Know your beans!!


I am trying to follow a health eating plan in an attempt to lower my cholesterol. I have swapped any meat with visible fat for a leaner meat such as chicken or turkey, which hasn’t been at all difficulty really. I have also included more oily fish in my diet, but have avoided mackerel as I find it too strong. I have coupled this with also being careful about how many carbs I eat as bread could be my downfall, especially as it cries out for butter! So my eating plan goes something like this:

Breakfast – either porridge oats with skimmed milk, topped with berries, or granola mixed with low fat yoghurt instead of milk, coffee with skimmed milk and no sugar

Mid morning – handful of almonds and walnuts which are good at lowering cholesterol                                     

Lunch – salad sandwich with no butter or tuna salad, using tuna canned in brine, followed by a low fat yoghurt and a large glass of water

Mid afternoon – apple and a handful of my own dried fruit and nut mixture                    

Dinner – salmon and steamed vegetables, or chicken with a huge salad (no dressing just black pepper and a sqeeze of lemon juice) low fat yoghurt and occasionally a glass of wine.

I am also trying to drink more water than I did previously and I also take a good multivitamin tablet at lunchtime to make sure I am not missing anything. I have also been making a few stews using beans and lentils which are a healthy source of fibre and a rich source of protein.  I was amazed when I started finding out about eating more healthily, just how many beans there are.

There are black beans a favourite in Caribbean food; creamy coloured borlotti beans, used in many Italian stews and soups; cannellini beans lovely in a tuna salad; butter beans flat whitish beans with a great buttery flavour; pinto beans a bit like borlotti beans but darker, they are used a lot in Mexican cooking; flageolet beans pale green beans used a lot in French regional cooking; haricot beans used mainly in slow cooking, one-pot type dishes and are great added to soups –  and I’m sure there are many more that I haven’t come across yet.

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Fish oils could be the “Elixir of Life”


During my search to find what’s best to eat while trying to lower my cholesterol, I find that apart from porridge oats, the omega-3 in fish oils can be another “super cholesterol reducer”

Not only that, it appears from recent research that an added bonus could be their anti-ageing properties too.  The report makes interesting reading and I shall certainly be increasing the amount of oily fish in my diet.

Read the report in the today’s ” Mail Online”  http://bit.ly/cm6Sg7

So….it’s porridge for me!


Since finding out that my cholesterol level is 8, not a good number to be, I have been reading up on what to do about getting it lower.

I have found out that porridge oats are an excellent thing to eat if you have high cholesterol, as the soluble fibre and beta-glucans helps get rid of the nasty cholesterol stuff in your blood stream.

In the course of trawling the internet, I came across this amazing site that tells you all you ever need to know about oats, how much is grown, how long we have been eating them and why you should add them to your diet.

http://bit.ly/cUY9G9

So, I will now start each day with a bowl of porridge oats and see if they can help me get from a level of 8 to one of 5 which is much more healthy

How do I lower my cholesterol?


I have had a blood test recently to try and find out why I feel so tired all the time and have no engery.  The tests didn’t find anything other than I my cholesterol level is too high.  It is 5 which is not good evidently.  So I have set about trying to find out what I should do to get the level down.  It seems that we make cholesterol in our bodies anyway but it is only when it is high that it becomes a bad thing.

I have read lots of stuff on the internet, some of which is quite confusing, but there is evidence that you can reduce the level by changes in diet and exercise. So out go prawns, eggs, red meat, cakes. biscuits, pastries

 and in come porridge oats, walnuts, olive oil, blueberries, chicken, oily fish, turkey….

     hmm doesn’t seem too bad!      

I will also have to start doing some exercising as I have been quite lax of late.  Do I have to hit the gym or would swimming be OK? Anyone got any other tips, they would be gratefully received