My Journey with High Cholesterol
February 11, 2018 25 Comments
Back in January, I was diagnosed with high cholesterol and I was referred to a registered dietician.
Before I get into the results, I want to thank everyone for their inspiring comments and e-mails. You are all very supportive and know that I read each one and I will do my best to make the changes to bring down my number.
The RD and I met after my diagnosis and she gave me a series of changes for my diet which I had to do for three weeks. I outlined her recommendations in Got High Cholesterol? So Do I.
Here I am, a month later to share how it went. I was pretty successful with the changes that she suggested. I did stuff like read my own website and make the recipes from it ☺
The bad news is that I now have to live with more “moderation” and that means 80% of the time, I stick to the new diet. The other 20% is for when I feel that I need a treat or am in a situation where there are no choices. For example, I am going to a wedding and I WILL HAVE CAKE.
This is a pretty major shift as I used to simply eat what I want. Now I have to make some hard choices and my motivation is my health.
I am going to go into more depth on each of these dietary requirements but I thought it would be fun to share a quick set of solutions that I came up with.
- Eat all whole grains
I didn’t realize how much white rice I was eating. I made brown rice and enjoyed it. This was an easy switch.
- No added sugar
This was a bit rough. My solution was Medjool dates for when I was craving chocolate or cookies. I tried to keep it to two per day.
- Lean meat and protein and more beans
I eat this usually but I rarely went out to eat for the three weeks. I would have been tempted by fattier cuts of meat liked pulled pork or ribs.
- Low fat dairy – only 1 ounce of cheese per day
One percent milk in my coffee, avocado and peanut butter on my whole grain toast (instead of butter) and lots of hummus without tahini. I missed cheese but I made do.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
I roasted broccoli and other vegetables and stuck them in the fridge. The only problem is that my family kept eating them! (which is a good thing but a bit frustrating).
- Eat healthy fats (olive oil, fish, avocadoes, nuts)
I found this easy as I always eat these foods.
- Four ounces of red wine per day
This is where the biggest problem of all occurred because I love beer. I wrote a post on light beer a few years back - the best light beer – and found that I like Corona Light. Going forward I will have these instead of the higher carb beer I was drinking (unless it is 20% time).
This is just the beginning of my journey and I don’t know if these changes will impact my cholesterol levels but the RD made the point that if I wanted to avoid diabetes – these were good changes to make.
She said that our affluent lifestyle made it very difficult to be healthy. When she said that, she was comparing me to a goat herder (someone who walks all day long as his job). I think she has a very good point. I thought that I was healthy but I am surrounded by so much rich food (and I was eating it). I didn’t realize the impact of all of it.
What do you think of these changes? How would you approach them? Do you have any favorite solutions that you would like to share?
Other posts you might like:
Before Christmas I took a blood test. It revealed that I had high cholesterol and not the good kind.
This hummus recipe without tahini was developed to help people who wanted to make hummus but didn’t want to spend $9 on a jar of tahini.....