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Small Changes for a Big Payoff

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I had some blood work done recently, and found out my cholesterol was high. It's not awful, and I can probably avoid taking medicine for it for now, but that means I have to actually do the things I already know I should be doing.

Luckily, a lot of the changes I need to make are things I enjoy doing already and the things I need to cut are not going to be too horrible (except cutting back on cheese...sob). For example:

Avoid saturated fat and trans fats: Saturated fats are in things like full-fat dairy, butter, and cheese, and animal fats. Trans fats are in  commercial baked goods like crackers and cookies. Did you know that foods with up to half a gram of trans fat per serving can be labeled as having zero trans fats? That means that you could be consuming a lot more than you think you are, if you eat more than the recommended serving size or eat a few different processed snacks.

Make breakfast oatmeal: Oats and oat bran have been shown to lower cholesterol in many studies...and they make for a delicious, easy-to-customize breakfast. I use quick-cooking oats, which are ready in about five minutes. My toaster doesn't make toast that fast! Throw in a little sweetener (I like brown sugar or raw sugar for a bigger flavor punch), spices like cinnamon and nutmeg (some people even make their oatmeal savory with pepper and soy sauce and the like) a sprinkling of nuts and some fruit (which allows you to cut back on the sugar). SO satisfying and delicious!

Take a walk: Exercise is good for mood, stress relief, sleep...and cholesterol. Between grad school, work, field placement for grad school and being a homeowner, parent and wife, I really struggle to find exercise time, but I've committed to doing a better job of that going forward. When spending 30 minutes a day doing something I actually enjoy can have such a big payoff, it's totally worth it.

Have you had to make some changes for your health?

by on Oct. 30, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Replies (31-32):
by Lauren on Nov. 1, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Good for you!  

I certainly need to make some changes to my health.  After my first daughter I lost quite a bit of weight with a low fat counting calories diet and light exercise. However, we were eating a ton of processed foods at the time and fruit was just about the only fresh food in my diet.  In recent years, I have began using far more real food, the drawback being an increase in calories, and I am struggling with my weight more than ever. 

by Gold Member on Nov. 2, 2013 at 7:25 AM

 My sugar levals went up, not pre-diabetic, but it was low and made a jump. I cut back on sugar-which I was getting a lot in drinking sweet tea every day. I also made sure I had small portions of potatoes, pasta and bread, which I realized I had been increasing my portions-they taste so good. I had already eliminated most processed foods years ago. Anyway, the sugar levels went back to what they were before. Sometimes we just need to think about what we've been eating that might have made the changes, and go back.

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