The problem for those of us who eat out a lot is the difficulty in finding vegetables or at least any variety of vegetables on restaurant menus. The focus is on large portions of beef and potatos. Argentine beef is said to be lower in cholesterol due to grass feeding, though. Maybe somneone can tell me how true this is. In general the diet here is not very healthy (yes, I know all about McDonalds but I never eat there so it's not a factor for me) so you have to be very selective in what you eat. Cooks tend to use a lot of salt, especially on chicken, so tell the waiter to hold the salt.
Argentine Beef for the large part is not injected full of Growth Hormones, Antibiotics and other crap. It is grass-fed meaning it's much much leaner. It has about 1/3 the fat and has a high content of Omega 3 fatty acids. So they say you can actually eat it 3x a week or so. Of course, you'll want to stay away from cuts that are heavier in fat -- this guy's blog has a lot of info on cuts: http://www.asadoargentina.com/
You need to add in more fish to your diet. Preferably fatty fish like salmon, but I know it can be hard to buy here -- you do see trout more often. Try to eat fish at least twice a week (god, that sounds so sad -- in vancouver I grew up eating fish at least 4 times a week...)
You need to cut out the cheese -- cheese is a big cholesterol no-no. Obviously the aim is to do something that you can follow, so if you can't cut it out, you've got to go lighter on it. No roquefort, no creamy cheeses. The harder the cheese, the lower the fat content. So no sprinkling cheese over your pasta is a good way to start. And cut out / cut down on the pizzas.
Picadas are pretty much a cardiologist's nightmare. Sausages are high in fat and salts giving the double whammy of high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and organ meats, such as liver pates do nothing good for you unfortunately (except a bit of an iron boost, which you're probably already getting from the beef!)
Ice cream: you need to switch to the water-based flavours (the sorbets as we call them in english) -- so no more dulce de leches and tramontinas and chocolates etc... Any of the fruit-based flavours you can usually get in cream or water based.
Milk: switch to skim. You can get omega / fibre-enhanced ones as well. Yogurt: skim ones, activa with fibre is a good idea.
Chips, doritos, things that come in shiny bags -- for the most part are out. You can sometimes buy stuff that is baked, not fried, but check the labels for saturated fat content... if it's not low then put the bag back! Cookies -- there's a couple of brands that are ok -- Frutigrams I believe, again you've got to check for saturated fat. Can't remember if they label Trans Fat here, but a good rule of thumb is: if the product is mass-produced yet always soft and moist or has a creamy filling, then it's full of trans-fat. Unfortunately this is also true of most "freshly baked" goods in any supermercado -- Trans-fat nightmares! It's the partially-hydrogenated oil that's the guilty party. Feel like a junk-foody snack? Buy some popcorn kernals and pop it yourself with corn oil over the stove, or an air popper if they exist here. Avoid microwave popcorn, it's not healthy, usually even when they claim it is!
Chocolates: if there's a filling, not a great idea to have it. Go for the darkest, plainest bars and you can actually give yourself a little antioxident boost.
Olives are high in healthy fats, but you should only eat a few at a time. Avocados are very very good for you -- great Omega source. Almonds are great for you as well. Great source of calcium, Omegas, and even some protein.
Add in Black Beans to your diet. Beans are an almost completely perfect food. They are high in fibre, high in protein, full of nutritional value. You can get canned refried black beans pretty easily here -- usually you can find the NO FAT ones. The others are usually made with lard so while yummy, not so great on the fat. You can buy dried black beans here and make soup really easily.
One of the best things you can do to lower cholesterol is raise your intake of soluble fiber. These fibers essentially attach themselves onto fat going through your system and help uh.... move it on out. 35 grams a day is what you're aiming for... It helps take off the pounds too as you feel fuller faster.
So switch to high fibre breads. You've really got to check the labels here. A lot of "brown breads" in Argentina are still made with refined flours. You don't want this! Look on the labels -- you need Harina Integral. White flour is not high in fibre -- they remove the germ and the the wheat bran and just keep the starch. So you need to go for breads with whole grains. The more grains the better.
Other things you can do -- start your day with oatmeal -- here you have to make sure to buy the Avena Gruesa -- the most unprocessed version you can find. Get it at any Dietetica shop. It usually needs a rinse. Takes 5 mins or so to cook. Don't like oatmeal? Then make it more appealing -- I usually chop an apple and cook it in about a tsp of brown sugar and make the oatmeal in another pot. Then serve them together, it's practically like a dessert. Or add bananas, or frozen blueberries / blackberries / raspberries (usually available at Jumbo) into the oatmeal while cooking. Watch out, the berries will stick so keep stirring them.
Try to do everything in moderation as they say. Anytime you have a meal, have some vegetables with it. Yes I know they are harder to get here, but veggies are good for you -- peppers (morrones) are a super food, and you can always get some of those.
Use olive oil for cooking, except for at high temperatures -- use canola oil / corn oil. Try to cut out the butter, switch to an oleic spread -- there's a tonne of Omega-rich ones around. You can eat eggs, get the Omega-enriched ones.
Also, needless to say, get in some more exercise -- walking's great for you, so if you're already going to the gym etc just start adding in some more walking -- walk a few blocks before getting on the bus etc.
Obviously, high cholesterol and blood pressure runs in my family -- both sides! Heart attacks, bypasses, strokes, oh my! So I know all (or the large majority) of the rules... do I follow them? Not all the time... but even if you do some of the things above -- like switching your dairy, avoiding cheese, you could have an effect.
You can get porrige oats in carrefor, mix two parts milk to one part oats and stick in the micro for about two to three minutes. you can also buy honey there aswell to flavour it.
Best cholesterol reducer known to man.
Hi - so hormones are my thaaaaang. I specialize in chronic pain relief, hormones and toxicology. I do not want to inundate you all with too much physiological stuff but you asked.....BTW syngirl's got some great suggestions.
I was doing a bit of work today and saw the below document in one of my files. I thought it might help. Also a tiny cut and paste from the net because if I cut and pasted from my other file it would be way too much - it is an old endocrinology exam. Nooooo. I will be kind and not post that. YAWN.The fact is our bodies need cholesterol. However, there is a difference
between the cholesterol made by the body and dietary cholesterol. The
cholesterol that the liver produces is vital to strengthening the
membranes of each and every cell in the body. It is also important in
the production of many hormones in the body including estrogen,
progesterone, cortisone, and aldosterone. These steroid hormones help
the body manage stress and balance sodium and water in the body, not to
mention regulate sexual function. Blood cholesterol that primarily
comes from diet is what doctors are most concerned about.So - you need some CH. because it, along with protein is responsible for hormone production.....now - dietary CH.....
Sugar turns into Fat and Cholesterol
In your body, hormones help
in converting and changing foods into fuel and tissues. The main hormone that turns sugar into FAT is
insulin. Insulin takes the sugar in the
blood and puts the excess into storage – exactly what you don’t want. You want to use this energy as it is
made. Insulin inhibits (holds back) the
action of hormone-sensitive lipase (the enzyme that breaks down fat). Lipase is a substance that dissolves fat and
insulin blocks this. There is nothing
wrong with carbohydrates, only the speed at which the carbohydrate turns into
sugar. The slower the better.
EXAMPLES OF SLOWLY BROKEN DOWN CARBOHYDRATES
Other leafy greens
Other non-sweet vegetables
EXAMPLES OF CARBOHYDRATES THAT BREAKDOWN FAST
Most protein bars
You can lose weight by
staying away from fast carbohydrate breakdown group.
Every time sugar enters your
body a hormone is released. This hormone
(insulin) takes this sugar and puts it into storage – FAT. Insulin also blocks fat enzymes as well as
slows down metabolism. Insulin also prevents
the burning of fat inside your cells. It
is a double edged sword. With sugar in
your blood stream not only will your body create fat but it will PREVENT the
burning of fat.
You can forget about losing
weight with an increase of insulin (or sugar) in your body. Foods that trigger insulin must be eliminated
to lose weight.
Avoid carbohydrates that turn
into sugar quickly. You have to keep
insulin to a minimum if you want to lose.
Insulin causes fat storage. The
best fuel system is to consume proteins and vegetable carbohydrates. Avoid juices, refined grains and concentrated
sugars.Shoot ! Vino tinto is sugar. But life is short - eat dessert first.