Changing What You Eat

Based on J’s condition of having a heart attack AND diabetes we revised his diet by:

-reducing sugar  -replacing with Splenda products

-reducing sodium -replacing with herbs, spices, sodium replacements (be cautious of high amounts of potassium used in some products)

-reducing fat – including switching from whole milk to 1%, reduced fat cheese (limited quantities due to salt content), switching to Olive Oil margarine

-reducing meat – we eliminated red meat and switched to more of a plant based diet, although we did have some skinless, lean poultry and fish; also added protein with more nuts and seeds

Possibly the biggest changes were (1) not eating in restaurants and (2) limiting processed/premade food. The majority of our grocery shopping was raw ingredients as I cooked almost everything. Including making whole wheat bread so I could control the amount of sugar and salt in the bread.

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Bread

Ah bread – for those of us lucky enough NOT to have a gluten allergy, bread is a wonderful thing. However, following a Heart Smart/Diabetic diet means you need to switch to whole grains and reduce your salt and sugar intake. For us, most of the commercial breads were no longer an option.  Yes, there are plenty of higher-end “artisan” breads to buy,  but the loaves are often quite expensive since there are only two of us we’d either have to freeze a portion of the loaf (which is always an option) or waste too much of it.

For us, our best option is to make our own bread – this way we substitute the sugar and reduce the salt. Our choice was the Zojirushi Home Baker Mini Bread Maker*

zojurishibreadmachine

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What’s for dinner?

Prior to J’s heart attack he did all the grocery shopping but after being released from the hospital he had to take it easy. All the walking that’s required to shop is a lot for someone recovering so I had to take over. Previously he was quite the foodie and loved to eat well but now we had to completely overhaul what and how he ate. We now had to keep in mind his diabetes (low sugar)  PLUS a heart smart diet (low-fat, low salt).

Reducing sugar and fat are not too difficult since so many packaged foods focus on these but almost all packaged/processed food is too high in salt. J had been advised to have less that 2300 mg of sodium (approx. 1 teaspoon). We now had to read all product labels and it was shocking to see the amount of salt in canned and packaged foods. Even foods that say “no salt added” still contain amounts often too high for the serving size (more on this coming soon).

Here’s our initial grocery listing:  Continue reading “What’s for dinner?”