Sweet Potato Two Ways

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I have never made sweet potatoes before. Never. Not for Thanksgiving – someone else brings that horrible, orange dish. Not ever.

I do not make sweet potatoes as I do not like sweet potatoes. Not even with marshmallows. OK, especially with marshmallows. Which belong in cookies and ice cream (Mallomars & Phish Food, for example) and not potatoes, in my book.

But in my weekly CSA Farm Share I kept getting sweet potatoes. Along with info about how healthy sweet potatoes are: that they have as much Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene as carrots, and other such stuff.

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The Sugar Dilemma

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To lower my too-high cholesterol, I’ve been focused on eating low-fat, low cholesterol foods and getting more fiber.  And trying (relatively unsuccessfully) to exercise near-daily.

Apparently, that’s not enough.  Apparently the fact that I’m a sugar junkie is a real cholesterol problem.

Sigh.

I learned this from Gary Taubes’ extremely well researched (and scary) article in the New York Times entitled, “Is Sugar Toxic?”  In a nutshell, the premise is that sugar does far more than cause weight gain/obesity and diabetes…that sugar itself is a toxin, when eaten (at typical American levels) over time because it causes metabolic syndrome,

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What is a low-fat recipe, really?

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So there I was in the produce aisle searching for arugula to try that Pappardelle with Baby Spinach Arugula, Herbs and Ricotta recipe I posted about when my friend Michaela called.

“Why is this a good lo-co recipe?” she asked.  “Where is the nutritional info?  I didn’t see that in your post?  Can you add that?”  (Michaela writes historical fiction for teens – so she’s a stickler for details!  But we love her anyway.)

I stammered something to the effect of, “Well, um, it’s a Cooking Light recipe… so… um…”

And then I peered more carefully at the recipe. 

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The alcohol-triglyceride connection

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After 3 months of lo-co lifestyle changes, my cholesterol test results were mixed.  Total and LDL (bad) cholesterol dropped, but HDL (good) and Triglycerides went the wrong way.  Triglycerides, in particular, went up A LOT.

As you may recall, my doctor advised 4 key things.  The first in this list below was to ensure I stay on track with lower cholesterol results, and the other THREE were for triglycerides in particular:

  • Keep up the low-fat, low-cholesterol, plant-sterol, high fiber dietary changes I’d made (I have been  marginally successful with this in recent months)
  • Exercise more (marginally successful here would be a HUGE overstatement)
  • Add fish oil (not too difficult,
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    A tiny glimmer of lo-co motivation

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    The outpouring of support and ideas that flowed after my past 2 blog posts (and their woe-is-me theme) was inspiring and amazing.

    Better watch out or I’ll whine more.

    Seriously, though – I am very grateful to those who commented (check out some great ideas in the posted comments).  It was fantastic – can’t tell you how much it meant to me.  Didn’t get me all the way to motivated but it helped.  A lot.

    Many thanks.

    So I took the advice many of you gave, and decided to give the I-can’t-manage-to-eat-the-right-things-and-I-feel-like-I’m-failing routine a rest.

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