Monday, July 14, 2014

Weight Watchers for those seeking heart healthy diet

With a failing heart and arteries showing signs of plugging up, I've been put on a Mediterranean diet. The hope is that a low cholesterol diet will help keep my blood cholesterol in check. But my doctors are not taking any chances; I'm also taking 10 mg of Ezetrol, a cholesterol absorption inhibitor.

I take Ezetrol in addition to 40 mg of Lipitor daily as the Ezetrol takes a different approach to cholesterol lowering than statins, which lower cholesterol by cutting cholesterol production in the liver.

By happy happenstance, my wife decided to start attending Weight Watchers at the very same time I was being placed on a low fat, low meat, diet. My diet and my wife's diet fit together like two pieces of good-health-diet puzzle. My wife has lost more than forty pounds and I have dropped about twenty-five pounds in the last few months. My doctors will be pleased when I next see them for a consultation.

Tonight we had spanakopita for dinner with a cucumber and tomato salad topped with slices of bocconcini cheese. On the side we had some broccoli florets lightly "buttered" with Becal margarine. My wife made a Weight Watchers' version of spanakopita -- a savoury mix of spinach and feta and low-fat ricotta cheeses wrapped with layers of flaky phyllo pastry. Each serving of the spanakopita was just four points. I enjoyed two pieces as I have a daily goal of 37 points.

I'd post the recipe but my wife adhered fairly closely to the Weight Watchers recipe. If you want the recipe, you'll have to join Weight Watchers. She did stray a little, she added a few roasted pine nuts to the spanakopita and a few slices of bocconcini cheese to the salad. I should note that this recipe did not call for eggs, not even yolkless egg substitutes, and parmesan cheese was also missing.

I admit, cheese is a bit of a no-no to those of us on low cholesterol diets. That said, I figure my daily intake of cholesterol today was well under 100 mg -- my personal cholesterol ceiling. My intake of saturated fat and total fat was also held in check. At the same time, I had lots of fibre while keeping my salt intake low.

Now to head out for a gentle walk about the neighbourhood. Light exercise is the final important ingredient in my heart healthy regimen.

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