It ain't pretty being easy... (soopageek) wrote,
It ain't pretty being easy...

i'll eat up all your crackers and your licorice

My doctor has informed me that my cholesterol levels aren't as good as they could be. My LDL is just starting to reach the high range and my triglycerides are considerably out of whack (243 as opposed to under 149). So I've spent the weekend learning a little about cholesterol and exploring options for altering my diet/life that might help. I will go back in 3 months for more blood-work to see if anything has changed.

Near as I can tell, triglycerides form in the blood from unused calories, regardless of their source (fats, carbs, proteins), so in addition to trying to lower my cholesterol intake, I'm also trying to find ways to reduce the intake of fats and carbs. I have a sneaking suspicion that my triglycerides can probably be corrected merely by altering my use of a single substance: soda. I drink a LOT of soda. It's just a bit past noon and I'm already on my third can of the day. So over the coming week I'm going to be trying various diet/free versions of sodas and see if I can find a suitable alternative to my usual regimen of Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper. Currently, my soda intake probably accounts for half of my calorie and carbohydrate intake.

I also plan to add some running to my life. I had been planning on this anyway, even before finding out about my cholesterol. I need to invest in some running shoes and appropriate clothing first. I think between the exercise and altering my soda consumption, I'll probably get my triglycerides back into a more appropriate range.

When I went grocery shopping this week, I was reading labels and trying to buy things which are a little better for me. However, it's clear that some things which are meant to be reduced/no fat/light alternatives to certain things are just shit. They look like shit, smell like shit, and taste like shit. I tried a slice of a fat free cheese single and nearly gagged. I'm still going to give it a go on an actual sandwich. Perhaps it'll be more tolerable mixed with the turkey, cheese and mayonnaise. Speaking of mayonnaise, I'm trying a canola-based mayo that has considerably less cholesterol, fat, and calories than traditional mayo. I took a taste of it off a spoon last night when I got home. It didn't taste like shit, and had an approximation to the flavor of regular mayo, so it might prove to be a suitable replacement.

Yesterday, I also began keeping a food journal for my own curiosity - tracking what I eat and the calories, fat, cholesterol, and carbohydrates they contain. Since this first week will contain some changes, but nothing terribly drastic, it'll give me an idea of what my diet has been like. I've never really paid any attention to what I eat. If it was good, I ate it. As my metabolism continues its slow grind down to an eventual halt, though, my body can't process and handle everything I throw at it with the grace and ease with which it always has. While I'm more than willing to take reasonable steps to remain healthy as I age, at the same time, I don't see any point in prolonging a life where I feel like I'm constantly denying myself the things I enjoy and/or having to eat shit-alternatives. I'll practice moderation and compromise, but barring some serious condition that would necessitate it, I'm not going to severely restrict my diet in some attempt to thwart the grim reaper. The end is the same for all of us regardless of what we do. It's like Redd Foxx once said: "Health nuts are going to feel stupid some day, lying in hospitals dying of nothing."
Tags: aging, food, health
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