As I began my diet with its prescribed menu I decided to use the time to decide what my diet would be after. Remember the problem is not only obesity but high cholesterol. I thought that meant cutting out red meat – that’s what I was told back when. But then my HCG diet specifically required eating lean sirloin and ground beef. Do I actually know the foods contribute to high cholesterol?
It Isn’t Just Cholesterol – it’s LDL
LDL cholesterol is the result of eating foods, some of them surprising, that are fatty or processed. Here is a short list of those foods:
- Ground turkey (unless labeled 90% lean or better)
- Sugar and High-fructose corn syrup
- Mashed potatoes – Well the potatoes are not the problem, it’s the amount of added butter, cream, and cheese that are added, making it a saturated fat bomb to your diet
- Pizza – yep, cheese again but also the sausage and pepperoni that you add to it
- Most whole fat dairy products
- Pretty much any fast-food
- Ghee or clarified butter. Common to Indian recipes, this food is high in Palmitic acid.
- Flakey pie crusts and pastries are high in saturated fat
- Potato chips and peanut butters (though some have had the trans fat removed)
- Movie theater popcorn
- Coconut Oil. I hesitate to put this on the list but full disclosure, most advocates of Coconut Oil tell you it is 60% medium chain triglyceride (MCT) that are easily digestible and that is good. But there is 40% of something else – a Long Chain Triglyceride (depending on who you talk to)
What Are My Alternatives?
- Use lean, grass-fed beef instead of ground turkey. It is higher in omega-3 acids and lower in fat, so its better for me. But be aware, it smells, and tastes a bit different than the corn fed beef that I have to get used to.
- Avoid most sugars (if I am considering a Paleo diet, maple sugar will become my friend).
- Reduce cheese and butter consumption, use butter seasonings for my popcorn. They have no fat compared with the real thing. But what to pop popcorn in? Anyone, help?
- Switch oils to MCT oil and olive oil. MCT is derived from coconut oil and can be found in fitness stores as well as Sprouts and Whole Foods. The MCT vs coconut oil debate is something I might touch on later. Seems like both have too low a smoke point to use for cooking, but my experience is coconut oil is slightly higher.
While trying to take care of both my heart along with my weight, I might now start thinking about a paleo, vegetarian, or vegan diet. I’ll outline the concerns of each in another blog.