“Each additional weekly serving of 114 grams or 4 ounces (½ cup) of fried foods increased the risk for heart attack and stroke by 3%, heart disease by 2% and heart failure by 12%,” according to results of the study. AS a point of reference, there are 117 grams in a medium McDonald’s french fry order. So eating that every week adds a 3% chance of heart attack or stroke.
As good as they are, put down the french fries. You want to live to see the end of this pandemic don’t you?
“Covid and the move to more eating at home sent a lot of people looking for healthier recipes like we provide,” says site Founder and Editor John N. Frank. “While a lot of people were binging on chips and junk food, I’d like to think some realized they need to get the salt, fat and sugar out of their diets as they think more about what they eat every day.”
Frank started the blog in late 2012 after his first angioplasty to open a blocked artery which nearly killed him. He’s since had a second stent inserted in a different artery in 2017.
He has utilized his prior experience as a food journalist to find or modify recipes to get out the excessive salt, bad fats, and high amounts of sugar that many Americans eat every day without realizing what’s in their food.
Frank recently was named a 2020 top executive by Marquis’ Who’s Who in recognition of his career in journalism, his work on this blog, his efforts to start a small theater and his volunteer work with Mended Hearts, a national peer-to-peer support group for those dealing with heart disease.
“I’ve been stuck inside all year like everyone else but I’ve tried to keep busy,” he jokes.
The start of any year is notorious for people resolving to lose some weight. Indeed, all the major weight-loss programs already are running ads to attract new clients this time of year.
Like millions of others, I’m resolving to drop some pounds this year too. But I don’t use any commercial diet plans. Rather, I merely need to return to what I was eating after having my first angioplasty in 2012.
Following that surgery, I dropped 25 pounds by cutting out everything I enjoyed — red meat, candy, cookies, doughnuts, cake, rich, creamy ethnic foods (think most things from Europe), high-salt ethnic foods (think anything from Asia).
Sadly, after three years of that, I began slipping back, mainly with M&Ms and cream-filled doughnuts, until, in 2017, I was forced to have a second angioplasty to open yet another blocked artery.
That second surgery really had me questioning whether changing my diet had any impact on my artery-health, since it seemed like the answer was a resounding no.
So for the past two years, I’ve been eating much more junk food than before and have gained back that 25 pounds I lost. That officially makes me a fat old man these days and I don’t like that image. So I’m starting all over again.
Here’s today’s lunch salad which I made at home. Restaurant salads are normally load with salt, fat and sugar, avoid them or strip them down to their basics if you must eat one.
I try to add as much as possible to the basic spring greens lettuce mix to give the salad some texture. Here’s a look at ingredients before I built the salad. The only thing missing in this photo is the turkey I put on. That’s leftover from our low-salt Christmas turkey.
The feta cheese is fat-free and the olives (in that black liquid) are low-salt. The beets are sold at Costco, they’re sealed and shelf-stable, not the jarred ones that are loaded with salt.
The mushrooms, tomatoes, cucumbers and even the lettuce mix were on sale at a local supermarket. Eating healthy is expensive, so always shop the sales each week to find deals.
I topped all this with olive oil (a so-called good fat) and balsamic vinegar.
Food science is inexact at best. I’m constantly reminded that as different nutritionists or diet proponents say they know what’s healthy and it may not be what the other person is pushing. The humble egg is a great example of that. Once it was considered bad, then good, but now bad again, according to a new study.
For years, doctors and nutritionists told people worried about their cholesterol levels not to eat eggs, or at least not egg yolks which contain relatively high levels of cholesterol. But then eggs started making a healthy comeback, spurred I’m sure by studies paid for by the egg industry.
The mission for this blog since I started it in late 2012 has been to help people with health issues eat tasty, satisfying food rather than just the bland stuff nutritionists propose after a major health incident such as my angioplasty in 2012.
But helping people is only possible if they’re listening, otherwise I’m just another tree falling in the forest, unknown and unseen and not helping anyone.
Regular readers of my blog know I began this after having angioplasty to open an 80% blocked artery very close to my heart. Doctors told me I did not have a heart attack but had come very, very close on the day when I felt the pressure on my chest and it seemed like air had stopped reaching my lungs.
A second so-called fitness/diet expert got booted by the person she was trying to train. The cLean Momma Diet is history for this season, it seems, and the advocate of it got a bit testy when she got the boot, blaming her contestant for not following the plan. Really, sour grapes? Bad form, I’d say.
I’ve hovered between 38 and 40 most of my adult life, getting as high as a 44 at one point. I find my equilibrium waist, the size I feel most comfortable with, is normally around 39, which puts me in dubious territory heart-wise.
So what happened last year? I got tired of always being hungry, for one thing. Also, a variety of external stress factors as the year wore on simply wore down my resolve to eat well.
I gained 14 pounds over the course of the year, but six pounds of that came in December thanks to a trip to the place of my birth, New York City, where I ate all the foods I grew up loving — all high in fat, sugar, salt and calories.
My eating binge continued into the Christmas-New Year’s holidays as I once again ate chocolate and candies I have largely given up.
With a new year here now, it’s time for me to jump back on the low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar bandwagon, which will mean a return to hunger pangs but, also hopefully, a return to a smaller waist size as I drop enough pounds to go back to my 38-inch-waist pants.
Processed meats, such as hot dogs and cold cuts, are full of sodium and other things that have led me and many others to avoid them in recent years. I’m always amused by Subway calling its sandwiches healthy when they’re filled with high-sodium processed meats, for example.