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ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
3/15/13 11:58 A

Ask your husband to eat his normal diet for a few days (say, 3 days...). Put everything into a fitday account (or here on spark people, although I like, too) Make sure you have the right portions he ate and don't worry about anything except writing down the amounts and the ingredients. Good time to skip eating out and just eat what's prepared at home. Then, look at what he's eating. Fitday gives a pretty good breakdown with nice pie chart and graphs, etc.

I personally love margarines that are heart-healthy. I try to minimize saturated fat in my diet (which is atrociously difficult, I've found, but I can do it) and I eat lots of fiber. Butter is too high in saturated fat for me and I don't miss it at all. When eating in a restaurant, I put butter on my roll and I enjoy it, but... meh, it's no biggie. Eating low-saturated fat foods allows me to splurge on a Big Mac now and then, or french fries. Watching the saturated fats - always aiming for NO saturated fat when buying prepared foods, and eating meat that is lowest in saturated fat (skinless chicken breast) has changed the way I eat. When I don't watch that nutritional item, let me tell you - I'm swimming in saturated fat. It's in everything! And it adds up so quickly, its' surprising.

Margarines now report when they have 0 transfats, which is what seems to be most damaging to heart health. So I consider them safe. I also find some very tasty, moreso than others. The Smart Balances, etc. can be pricey, but even supermarkets are trying to put out their own generic brands now that have a good balance of monounsaturaed, polyunsaturated and saturated fats.

Higher fiber (easily get to 30 grams of fiber by mid-afternoon) and low saturated fat. My cholesterol is lower than ever.

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 3/15/2013 (12:02)
3/15/13 7:53 A

I tried the Smart Balance Heart Healthy Spread, which has flax seed oil in it and is supposed to help with cholesterol. I personally didn't care for the taste. So I use olive oil for cooking, peanut butter or spreadable cheese for bread toppings, and butter for the rare instances when nothing else will do, like on a pancake. The saturated fat in butter is not good for people watching their cholesterol, but the trans fats in regular margarines are terrible for you.

My husband and I met with a Registered Dietician when we started our weight loss plan. Our insurance only paid for two visits, but we got tons of useful information and could take it from there.

3/15/13 7:38 A

Your first defense is to meet with a Registered Dietitian who will be able to determine if your hubby would benefit from a few pounds lost; and also be able to assess his current diet and share food interventions that may help to improve his lipid profile.

There are so many food/nutrition interventions and a complete assessment is needed.

To answer your margarine question about the "heart healthy" margarines. These margarines have an added ingredient called plant sterols/stanols. These ingredients from plants, when consumed in larger amounts, on a daily basis (according to the package directions), have been shown to lower cholesterol. Yes it works. BUT...You must use it along with a heart healthy eating plan, and use the amount daily as directed on the package to achieve the result.

SP Registered Dietitian Becky

POCKETLLAMA1 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (48,492)
Posts: 437
3/15/13 4:20 A

I prefer butter hands down.

MRSBENNETT2 Posts: 1,621
3/15/13 12:15 A

Thanks for those links, SlimmerKiwi! That was another thing that astonished me when he brought his results home...his BMI has him pegged as "overweight" which is ridiculous. He's lean and wiry and packed with muscle. BMI is bah-humbug in my opinion. Doc said it might be a hereditary problem more than dietary, and wants to put him on medication but he'd prefer to do it with food instead.

Edited by: MRSBENNETT2 at: 3/15/2013 (00:16)
LOVEMOUSE82 SparkPoints: (3,788)
Fitness Minutes: (2,976)
Posts: 349
3/14/13 10:04 P

Sorry. I was honestly just quoting from the website. I guess they wanted to make margarine seem worse than it is (or they also don't understand chemistry lol)

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (256,762)
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Posts: 27,289
3/14/13 10:01 P

Here is a link to a heap of 'heart-healthy' recipes from The Mayo Clinic :

Hope that provides you with some yummy ideas :-)

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,338)
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Posts: 3,812
3/14/13 9:58 P

Lol Opuseva. I'm always amazed by how media skews the facts.

Edited by: MICHELLEXXXX at: 3/14/2013 (22:02)
SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (256,762)
Fitness Minutes: (41,586)
Posts: 27,289
3/14/13 9:54 P

When I was diagnosed with very high cholesterol I consumed a very healthy diet - always had. I later went on medication for it and altho' I improved, it was still quite high, altho' the HDL was very low. I was also borderline pre-diabetic.

My levels are now in the very healthy range - the only difference has been that I have lost bucket-loads of weight. I didn't change WHAT I ate because it was already very healthy ...... is your husband overweight at all? If so, he may need to adjust his calorie intake down a bit to help his cholesterol levels.

Below is a link to the Mayo Clinic which you may find helpful:

Good luck,

MRSBENNETT2 Posts: 1,621
3/14/13 9:44 P

You know, I thought so too. I'm all for "real food" and I really wish he'd change consumption of some of the chemically stuff he eats like "fat free" salad dressing where the parsley flakes magically stay suspended! He was telling me today I need to start eating margarine instead of butter and I couldn't manage to tell him why I didn't want to switch...I just said I didn't want junk like margarine. Then he watched some podcast on healthy eating and lo and behold...they recommended butter. And explained why. emoticon

OPUSEVA Posts: 1,334
3/14/13 9:41 P

" an unnatural substance that is one molecule away from being plastic"

This is a meaningless statement. Hemoglobin is one molecule away from being plastic. Glucose is one molecule away from being plastic. WATER is one molecule away from being plastic. People who make this claim do not understand chemistry!

LOVEMOUSE82 SparkPoints: (3,788)
Fitness Minutes: (2,976)
Posts: 349
3/14/13 8:39 P

Hmmm...that's weird because when the doc told my husband his cholesterol was high, she actually said to stop eating margarine because margarine is actually worse for you than butter. I did some research on this afterwards and discovered that margarine really is quite awful, an unnatural substance that is one molecule away from being plastic. So we actually switched to land o lakes butter made with olive oil. It's super great and spreadable because of the olive oil but is still real butter. That does mean it is higher in calories but at least it is actual food that your body can use...

MRSBENNETT2 Posts: 1,621
3/14/13 7:28 P

My generally very healthy husband got spooked by his doctor today regarding his high cholestrol. He and I have put our heads together to come up with some dietary changes he can make, which is a chore because he has a ridiculously healthy diet already. I suggested trying those special margarines that supposedly lower cholestrol. Anyone have anything to say about those? I know nothing because i"m old fashioned and still eat butter happily.

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