– With Cedric, The Entertainer
This was one of the amazingly funny ways Dr Oz can make people sit up and take note of the important health issues that goes ignored in our essentially busy life. Blood levels of LDL cholesterol is one such issue.
In these episodes Dr Oz explained why it is important to have our LDL cholesterol levels checked once in a while and to remember the numbers. He did it in a very funny and entertaining way by inviting famous celebrity Cedric, the entertainer from the popular show ‘who wants to be a millionaire‘ on his show and quipped “who wants to be a cholesterol extraordinaire?”
He explained the issue of cardiac problems related to increased LDL cholesterol levels as well as provided us with food solutions at the end to help keep our LDL cholesterol levels low without medication.
The show started with Cedric being dismissive of his weight loss endeavors, rather joking about his weakness for fried foods and the audience roared with laughter. He also mentioned about his family history of cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases and that it is common in most African American families to have some cholesterol or heart issues. When Dr Oz asked whether he knew his LDL cholesterol, he replied in the negative but warned the audience that ‘LDL is no LOL’ again erupting laughter in the audience. Dr Oz then summoned two ladies, Catherine and Mary, both avid fans of Cedric to come on to the stage and participate in a demonstration of how LDL affects our arteries. Interestingly, when asked about LDL, only a meager number of people in the audience responded in the positive. Dr Oz went on to explain that it is a kind of sticky fat that has a tendency to get stuck to the arterial walls forming plaques hindering blood flow.
Dr. Oz: Know About Your LDL Cholesterol Levels
The best way to know about the level of LDL cholesterol is to undergo a blood test. Meanwhile, he demonstrated with models how a normal aorta looks and feels with its rubbery stretch and smooth surface. He asked participants to compare that to an aorta that resembled one that has LDL cholesterol deposits on it. Cedric called it “grizzly” and tried to attract attention to the fact that eating fried foods may actually produce this kind of a situation in our blood vessels.
The Quick Trick Test
The next part was even more interesting. Cedric agreed to get his blood tested for LDL cholesterol. Considering this was the first celebrity blood test on live television, it generated a lot of interest in the audience. Dr Oz called it a ‘quick trick test’. It is important for everybody to know their LDL cholesterol numbers because without knowing our LDL status we don’t know how to deal with it. The ideal number is less than 100 milligrams per deciliter of blood. If the number is between 100 and 160, the levels are considered ‘fair’ while, going over 160 and up to about 300 is considered ‘risky’.
Mary, who volunteered to get tested along with Cedric came up to be in the ‘good’ range with her number 71. Catherine did ‘fair’ with her number 116 that Dr Oz pointed out as “a candy bar away from 100”. Cedric had the highest blood LDL level among the group, at 126, also falls in the fair range and doesn’t warrant immediate medical attention. However, Dr Oz reassured that even higher numbers like 300 can be dramatically reduced to healthy levels by a change in diet.
He then went on to pull out some magic foods and handed them over to a blindfolded Cedric who was expected to identify the foods. These are the foods that increase the good cholesterol in our blood lowering the bad LDL cholesterol and hence are called heart-healthy foods. Dr Oz handed them over one by one : banana, leafy spinach, salmon, avocado, grapes, olive oil and dark chocolate. Cedric played a nice game with Dr Oz by recognizing the foods only by touch and not seeing them. The take home message was to incorporate these foods in our diet to avoid having high LDL cholesterol levels and thereby prevent plaque formation in our arteries.