Sunday, September 16, 2012

Welcome to my blog about lowering my cholesterol

Yesterday I got the test results from my doctor. She said I have a mildly fatty liver due to high cholesterol. I am a little overweight so this wasn't a major surprise to me. This blog is going to act as my journal.

The hope is that by researching and writing about foods that help lower my cholesterol, it will help me discover the best options. I have used this blogging for personal success method before and it really works. It keeps me motivated and focused. At the same time perhaps this blog will help others out in future.

Background to my diet:

I do not eat any old food but I know I could certainly eat healthier. I usually have 4 meals a day as I like to sneak brunch in there too. My reasoning behind this was that it is better to eat more smaller meals than 3 large ones. Also I hate going hungry.

A typical day for me starts with a bowl of cereal. I have oats (or porridge as we call it in the UK) approximately once every 2 weeks. My first bit of research into foods that can help to lower your cholesterol pulled up oats. So that was the obvious choice today. I will do a full post on oats if it really is an ideal breakfast option.

For brunch I will often have something fried (hotdog, bacon, sausage) with egg and toast or grilled hash browns. Obviously this one has to change. I love eggs for brunch so perhaps this will become boiled, microwaved or poached eggs. My guess is that wheat bread will be fine (which I usually have anyway) and I will find a healthy spread. One of the other things I have noticed so far is that there are certain spreads which have special cholesterol lowering ingredients in them. I love eating bread so this will probably be a future blog post too.

For lunch and dinner it varies. From home cooked pasta or Indian curry, to a weekly MacDonalds or other fast food. I eat rice most days but this is often with a microwaved dish. I will be investigating the fat content of these dishes and cutting any bad ones out. I know for a fact that my Indian Curries have plenty of fat in them (although they contain potentially positive spices like turmeric) and of course MacDonalds is now off the menu. Finding healthy recipes for lunch and dinner should be the biggest problem. I do enjoy cooking so plan on reseraching this well to discover tasty options. Buying a steamer could be on the cards.

I'm not too big on snacks but I will be cutting out the occasional chocolate bars and bags of crisps (chips). Recently I have been going through a large bag of pistachio nuts and I believe they could contain "good fat". I am not sure what good fat and bad fat is, so that will certainly be a post on this site soon. I did read that fat in nuts and oily fish can actually help lower my cholesterol levels so this certainly requires further research. If I need a snack from now on it will probably be a piece of fruit or a small handful of nuts.

As a side note I am cutting out alcohol too. I was a regular drinker which certainly would of contributed to my belly and liver problem. My hope is that I can improve my diet enough to get my liver in perfect working order, so that I can at some point resume drinking in moderate amounts.

I am not a fan of exercise. There is a swimming pool and gym in my building but I never go. I am taking up rock climbing which is extremely demanding. My hope is that the need for extra strength will urge me to visit the pool and gym more often. Even if it doesn't I think that rock climbing 3 times a week will certainly help me.

I am a heavy smoker too, one pack of 20 per day. I got a chest x-ray out of curiosity recently which came back all clear. Obviously it would be great to quit this too, but I am unsure if this can help with cholesterol. Unless I see evidence that it can help to quit then I will probably put this on the back burner for now.

My starting weight as of today is 81kg = 178 pounds = 12.75 stones.