Your Lying Eyes

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25 October 2006

How to Eat

Due to a medical necessity (viscously clogged arteries) that I became aware of about a year ago, I try to keep my daily intake of saturated fats to less than 10 grams (I'm usually well below that) and rarely consume trans-fats.

As a result, there are some food items that I consumed regularly - some weekly, some more frequent, some at least a few times a year, or only at parties - that I no longer eat at all. For example, Philly cheese steaks; Snickers; buttered rolls; TastyKakes; hamburgers; Drake's apple pie; cheeseburgers; jelly donuts; Cuban sandwiches; bread and butter; Reese's peanut butter cups; chicken cheese steak; rib-eye steaks; pasta with cream sauce; brie; bacon and eggs; pate; ice cream; pigs-in-a-blanket; pizza; m&m's; bagel & cream cheese; taylor ham & cheese; milk shakes; french fries; lasagna; Big Macs; chocolate cake; french-onion dip; Girl Scout cookies (thin mints); goat cheese; Whoppers; babecued ribs; pastrami on rye; grilled cheese; breakfast sausage; roast beef; hot dogs; egg salad; fried chicken; pot roast; hot pockets; cheese enchiladas; mozzarella; White Castles; Entenmann's cakes; taco dip; sauces made with butter; pastries; baked ziti; gorgonzola; reuben sandwich; Wise potato chips; sausage and peppers; lobster bisque; Egg McMuffin; creme brulee.

Given the above list, is it any wonder that when people say to me "Oh, you can cheat once in a while..." I say "When. And with what?" How does one choose any one particular day to cheat with any one particular item? I suppose since I don't go out to eat all that much I could indulge in some foie gras once a year, but otherwise I could probably cheat once a day for 90 straight days without repeating a single item.

On the positive side, some of my favorites offer unlimited satisfaction: pasta with any combination of broccolli, olives, anchovies, artichokes, etc. with garlic and olive oil; smoked whiting and pickled herring; sushi. No-fat pretzels are ubiquitously available. Mayo isn't that bad, but Hellman's now has Canola-based mayonnaise. I've always made my own salad dressing wiht olive oil. Grilled, marinated chicken breast is a mouth-watering staple. I still do eat potato chips, now and then, if they're kettle-cooked in peanut or sunflower oil (I look for non-saturated to saturated ratios of at least 7-to-1). Raisin Bran has always been a favorite (I use 1% milk, which takes up about 2 grams of my 10 gram quota). Fortunately, I like fish, I love vegetables (though I used to really enjoy them with a tbs or 2 of butter tossed in at the end) and things like hummus, tofu, olives. I do satisfy my sweet cravings with SmartBalance peanut butter and jelly on rye bread at night. Also, Ovaltine (fat-free) with low-fat milk (1.5 g saturated fat) is a nice indulgence. But most important, if your concern is choleserol and not weight, your quota of olive oil is effectively unlimited.

I haven't traveled outside of the Mid-Atlantic region in a while, but I
will be traveling west at least once in the coming months and I absolutely will have a Breakfast Jack - though I think I'll pass on the JB Tacos.


Anonymous daveg said...

I am living in Spain and they have toast in the morning with olive oil. It's not bad.

I usually sprinkle a little sugar on top and I am actually getting very used to it.

Also, salad dressing is strictly (olive) oil and vinegar. Sometime they put garlic in the olive oil container.

after getting used to this dressing I went back to the states and the dressing there tastes like sugary syrup (for example newman’s) as they typically load it up with corn sweetener.

They also eat LOTS of pork and seafood.

Anyway, just thought that would be interesting.


October 25, 2006 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reservatrol or red wine extract, or just red wine will help open up your arteries. Drinking red wine is why the French can eat all those souffle's full of artery-clogging gunk and have low rates of heart disease.

There is apparently a molecule in red wine (and grape seed extract I think........have to check) that dialates blood vessels. The alcohol also eats away at plaque. Street alcoholics often have some of the cleanest arteries around. Their capillaries are SO dialated that you can see the bursted ones on their face. Any nitiric oxide releaser might help the capillaries and thus arteries open up. Arginine would be one of these.

If we ate just fruits, vegetables, REAL wheat breads, eggs and meat..............I imagine our levels of internal inflammation and disease would be much, much lower than they are now. Fast food is a slow poison, but Im as guilty as anybody else is in eating it......just so convienient.

October 25, 2006 8:26 PM  
Blogger tvoh said...

I have two glasses of red with dinner. Also eat a lot of beef. My prior doc told me not to. He said that at my age, it would be really a bad idea to keep up the red meat thing.

He was a great guy, but the reason he is not my doc now is he is dying. Played by the rules, ya know.

Next summer we are raising a couple of pigs. Whaddya think? Syrah or cab?

October 25, 2006 9:05 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Dave, you're right - bottled dressings are horrid, but symptomatic of an American diet. It takes about 90 seconds to chop a clove of garlic, add a couple tablespoons of vinegar and a tbsp of dijon mustard, and whisk in some olive oil.
The "Mediterranean Diet" is more what I aspire to now.

October 25, 2006 11:11 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

I think most people can eat beef assuming they have an otherwise balanced diet. I can't though - I abused my diet.

I wouldn't place too much faith in the red wine - if it were a panacea, I'd have the cleanest arteries on the street.

Richard - Syrah, definitely. Cab with pork or ham gives me the willies.

October 25, 2006 11:18 PM  
Blogger tvoh said...


Yeah, it's probably the genes. Still, in our health conscious country, you get points if you are doing it for you diet.

Syrah it is.

October 26, 2006 9:02 AM  
Blogger Toby said...

The only chips I know of that are made from sunflower oil are Lay's. I didn't even think to check until I read this entry, but yeah, that is what they are made of. I generally try to eat a diet with low sat fat and no trans fat too.

October 27, 2006 3:20 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

You're right, Lay's switched over to sunflower oil a few months ago (though I think the snack size chips are still made with the 'bad' stuff). I prefer (taste-wise) the Kettle brand which uses peanut oil.

October 27, 2006 7:29 PM  
Anonymous J. Wild said...

I drink an entire bottle of red wine after dinner. I assume this makes me the healthiest man alive, though perhaps a bit over-sexed.

October 28, 2006 10:48 PM  
Blogger FuturePundit said...

You should read my FuturePundit category archive Aging Diet Studies for ideas on how to eat a healthier diet.

Also read my post Ape Man Diet Lowers Cholesterol And Inflammation Marker. I think the latter points to the best diet for cholesterol problems.

October 29, 2006 10:24 AM  
Blogger tvoh said...

J. Wild said...

Assuming it is a step above Ripple, we can be confident that you are at least the healthiest person at the shelter.

October 30, 2006 7:29 AM  
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