Saturday, May 12, 2012

And on a happy note

I don’t share too much personal information online, but I figured some people might be interested in this tidbit, since it does pertain to the way I eat (which is 90% of this blog) and my health. Six months ago, my cholesterol was a bit high; it had gone up for no obvious reason that I can pinpoint since my checkup previous to that. I’m blaming the Engineer’s cakes until further notice, but maybe someone looking at the recipes from last fall could give me fresh perspective. Then I announced that I would try to be a vegetarian 50% of the time (of which half would ideally be vegan). And after 4 months of this, my cholesterol has dropped by 38 points! The only other change in my diet is that I try to have “better” desserts after lunch (like a yogurt instead of a cookie) and using safflower oil instead of olive oil for cooking. Plus, my LDL went down and my HDL went up even though I had stopped taking omega-3 supplements (I can’t swallow pills and couldn’t find anything I liked better than this, which tastes horrible). So I can say, with medical proof, that a more vegetarian diet is healthier for me than what I was having before. My doctor said that whatever I was doing, I should keep it up.

Beyond that, the only tip I could give those of you who want to lower your cholesterol is to try to eat more whole grains, like oatmeal. My breakfasts haven’t changed much, but I do try to incorporate fruit and whole grains. I’m not saying I do it perfectly every day, but I try. I like granola (which I make with whole grain oats), muffins and banana bread made with whole grain flour, and the occasional pancake or waffle. I’ve even tried kasha, below, on cold days (I like it with brown sugar or maple syrup). I also bake almost exclusively with white whole wheat flour instead of regular white flour, which gives me extra fiber.

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