Well, the other shoe finally dropped. Maybe it has for you as well? If you’ve also over-relied on food containing saturated fat to fill you up, give you energy and some indulgence (a concept we celebrate at Goodbuy) in your break up with sugar, your cholesterol may be going up too. DRAT! A major increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol (I remember this one by thinking the L stands for Lousy) and triglycerides often indicates fatty buildup in the arteries—which does not bode well when it comes to a heart attack or stroke.
“Whatcha gonna do?” asked my doctor, after seeing my cholesterol and especially my LDL suddenly shooting to a level that’s got me sufficiently spooked.
I’m ready to take bold and drastic action! Are you ready to do so too? I am thinking of this new challenge as Phase Two (aka The Other Shoe) in the world of permanent dietary changes. It means amping up the exercise and cutting back on sat fats. Thankfully, this combo holds great promise for reversing the cholesterol trend, and triglyceride levels are especially responsive to exercise (and fish oil). It seems in some cases, folks have reduced their triglycerides and bad cholesterol up to 40 percent in a month. Sounds good to me!
I don’t usually make new year’s resolutions but the truth is, as a greenie I’ve been wanting to eat lower down the food chain more consistently anyway…it’s just that those fatty friends of mine have allowed more variety in my low-carb quest for protein and indulgence. But if we all should be aiming for less than 20 grams a day of saturated fat (holy cow’s milk, batgirl), the question is:which of these friends gets to stay—and who’s gotta go?
So far, these are my keepers:
Dark chocolate, there is no way you and I can part but I’m gonna aim for 5 grams (1/3 of a bar) a day.
Eggs, 3 grams of sat fat for 2 of you ain’t bad, so I’m not ready to dump you but for green reasons, I’m going to aim to eat fewer, and maybe focus more on the whites when baking or omelette making.
Greek yogurt, love ya but I’m swapping you out for a fantastic, low sat-fat (and low-sugar) alternative that also far outpaces what’s on the market re. its packaging and sourcing footprint.
Peanut butter, you’ve always stuck by me, as well as to the roof of my mouth. At 5 grams in 4 tablespoons, I’m staying loyal but taking my spoon out of the jar. On a nut-related note, and at 20 g of sat fat per cup, I’m saying sayonara to my standard handfuls of Brazil nuts and leaning towards almonds, hazelnuts, pecans and pistachios.
Here’s my hit list:
Buh bye, butta. I didn’t grow up eating you but have learned to adore you in my low-carb life and have undoubtedly overdone it with your 7 g of sat fats in every tablespoon! Now it’s olive oil, all the time. Whipped cream, you’re my dream. But you’re a sat fat nightmare (!) with up to 28 grams per half cup (and I snarf you like crazy). I’ve also become way too friendly with fatty meats—and most of all cheese—so sign me up for guacamole or hummus instead, please! And I’m going to give coconut milk and cream a hard pass. While MCTs ( medium-chain triglycerides) are big with the keto crowd, the jury’s still out on whether coconut’s possible positive impact on HDL (good cholesterol) offers outweighs its possible negative impact on the LDL. Finally, I’m dumping what’s fried.
And here’s my tiny Add-on list:
Whey protein (though yes, like the yogurt, it’s still animal derived) to take a swipe at the LDL, and more fiber. Yes, It’s back to oatmeal, everyone, though if you mix enough flax, chia and nuts in there, you can fill up without eating a day’s worth of carbs.
Happy lower-cholesterol holidays to all!