Discussion in 'Healthful Living / Natural Treatments' started by InsaneCdn, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Dr says husband must get his cholesterol down OR ELSE.

    Its not THAT tragic, but I do agree that it needs to come down.

    MOST of what they recommend, we already do. Others, we've had workarounds for other reasons, so will go back to (specially cooked chicken meat for breakfast instead of eggs, for example). And some things there IS no workaround for... like cheese. (He is European. Cheese is the real thing, or NOTHING.)

    Anybody got some good ideas to get around a few really difficult challenges?

    1) cream - as in cereal cream... which is the ONLY thing he's had on cereal, all his life. Don't say "switch to bread"... he already has BOTH, and bread doesn't stick with you. Switching to milk is doubly not going to work... he drinks 2% which is already "way too thin" for on cereal... the doctor insists on him switching to skim, which means he won't be drinking milk.

    2) ice cream - well, we already use the "cheap" stuff, because its cheap - but its also lower in fat etc. What else works?

    3) DESERT. In our house, this is going to be the WORST problem. Because... most deserts either need ice cream to be desert (think fruit salad, apple chrisp, etc.), OR use eggs.
    For example, we have a great carrot cake recipe - based on canola oil - but 4 eggs! I've tried it with the "two egg whites instead of one egg", but it does NOT work AT ALL (total flop). And besides, what do you do with 8 egg yokes?
    Brownies and ice cream - oops, he can't have either.

    The first two - we can have stuff that works for him and the kids can still have the real thing, but... that doesn't work for desert. And I'm stuck with a teenaged boy with a voracious appetite that NEEDS heavy-duty calories, so low-cal is OUT. (husband doesn't have any extra weight on him either - this is NOT a calories issue.... for THEM. <me, well, that's another story>)


  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    OK. You can do low cholesterol without sacrificing calories.

    I can't imagine using cream on cereal. Blech. How about 1/2 yogurt and 1/2 skim?

    Lower fat sour cream works in recipes just fine.

    Eggs are not the enemy. No more than 2 a day, though.

    In cakes, you can replace 1/2 the oil with applesauce.

    Olive oil just rocks. Even in brownies. Speaking of, they make oleo from olive oil now - tastes much better than the veg oil stuff, to me.

    Carbs, unless he is diabetic, are not a problem. Um, how about frozen yogurt instead of ice cream? And for dessert - fresh fruit! Make a dressing from 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp honey. YUM. And not so sweet. No ice cream needed, now.

    If you make that carrot cake, do the applesauce thing for half the oil. Use 3 egg whites and 2 whole eggs.

    It's a cut back thing, not NONE. As my dad puts it, HDL - Happy Cholesterol - is good. LDL - Lousy Cholesterol - is bad.

    Oh, and watch those darned trans fats.

    Potato chips - get baked ones. They're wonderful.
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Switch fats to MUFAs - the monounsaturated stuff like olive oil and walnut oil whenever possible. Get slow release Niacin and take it at bedtime (timing does make a difference) unless he's already on a statin medication to lower it.

    Exercise. He's got to get out/up and move.

    Add oatmeal or cheerios, whole grains are great for lowering cholesterol.

    When cooking meat, drain off the drippings as much as possible. Broil or baking in a broil pan are best. When eating pizza, blot the top with your napkin (and then look at all the grease/fat/calories you just soaked up yuck!)

    Add deep cold water fish to his diet. Tilapia ain't going to do it for this, those are farm raised and were created for it (you didn't think that fish came from nature, did you?). Think wild salmon instead. Again broil, bake, or grill.

    If you can switch him to vegetarian versions of stuff, do so. The corn dogs and fake bacon are pretty decent. The sausage, not so much. Tofu takes a talent I don't have but properly drained and seasoned does pretty well in a lasagna instead of ricotta if you mix it with Parmesan.

    ETA: There are some decent versions of vegan cheesecake if he insists on a rich dessert. ;) Experiment, but don't tell him.

    If you have a deep fryer, get rid of it. I don't care if you bury it in the backyard and give it a headstone, it's got to go.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    OIL isn't the problem - he can have all the canola/olive/etc healthy fats he wants.
    The problem with brownies is... eggs.
    Ditto carrot cake.
    Ditto most everything else we make.
    Either eggs, or butter.
    And no, I've NEVER had success making cookies with oil.
    Brownies... well, yes, I can see that - because it starts with melted butter.

    Chips - he loves nacho chips, so those are fine.

    I'll try the frozen yog... IF we can find something affordable.

    On cereal, though... yog is sour, cream is sweet. Hmm... still thinking!

  5. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Have you tried using Egg Beaters instead of eggs?
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Exercise? I dare you to challenge THIS fellow. The only time he's not regular at the gym, is when he's doing major house renos... after 8 hours of hanging siding or manhandling hardwood floors... he doesn't NEED the gym!

    He has hot oatmeal daily for breakfast (thus, the problem of what to put ON it...)

    We already do the lean-cooking.
    We've used canola and olive oils for most of our married life.

    Deep fat fryer... I REFUSE to get rid of. But we don't use it that often. Its for treats (like ginger-fried-beef, which doesn't work any other way, but is too much work to have very often).

    We use hardly any prepared meats... high-quality lean smokies once a week, and very lean very dry salami in pizza once every month or two... but the pizza is going to be a problem because of the CHEESE.

    <still working through it...>
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Go light on the cheese and veggie toppings only. And blot it, seriously you can remove a lot of fat that way because when it's hot it goes to the surface. After that it soaks in. Go with your own pizza crust, too, something you know is healthy.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    First win - he says he's prepared to try yogurt on cereal... if plain works (we have that around), then he'll pick up some flavored ones for "interest".

    Pizza... here, is always home-made crust. LOADS of veggies. But the bottom is always covered in paper-thin extra-dry salami... Up to that point, its healthy. Its the cheese... which keeps everything else from drying out. For how often we have it, he's probably OK.
  9. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I think one major hurdle will be using egg substitutes, and the key will be not letting know when you do it. Have them around so he gets used to seeing them but let him think you're using them for you. Measured right they do fine in cakes and as scrambled eggs.
  10. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    And before I forget, buy powdered milk. Adding some of that powder to skim milk helps thicken it up more to his taste without adding a lot of extra fat. ;)
  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Greek yogurt is much less sour...
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member


    I'm trying really hard to not end up with four separate diets around here - but that's where its heading. And I'm a barely-tolerable cook as it is.

    DS needs HUGE calorie intake, but well-balanced protein/fat/complex carbs... 3 meals and 3 snacks a day, every day. Also needs lots of "crunch" to his food.
    daughter has braces... needs SOFT foods at least half the time, and can't have "crunch" stuff as it damages the braces.
    Poor old me - with a whack of intolerances... half the time, I just don't cook it if I can't eat it - but... that doesn't work in dealing with daughter's and DS's needs.
    And now husband...

    Really - if it was JUST husband plus me? it wouldn't be half so hard.
    But for four of us.
    With sit-down meals 2x/day 7x/week. (seriously. not an exaggeration.)

    Plus a really tight budget.
    So... expensive substutes are a non-starter.

    We've beaten his high blood pressure without medications.
    We beat back his weight, and he's doing well.
    Now this... ya, we can do it. I just don't know how to...
    - use up the stockpiles of stuff that is on "his" list (e.g. sharp cheddar... the kids "can" eat it, but won't, way too strong for them - and I can't) - cheese comes on at terrific prices once every 4-6 weeks, so we purchase ahead...
    - Get enough protein into difficult child without using a raft of eggs and blocks of cheese - for example, we've been big on tapioca pudding and other such high-egg deserts, because the blood-sugar spike is not nearly so severe that way
    - handle serious pre-prep for breakfast every single day. Its SO easy to pop the eggs into the pot and start it up every morning... alternatives are WAY more work, and way more clean-up. But we've found that breakfast protein is a non-negotiable requirement.
    - easy (non-sauce) topping for pasta (no spaghetti sauce in our house)... we've used grated cheese for years.

    Partly, I just don't handle transitions well. And this is yet another transition!

    Thanks for letting me rant again.
  13. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I think by that point I'd buy what you know is healthy and acceptable and everyone can fend for themselves once they're old enough to cook and clean up after. :S
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member


    After the commitment we've made to re-building the relationships?
    Not going there.

    Sit-down meals are fantastic, quality family time.
    We share so much in that 45 minutes... there is no other substitute for it.

    Thanks for the reminder - I'll stop complaining about the work it takes to hold THAT part together!
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    OK... progress update.

    1) He's tried several options for cereal, and has decided that pre-flavored fat-free yogurt works OK. So... keeping an eye out for sales (got some this week but not sure how many weeks between sales...)

    2) eggs... we've decided to drop his week-day egg and replace with something else (not sure what yet...), AND drop his "two fried" weekend treat to "one fried"... that counts for 2 eggs a week. And then, while I'll watch out for eggs in other stuff, we will still make our usual treats - for example, carrot cake has 4 eggs... but that's for 16 servings.

    3) ice cream... does anybody know if soft-serve is lower fat than regular hard ice cream? For now... he'd rather skip the ice cream at least half the time - and enjoy what he does get (he says that one scoop "gets lost" with whatever else goes with... ) Once I get back to making sorbet again (for me), he can also have some of that. Lemon is particularly good with fruit salad.

    Lunches are going to be hard(er). His fav is bread and old-fashioned high-fat european cheese. If we switch to wraps for lunch, then we can't have wraps for supper... wraps still include cheese, but its a LOT less than bread-and-cheese. When we have leftovers, he uses those up, but with a teenage male in the house... can't count on leftovers.

    Any creative lunch ideas that do NOT involve buying pre-made stuff? Remember - no saturated or trans fats, please...
  16. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I have to get my cholesterol down also. Just got the results back - NOT GOOD.

    My doctors recommendations:

    No smoking, cut way back on fats in my diet (not really an issue but I could stand to lose a few fats), MOVE, cut back on sugars of all kind.

    The truth is that it IS a lifestyle and eating change, like it or not. Here are the choices: change the eating habits or risk a stroke/heart attack. For me? I'll change my eating habits any day over having a stroke or heart attack.

    Tell H to svck it up and start eating healthier. For example, if I have to give up the cream in my coffee? I simply won't drink coffee anymore. Can't do it without cream. I try to use either splenda or agave nectar as my sweetener of choice always. Cookies? I eat one or two and that is it. Baking? Use oil as much as possible over butter, or, better yet, substitute the oil/butter with ground flaxseed and applesauce! Instead of cereal and cream? Have a bowl of steel cut oats with a touch of agave, cinnamon, and milk - I add crushed walnuts and dried cranberries. Delicious and very filling! For a rich dessert, take some part skim ricotta, add a touch of vanilla and a dash of splenda. MMMmmmMMMm, very yummy! Or, you can add a touch of splenda and some lime zest instead of the vanilla - that is really good also.

    There are ways to make small changes that will benefit his cholesterol levels - he has to be willing to make the change. Check out some of the recipes from the south beach diet - they are delish and particularly wonderful for lowering cholesterol!
  17. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    As for cheese... The harder cheeses are better. Swiss/Cheddar = better than Gouda/Brie/Edam. Parmesan/Romano = even better. They also are better if you're lactose intolerant, LOL!

    Jo - coffee creamer - try hot cocoa mix. Yum. You can get it low fat, too.

    Ice cream... Try ice milk. Soft serve is denser... The more dense the ice cream, the more fat per mouthful. So I'd guess that applies there, too.
  18. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I gotta check the numbers on Parmesan... because THAT should work on his pasta instead of grated mozza/cheddar.
    It is also very fine, so a little goes a long way - that helps too.
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Truth be told, he'll do whatever he has to, but the WORK is mine.

    The big challenges for me are...
    - I absolutely cannot get the combo of calories and food value into difficult child without things like eggs and full-fat cheese and at-least-2% milk.
    - I'm already dealing with 3 sets of food issues - now its 4.
    - Money is so tight that... MOST of the "easy" and/or "delicious" options... are WAY out of our price range.

    For example: Parmesan might be a reasonable option for on his pasta, but... is going to be out of range for right now. Full-fat "normal" cheese (cheddar, mozza) come on sale at least once a month... low fat versions NEVER come on sale. Chicken breasts is what we used to do for breakfast - can't afford that right now either (alternative to eggs, for breakfast).

    He is very moderate in his eating... loves rich deserts IN MODERATION and not too often. Very fit. Its just his genetics catching up to him.

    By the way. I tried using olive oil to cook the eggs this weekend. DISASTER. I can't tell when the oil is hot - butter, sizzles. Oil? no change until its burning.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  20. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I fry eggs in about a tablespoon of olive oil. If you flick a drop of water into it, it'll pop...