The first day of my cholesterol diet I ate oats cooked in milk for breakfast, went out to eat chicken noodle soup for lunch and finished the day with homemade chicken burgers with lots of vegetables, cholesterol free garlic sauce and roasted chicken.
I was a bit hungry late in the evening, so I ate 1 peach before going to bed.
So I thought: start the day off with a healthy breakfast. On a lot of websites you can read that oats can lower cholesterol. Little did I know that in my daily breakfast for the last few months I was eating about 20 mg of cholesterol, simply because I cooked my oats in water with 30 grams of organic full cream milk powder. Utterly delicious with a few pieces of banana and a teaspoon of honey, and it lasts you until the early afternoon before you even feel a bit hungry:
The recipe for this oat milk is easy: boil the rolled oats as per instructions on the package ( I don’t use instant oats, but rolled organic oats), add some milk powder and banana-pieces to the oats and start boiling. Simmer for 20 minutes, add cold water and the rest from the milk powder (organic full cream all in all 30 grams or about 1 oz) and you are ready to eat breakfast.
This breakfast, including a huge cup of green tea) has about 20 mg cholesterol: that’s about 10% of the recommended daily intake for people that should reduce their cholesterol using a diet of 200 mg of cholesterol intake a day. The daily intake for people that have a good cholesterol and a good health is 300 mg of cholesterol.
Eating out for lunch
For lunch a chicken noodle soup: as per my request, they serve the soup without adding in prawns nor sesame oil. The broth doesn’t show any fat on the surface and the chicken is cooked. A bit of fried beansprouts (no idea what oil is used though) and an English tea. Normally I would add 2 meatballs, but since you don’t have a clue what these balls are made from, I pass.
The restaurant doesn’t label their soup (wouldn’t it be great to have the cholesterol content mentioned on the menu card?), so we have to estimate our intake here. Livestrong.com says that 1 cup of chicken noodle soup contains 30 mg cholesterol. Then they get a bit confusing, saying that canned soup contains more fat than other soups, yet a homemade chicken soup could contain 90 mg cholesterol per cup. Caloriecount.about.com mentions 12 grams of cholesterol in 1 cup. Since I do eat a huge portion, maybe the equivalent of 2 cups, and the soup doesn’t contain visible fat, I guess all in all about 60 mg of cholesterol eaten.
For dinner I was in full motivation to by lots of healthy food, a bot of already roasted chicken and I needed some yogurt to make a dressing. Not wearing my reading glasses, I managed to grab a yogurt with live culture. However when I reached home, I noticed I had bought a Greek yogurt with 10% fat. Similar Greek yogurts contain 85 mg cholesterol per serving of 170 grams. So there you are thinking you have live culture so all is healthy…not! Do read the nutrition labels before buying anything!
So the garlic sauce above, due to the Greek yoghurt, contains 35 mg cholesterol, and since it’s for 2 people, each person gets 17,5mg. The sauce itself consists of 70 grams (2 1/3 oz) yogurt, 70 grams cooked potato (2 1/3 oz), 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 15 capers, 2 freshly crushed garlic cloves, pepper and salt. And the good news: when you use low fat yogurt, the sauce tastes even better with less cholesterol.
For the salad: a package of mixed salad leaves, a tomato, cucumber, rucola salad, pepper, salt, 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar: 1 big bowl of healthy fresh salad results in cholesterol content = 0 mg! Oh yeah, there is NO cholesterol in olive oil, nor in any other vegetable oil for that matter.
Does that mean you can safely drink a bottle of olive oil without your cholesterol going up? I have no clear cut answer to that, other than:
- one should always eat in moderation, and a bottle of oil sounds ridiculously over the top
- paraffine oil is used as a laxative , maybe all oils have a similar effect?
- if your body takes in oil, is it going to store it as fat?
For now I focus on cholesterol intakes (which is already difficult enough to begin with) and I don’t mind a bit of vegetable oil in my diet. Before when my LDL was still good, I did believe that butter nor lard could be that unhealthy. Since butter and lard have been the fats used by my ancestors, and none of them died from a hearth attack, butter and lard could be better than the in recent generations upcoming margarine and other butter replacements, by the food industry labeled as more healthy. Yet I would love to see an independent study about that. Anyway like I said: let’s focus on cholesterol intake to find out whether or not my diet low on cholesterol will result in my LDL going down as well.
Back to dinner: chicken burgers with roasted chicken and a fruit smoothie from orange juice, grapes and persimmon:
Counting cholesterol becomes difficult as the 2 whole meal buns and the chicken are sold without a nutrition label, and I didn’t even bother to weigh the amount of chicken. I did remove the fat and the chicken skin whilst shredding it, and I also noticed the non stick pan became quite greasy after just re-heating the shredded chicken pieces. According to caloriecount.about.com: 1 serving of chicken (140 grams) contains 105 mg cholesterol. Whole grain buns from the brand "Wonder" or the brand "Perfection Deli" contain 0 mg cholesterol. I would doubt that there is no butter nor margarine used in the buns, but most likely that wouldn’t affect the overal estimations to much if we neglect the fat content of a bun.
Cholesterol intake day 1
- Breakfast: 20 mg due to milk
- Lunch: 60 mg due to cooked chicken meat
- Dinner: 105 mg from roasted chicken + almost 18 mg from the Greek yoghurt in my garlic sauce
- Total: 203 mg cholesterol intake today.
Although I made a huge effort in choosing what to eat, I ended up with an estimated 200 mg/day cholesterol intake: more or less the recommended intake for people that need to watch their cholesterol. It makes me wonder if 200 mg/day is a realistic number to aim for? Or is it a number made up by the cholesterol drug industry to let you buy their drugs because hello: look how much cholesterol you eat a day even when you think you are doing everything right?
I admit, I didn’t measure everything to the fullest, and my count is merely an estimation based on average servings when it comes to food like chicken or buns that don’t come with nutritional facts stated on the package. First day
of diet: lots of counting and guessing, but not really an incredible low dose of cholesterol intake.