I hope all is going well with everyone. I just signed a lease, so I will indeed be a resident of Astoria. I will post a picture of the great view from my balcony when I move in. It is a little colder here in New York than Florida, but I head back down there on Tuesday, and it makes for a nice contrast. The Charlotte Bobcats were in town last night, and one of my former clients plays for them and gave me some tickets. I have never been to Madison Square Garden, so it was a blast even though the Bobcats got blown out. They are a rough crowd in New York, a Bobcat player got poked in the eye and had to go to the locker room, and even the ladies in the crowd were calling him a sissy. I was in Charlotte last week just long enough to take care of the essentials, see family, and then ditch town. I have been spending all of my free time getting the website ready, and have a bunch of good articles from my team of dietitians to share soon.
Archive for February, 2008
I have been following the basics of the weight loss diet when possible, and like everyone else I am cheating once and awhile. Hey, I have to try the cheesecake, chocolate molten cake, baked Brie, and other creations that I cook on a daily basis. I am also testing new recipes for the website, but they are healthy, so I can’t use them as an excuse. I have lost 15lbs. or so since I have been back on land, and would like to lose 5-10 more (those are the tough ones), but not stressing over it. For the new website I have teamed up with a few dietitians that specialize in certain dietary needs. Tamra Hammett RD, LDN is my expert for the weight loss diet, and Healthy Family Dinners menu plans. Tamra helped me write the free calorie control diet I was offering last year; I have taken that concept for the weight loss diet menu plan where we will send you weekly recipes for your calorie level (1200, 1600, 2000) and then let you customize it to your lifestyle (or you can just follow what we send you); basically we let you choose what foods you want on your calorie level, then print out the weekly menu and shopping list- it’s going to be really cool. All of the dietitians are writing exclusive articles for their respective menu plans, and I just got Tamra’s weekly article today, and wanted to share it with you since it really is timely. Once I finally get the site live, you will be able to ask her questions about your diet, and of course I will be there to help you with all of your cooking needs.
Lower Triglycerides Naturally Through Nutrition
Tamra Hammett RD, LDN
What’s the best diet to lower triglycerides? And why is lowering triglycerides so important in the first place? The answers may surprise you.
For years high cholesterol has gotten most of the press, but recently researchers discovered that high triglyceride levels may be the most significant indicator of both stroke and heart disease – no matter what your total cholesterol count is.
High Triglycerides Research
Here are three good reasons why a diet to lower triglycerides is so important:
- First of all, a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found, if your triglycerides are high, you have two or three times the risk of heart disease and stroke – even if you have low cholesterol. [Vol. 86: 943-49]
- Secondly, drugs for lowering triglycerides have serious side effects. That’s why the American Heart Association recommends medications should only be considered after every other natural avenue for lowering triglycerides has been exhausted.
- And number three, a good diet to lower triglycerides has been shown to cut your risk of stroke and sudden cardiac death by nearly half.
Triglyceride levels over 200 mg/dl are considered high and put you at serious risk. Over 500 mg/dl would be extremely high. Even 150 to 199 mg/dl are thought to be borderline-high. To totally minimize your risk, aim for a count below 150 mg/dl.
The Best Diet for Lowering Triglycerides
Since triglycerides are forms of fats, you might think that less fat in the diet would be the most important step. However, it’s not. The main culprit is sugar!
That’s right, high glycemic carbohydrates are the most significant dietary predictors of high triglycerides and the most important foods to avoid. Sugar’s the reason even a little alcohol has been shown to create large increases in blood plasma triglycerides.
Begin with a good heart healthy food plan:
- Eat more lean protein and fresh vegetables.
- Switch from high glycemic carbohydrates to a high fiber low glycemic diet.
- Replace saturated and trans-fats with good fats (like olive oil)
- Lower total fats to 30% of calories.
- Reduce daily calorie intake to maintain optimum weight.
- Add 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day.
- And, if you smoke or drink, quit.
The Triglyceride Fish Factor
The best heart healthy food you can add to your diet is oily cold water fish, at least three times a week. This one change in your diet can reduce your triglycerides significantly.
According to research and the American Heart Association (AHA), the DHA and EPA fatty acids found in salmon and other fatty fish, not only decrease triglycerides, but these good fats can also cut your risk of stroke and sudden cardiac death by more than 44%.
What’s more, omega 3 fish oil has been shown to reduce irregular heartbeat, blood clotting, hardening of the arteries, overall cholesterol and blood pressure.
The AHA and others recommend everyone with heart concerns or issues take daily fish oil supplements with balanced DHA and EPA, no matter how much fish they eat.
I hope everyone is doing well; happy Valentines Day. I have been down in Florida, and as nice as it sounds (it actually is pretty nice), I am working down here. I made Osso Buco the other night, that was a big hit; I have posted the recipe, and I would recommend you make it for a nice Sunday dinner; it’s perfect for Winter. I have been experimenting with new fish varieties such as wild sea trout (from Tazmania), and cooking old favorites such as Tuna. We have a Viking outdoor grill down here that has a trusear burner that gets real hot, and I am able to do some cool things with that part of the grill, like grilled pizza (I did a version with blue cheese & apples), and Seared Tuna. I told you I would add the recipe for salt crusted fish, so here it is. I talked about using the thermometer in a previous post, you can see it in the picture, and if a fish has clear eyes, its fresh, if they are cloudy or slimy, run. For this recipe use the fish that is the freshest, this could be a good exercise in finding a good fishmonger, as most supermarkets don’t have whole fish. You will just have to adjust the cooking time according to the size of the fish. If you are using an electronic thermometer, stick it in the thickest part of the fish, set it, and forget it. Have your fishmonger clean the fish for you.
Fish Roasted in Salt Crust
2 whole Fish, 2lb. or so
1 box kosher salt
2 egg whites
Rinse the fish and pat dry; set on a baking sheet. Mix the egg whites with the salt and pack on top of the fish. Insert the thermometer if using. Roast at 400 degrees for 30 -40 minutes or until it reaches 130 degrees. Crack the the salt crust open with the back of a large chef knife or meat mallet and follow instructions on the whole roasted fish recipe to serve.
I have been working my butt off getting the new website ready. We are going to have a personal trainer on staff to help the members get in shape if they want; I was doing some research, and ran across a few videos that makes me wonder if all of my hard work is for not? I could just sit on my ass in a Hawaiian chair or ride a Japanese horse.