Total Cholesterol  It is recommended that our total blood cholesterol level be under 200.  The individual components of that total, include LDL, HDL and VLDL.  You are probably aware of the first two.  Low density lipoprotein is targeted to be under 100, high density lipoprotein (or good cholesterol) is targeted to be over 60 with no upper limit noted.  Very low density lipoprotein is related to triglyceride levels and should be kept as low as possible.  In order to keep VLDL low, one should strive for a triglyceride level under 150.  These are measured in milligrams per deciliter.  All this to say, in a great irony, my Mom's HDL was high enough to make her total cholesterol higher than 200 even though her LDL and VLDL were within normal limits.  Sadly, all the doctor said was that her cholesterol was high.

PSEA  Study Here is another great irony.  I read a study today that aimed to compare different techniques for gathering information about a persons dietary intake.  Some studies use food recall surveys and ask people not only what they ate, but how much.  Thus, they are asking for portion size estimates - or PSE - and in some cases, the interviewer will use visual aids to assist the person giving the information.  The study I read involved people going to a cafeteria for a meal and then reporting what they had consumed.  The researchers already knew the exact amount of everything and were testing their techniques for getting the right info from the eater.  The irony... seriously... the MENU.  Beef, corn bread, mac and cheese, cake, etc..

Beach No Nos?  Yes I want to take back my Mom's points for the sunscreen because she brought cookies to the beach.  Mostly because one of the guests had brought really healthy food so as to not eat sweets.  She said that the chocolate chips were a weakness and she ate some.  This is none of my business, and really not a bad thing.  I only mention it because it feeds into my observations of calorically dense foods being everywhere we go even when we try to avoid them .  The other NoNo - feeding the seagulls.. sea fowl.  My family did not do this but others did.  It is bad for the fowl and bad for the people who are later attacked by food seeking fowl!

Labeling Laws I have had to tighten up my focus for school.  I have chosen one of my favorites - menu labeling.  The national law was signed in 2010 but the final rule and thus implementation is pending.  That has not stopped many states and cities from doing their own. To note, NYC was first in May 2008.