressure were healthy, but my HDL cholesterol was low.

However, when I answered the questions, I mentioned that I was not currently trying to limit fat in my diet. Guess what, apparently that deserves a yellow light in and of itself.

REALLY?!? An otherwise healthy person who just needs to exercise and eat less sugar gets dinged because they are not specifically limiting fat in their diet? No wonder our nation is overweight and unhealthy. There is NO correlation between overall fat in the diet (within certain ranges of a % of calories and as long as it's healthy fat) and weight gain or unhealthy habits. They should have asked how much added sugar I eat in a day (I would have gotten a red light on that one, but I guess since they measured my blood glucose and it was fine, they don't care). In actuality, that would be the better question, since overall American diets have decreased in fat intake since the 1970s and yet our weight gain and overall unhealthy lifestyles (myself included) has continued to cause health and obesity problems. As a matter of fact, many of the nations that we consider "healthy" overall have a LOT of healthy fats in their diet.

Some ways that I can increase my HDL include eating fatty fish, less sugar, more vegetables, and exercising. None of the ways I can increase my HDL (or overall health) include limiting the total fats that I eat during the day. I have no high blood pressure, no high overall cholesterol, and a healthy body weight, so blindly telling everyone to "eat less fat" is absolutely the worst thing an insurance company can be doing.

Fortunately, I know better, but it still is frustrating to see a "one-size-fits all approach". I guess the only thing I can do is be glad they gave me a yellow light for it, and not a red light.

Now, who wants to go for a walk with me, so I can raise my HDL. Maybe I'll bring an avocado for my snack today...

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