The Most Delicious Clinic Ever
People seem to be split on mayonnaise. I love it.
I love eggs. I love oil. Put the two together in a rich and delicate emulsion and I’m in heaven. I’ll slather it on a BLT, dunk my duck-fat fries in its stiff peaks, and smash my nearly perfect hard-boiled eggs into its voluptuous bosom.
Sure, there are problems with the commercially made version. Most are made with nasty solvent-extracted soy-based oils. And I shudder to think about the cruel and unusual conditions to which the chickens who laid the eggs were subjected. But these aren’t matters that concern me right now, because mayo is off the diet.
In some weird twist of fate, somehow the Mayo Clinic has come up with recommendations for eating to reduce your cholesterol numbers that does not include its namesake condiment. Bummer. So, what do they think I should eat instead?
Let me clarify something. I’m not on a low fat diet. Really, I’m not on any prescribed diet at all. Mostly I am trying to lose the weight I put on by eating fried foods, sour cream, fatty meats, extra pieces of crispy roast chicken skin, white flour in a variety of wonderful forms, ice cream, cheese and butter with reckless abandon for the better part of a month.
I’m doing this primarily by eating less overall and moderating my portion sizes. But I’m also severely limiting my intake of all the foods listed above for the next couple of months. The goal is to show that I can lower my cholesterol numbers with diet alone.
However, I have to admit that I just bought a Kinect. Hey, any movement is a start.
Anyhow I was encouraged to see this report come out from the Mayo Clinic. Because it seems to indicate that I’m on the right and righteous path. Still, based on their recommendations there are some more foods I should be eating to reduce my numbers. However, one of their recommendations I’m totally staying away from.
1. Oatmeal, oat bran and high-fiber foods
This one I own. I’m all over this and winter is the season for oatmeal. As a snack, I’ve been eating organic heritage flakes (which are high in fiber) either plain or with a bit of nonfat milk. Fluid dairy is one of those things I’m trying to avoid, but I just love milk with cereal sometimes.
2. Fish and omega-3 fatty acids
I could be doing better with fish. A lot of the problem is that fish is crazy making. Either it’s over fished, or the fishing gear degrades the environment, or the fish is highly contaminated with mercury or PCBs. However, after looking at the list of heart-healthy fish I realized that herring are on it, and pickled herring is one of my favorite snacks. Granted, Mrs. Fussy hates it when my breath smells like pickled herring. But I think “for worse” was included in our wedding vows.
The Mayo people also suggest ground flax seeds and canola oil. I know that one Shop Rite dietician rolled her eyes at me when I said my plan was to grind whole flax seeds with my teeth, but that remains my intention. Bah, science. And we do occasionally use some organic expeller pressed canola oil in the Fussy household. But mostly we use…
4. Olive oil
You really wouldn’t believe the amount of olive oil I have in the house these days. It gets used for pretty much anything. It’s drizzled on popcorn, rubbed onto potato skins, and is the first fat I reach for when cooking anything in a pan. A while back I even did a blind tasting of several oils, but I need to dig up those notes before I can share with you the results.
3. Walnuts, almonds and other nuts
With all the excitement about olive oil I skipped right over number three. I’ve been going through bags of walnuts a small handful at a time. I like chewing them with a small amount of very dark chocolate and letting the two flavors commingle in my mouth and form a rich, dark, complex paste. This is really all the sweets I need.
But I’ve also been snacking on cashews. Hazelnuts too. In fact there is a very special hazelnut that I’ve been meaning to tell you about, but that’s been waiting in the wings too.
5. Foods with added plant sterols or stanols
Nope. Not going to happen. I’m trying to do this on as much of a whole foods diet as I can. That means avoiding things like margarine or anything that’s specifically modified to help take off weight or improve your cholesterol.
From the perspective of taking off weight, so far so good. I’m finally letting an occasional beer, cocktail, or glass of wine back into my life. Seltzer with a splash of bitters has been accompanying most of my dinners lately. I’m trying to eat my vegetables first, and eat a ton of them before moving onto other items on the plate. And as I mentioned yesterday, I’m opening myself up to things that are explicitly marketed as vegan.
Now all I need to do is to remember to make an appointment and have my blood taken at the end of March so I can show all the progress I’ve made and leave this nonsense behind.
Let me tell you, when it’s all said and done, that deep fried Buffalo burger is going to be so much fun.