Is Adjusting to a Healthier Diet Always Necessary?

  • Thread starter Evo
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In summary, the Evo child is afraid her mother will die of a heart attack like her friend's mother, and she wants to restrict her diet to "heart healthy" foods in order to avoid a similar fate. However, her cholesterol levels are very low and all of her heart tests have come back as clear. She also wants to hear from other people who are eating "normal" healthy diets and their thoughts on the matter. She eats healthy in the sense that she eats real food, but she also craves whole proteins more often than not and avoids high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) because it helps her lower her cholesterol levels. Her biggest challenge will
  • #1
Evo
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The Evo child is afraid I am going to drop dead of a heart attack like her friend's mother and she wants to restrict my diet to "heart healthy" food.

I have very low LDL cholesterol, way below optimum levels, and the highest optimum levels of good cholesterol. My blood sugar levels are perfect. All of my heart tests have come back clean as a whistle. My arteries are squeaky clean, but I have developed high blood pressure which seems to be caused by my sucky job, my blood pressure soars when I am working (we randomly get blood pressure checks during work, my company is fanatical about employee health)

But, because her friend's mother ate junk food, I am no longer allowed to have junk food. (Unless she doesn't know about it).

I have always eaten a low fat diet for no reason other than personal preference, but I want my artery clogging Angus burger when I have a craving. I have always eaten mostly vegetables with little or no meat, until the past few years, I tend to crave whole proteins more now.

So I was wondering how many people are intentionally adjusting their diets to be "healthier". I'm not talking temporary fad diets or unnatural diets like vegan or liquid diets that need to be artificially supplemented in order to remain alive.

I would like to hear from people eating "normal" healthy diets and their thoughts. No power bars, protein shakes etc..., I'm not body building, I work at a desk all day, then go home and collapse. I want to eat a healthy, balanced diet from real food, but it can have no more than 1,200 calories a day (my metabolism in super slow, and yes I used to do vigorous cardio workouts to no avail).

I'm sure I have room for improvement, I'd like to hear some suggestions.
 
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  • #2
I eat healthy, in the sense that I eat real food - no fast food, not a lot of packaged things. It's easy if you like to cook and have a little time. I think regular exercise is more important than any major diet change, unless all you eat is candy and burgers.
 
  • #3
I have definitely changed in the last few years.

I'm very active and fit, but my cholesterol levels were outrageously high. I changed my diet but it had zero effect - zero! My doc determined it was just a weird genetic setpoint. Sigh. So now I'm on a statin drug.

But I did find out one dietary factor to my problem - high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). When I get this out of my diet, my cholesterol numbers are remarkably better. Don't know if it's a simple cause and effect, but following this simple rule - No HFCS! - makes a huge, huge difference for me.

To get HFCS out of my diet - no fast food, ever. No processed food. Everything must be natural, homemade. This is a forever change for me, I'll never go back to eating like a normal American.

I eat a lot of veggies too, but I always have, so that's not a change, really.

BTW, as I get older, I crave whole proteins more, too. Mmmm, rare beef... :smile: !
 
  • #4
whybother said:
I eat healthy, in the sense that I eat real food - no fast food, not a lot of packaged things. It's easy if you like to cook and have a little time. I think regular exercise is more important than any major diet change, unless all you eat is candy and burgers.
I really, REALLY need to exercise more, but thanks to mulitple freak accidents, I need a knee replacement soon and I splintered part of my hip bone that left fragments and moving can get painful. About the most I can do right now is wiggle my wrists withing wincing in pain. :frown:

I can no longer do my stair stepper, bike, treadmill or cross country skier. Waking across the living room without groaning is a successful workout.
 
  • #5
Evo said:
I really, REALLY need to exercise more, but thanks to mulitple freak accidents, I need a knee replacement soon and I splintered part of my hip bone that left fragments and moving can get painful. About the most I can do right now is wiggle my wrists withing wincing in pain. :frown:

I can no longer do my stair stepper, bike, treadmill or cross country skier. Waking across the living room without groaning is a successful workout.

Finding a safe way to get exercise will really be your biggest problem then. I imagine you are doing physiotherapy right now, if not, you definitely should be. It can be a bridge until you can get back into doing exercise yourself and it'll make that process a lot faster.
 
  • #6
lisab said:
I have definitely changed in the last few years.

I'm very active and fit, but my cholesterol levels were outrageously high. I changed my diet but it had zero effect - zero! My doc determined it was just a weird genetic setpoint. Sigh. So now I'm on a statin drug.
That sux.

But I did find out one dietary factor to my problem - high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). When I get this out of my diet, my cholesterol numbers are remarkably better. Don't know if it's a simple cause and effect, but following this simple rule - No HFCS! - makes a huge, huge difference for me.
I've never eaten much processed food and don't care for sweets, so my intake of corn syrup has always been almost nil.


BTW, as I get older, I crave whole proteins more, too. Mmmm, rare beef... :smile: !
I wonder if that is common as we get older. Is it easier to get what we need from whole proteins like beef? There are some days that I feel like I could just take down a cow. Behind my old house they were raising longhorns and I always joked that I was going to knock down a part of my fence, dig a pit and call it lunch.
 
  • #7
Let's go to the swimming pool then ! :smile:
Or is it too cold ?
 
  • #8
Evo said:
I really, REALLY need to exercise more, but thanks to mulitple freak accidents, I need a knee replacement soon and I splintered part of my hip bone that left fragments and moving can get painful. About the most I can do right now is wiggle my wrists withing wincing in pain. :frown:

I can no longer do my stair stepper, bike, treadmill or cross country skier. Waking across the living room without groaning is a successful workout.

What about swimming? It's a pain, finding a pool with hours that fit your schedule, and the whole suit up - shower - dress thing, but it's really great exercise.
 
  • #9
whybother said:
Finding a safe way to get exercise will really be your biggest problem then. I imagine you are doing physiotherapy right now, if not, you definitely should be. It can be a bridge until you can get back into doing exercise yourself and it'll make that process a lot faster.
I think I am going to force myself to do long swim sessions after work during the summer. I have a pool.
 
  • #10
Evo said:
I think I am going to force myself to do long swim sessions after work during the summer. I have a pool.

Swimming is great exercise and really low impact, but I would still definitely check with a professional to make sure that you won't hurt yourself -- I am sure there are certain strokes too that would be much better for your specific limitations.
 
  • #11
humanino said:
Let's go to the swimming pool then ! :smile:
Or is it too cold ?
It should be open next month, I hope. I'm also within walking distance of a 24/7 health mega complex with indoor olympic pools.
 
  • #12
I have always eaten "healthy" in the sense that I avoid processed foods like the plague (except for Applegate Farms Ballpark Hot Dogs!). It sucked when I had to travel all over the country doing consulting work - restaurants are NOT very healthy places to eat, by and large. Anyway, our largest household expense is the food budget. We've got a couple of chest freezers loaded with food from the garden (I put up gallons of string beans and chopped/sliced green peppers at a time, and quart bags of various chilies). There are some things like cucumbers, spinach, tomatoes, lettuce, mushrooms, etc that just have to be fresh, and they are $$$ in the winter around here. We are at the farthest corner in the country from most winter-season producers and prices spiked when fuel prices spiked, and have not yet returned to "normal".

I have not had to make any changes to my diet as I have gotten older. I cook with butter and use butter on my potatoes and steamed vegetables. My HDL is quite high and my LDL number is very low. I eat only twice a day, usually. Once in late morning, well after I've had my coffee-fix, and again in early evening. It's about time for my brunch, which will be thin strips of left-over Porterhouse steak, baked black beans, and potato salad.
 
  • #13
Yes indeed. I told my personal chef just last week, "No more ketchup, and this time I mean it!"
 
  • #14
Ok, for lunch the Evo child gave me a can of Progresso Vegetable Minestrone, low fat. :frown:
 
  • #15
Evo said:
Ok, for lunch the Evo child gave me a can of Progresso Vegetable Minestrone, low fat. :frown:

A hamburger with mayo more to your taste? Or a chicken Caesar salad?

Myself, I had an onion soup I made and put away a couple of weeks ago, Just grated the Gruyere and whacked off a chunk of homemade bread.

There's a word for how I feel right now... lethargic I think captures the sense of it.
 
  • #16
If you're a low fat person, you definitely don't want to try the diets in my family.

My roommate thinks I'm insane.

I ate McDonald's twice a day, and poutine at the end of the night. And on nights where I didn't go drinking, I would buy 2 litre cola and a bag of chips and watch movie. I went out 3-4 times a week. After 3 months of that, I lost 10 pounds.

My dad eats out everyday and he's over 55 now. He went for his full physical and everything is running good.

My uncle butters his pizza like he butters his bread. And he's fine, as we know it. (Family shares medical history for obvious reasons.) He's older than my dad. I once had diner with him, and we had 5 beers during diner.

My grandma sometimes eats a row of cookies for lunch. And she's in her late 70's. Everything so far is good.

I'm keeping an eye on my family and as long as everyone is healthy, I'm good. I shouldn't concern myself if there is no reason to be concerned. After my sister's first baby, she shrunk right back to her old self in about month at most.

It's in the genes...
 
  • #17
Jason, both sides of my family ate diets high in saturated fats like cream, butter, etc, and about the only obese person was my paternal grandmother. She had diabetes (which may have contributed to that) and she cooked for a large crew of river-drivers (pulp wood was transported down the rivers here until the '70s) so she was always cooking and tasting every day, all day.

She cooked ham, pork roasts, beef roasts, and turkeys almost every day along with breads and biscuits and vegetables. She also baked a fruit pie for every single man on the crew every day, and any bit of pie that wasn't eaten at the evening meal or grabbed at the next morning's breakfast ended up in the crew's lunches for that day. Those drivers worked their tails off, but they ate like kings.
 
  • #18
I eat anything around, don't really care if it's healthy or not. I try to exercise a lot though.
 
  • #19
turbo-1 said:
Jason, both sides of my family ate diets high in saturated fats like cream, butter, etc, and about the only obese person was my paternal grandmother. She had diabetes (which may have contributed to that) and she cooked for a large crew of river-drivers (pulp wood was transported down the rivers here until the '70s) so she was always cooking and tasting every day, all day.

She cooked ham, pork roasts, beef roasts, and turkeys almost every day along with breads and biscuits and vegetables. She also baked a fruit pie for every single man on the crew every day, and any bit of pie that wasn't eaten at the evening meal or grabbed at the next morning's breakfast ended up in the crew's lunches for that day. Those drivers worked their tails off, but they ate like kings.

Basically what happens in my family. Must be a french/east coast thing. :eek: We have no obese in our family. The only ones that are obese are not a direct part of our family (through marriage).

Also, no one in our family has diabetes.

I think I'm the only one in our family that does not eat beef on a daily basis.

I remember eating pizza the first time as a kid in school and I was so confused on how to eat it. At home we always had butter to butter the pizza, but at school they didn't have any. I thought it was so gross at first, like eating plain bread. I was thinking... "Who eats plain pizza?" or "Qui mange la pizza sans du beurre?"
 
  • #20
When I did consulting-work in the deep south, and asked for apple pie at diners, the waitresses would routinely ask "want me to put some butter on that before I heat it up?" and I would ask if they would please top it with sharp cheese. Sometimes, I got the strangest looks. That's how we always did it at home. If the pie was fresh and hot, it was served with French vanilla ice cream, and if it was left-over, it was always topped with sharp cheddar before hitting the oven for re-heating.

Edit: Evo has gained several pounds just reading these posts!
 
  • #21
turbo-1 said:
... and I would ask if they would please top it with sharp cheese. Sometimes, I got the strangest looks. That's how we always did it at home. If the pie was fresh and hot, it was served with French vanilla ice cream, and if it was left-over, it was always topped with sharp cheddar before hitting the oven for re-heating.

Edit: Evo has gained several pounds just reading these posts!

That was the way we ate it. But that was Texas. Not the deep South.
 
  • #22
Evo said:
Ok, for lunch the Evo child gave me a can of Progresso Vegetable Minestrone, low fat. :frown:

Homemade soup is much better for you than canned, you get to choose the sodium level.

My cholesterol is high as is my blood pressure. The doc (who every time I see him I want to ask if his mommy knows he is playing doctor) says that my semi-low fat diet and all the exercise I do isn't helping so blood pressure medicine it is. No cholesterol drugs yet, but he thinks that i am doing everything right, I'm just part of the 5% of his patients who actually listen.

The long and short of it, take yoga, eat sensibly and swim if your joints can't take the pounding and you'll live long enough to be a real pain in the Evo childs tushie...
 
  • #23
Evo said:
So I was wondering how many people are intentionally adjusting their diets to be "healthier".
Yup. My endo said some magic words to me about my risk for heart attack due to the constellation of indicators (BP, belly fat, etc). I thought my big risk was organ damage from high blood sugars. Nope. Heart attack.

I want to get back to my healthier weight 20 pounds ago. And I'm going to have to eat better to get there.
 
  • #24
Evo said:
I have very low LDL cholesterol, way below optimum levels, and the highest optimum levels of good cholesterol. My blood sugar levels are perfect. All of my heart tests have come back clean as a whistle. My arteries are squeaky clean,

If it isn't broke don't fix it, eat just like you have been.
 

Related to Is Adjusting to a Healthier Diet Always Necessary?

1. How do you define "eating healthier"?

Eating healthier means consuming a balanced and nutritious diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. It also involves limiting or avoiding processed and high-fat foods.

2. What are the benefits of eating a healthier diet?

Eating a healthier diet can lead to improved overall health and well-being. It can help maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, and provide the body with essential vitamins and minerals for optimal functioning.

3. How can I start eating healthier?

To start eating healthier, you can begin by making small changes to your current diet. These can include incorporating more fruits and vegetables, choosing whole grains over refined grains, and opting for lean protein sources. It's also important to limit processed and high-fat foods and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

4. Are there any specific diets that are considered "healthy"?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to eating healthier, and different diets work for different people. However, some diets that are generally considered healthy include the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet, and the vegetarian or vegan diet. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new diet.

5. Can I still enjoy my favorite foods while eating healthier?

Yes, you can still enjoy your favorite foods while eating healthier. The key is moderation and balance. It's okay to indulge in your favorite treats occasionally, but it's important to make sure they are not the main component of your diet. It's all about finding a balance between enjoying your favorite foods and nourishing your body with healthy choices.

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