Posts Tagged ‘lowering choleterol’

P1080452It’s kind of ego-deflating, but my most requested recipe is not for cookies or Chinese dishes, but it’s for my breakfast oatmeal. I always loved it when my mom served me a bowl of hot oatmeal for breakfast. As a child I would look into my bowl and watch little specks of liquid gold (melted butter) float in pools of rich milk that surrounded islands of oats. Decades now, I can still taste the wonderful goodness of hot oatmeal. Of course I can, because I have eaten it everyday for breakfast for the last two years! The catch is my mom gave me something else besides oatmeal. She gave me a genetic propensity for developing high cholesterol. My mom’s a tiny little thing, but her cholesterol numbers are big time. She once had her blood drawn and it looked like milk. The genetic link is strong. My siblings carefully watch their cholesterol and my daughter was diagnosed with high cholesterol at the tender age of five.

“If you were my mother, I would put you on medication.” Those words from my doctor brought me to attention. Vainly, my first thought was, what does he mean if I were his mother? Do I look that old? Then reality set in, my valiant effort to stave off high cholesterol was failing. It was inevitable. My total cholesterol was 255 and my LDL (“L” stands for lousy) was 171. I begged him to give me six months to see if I could turn it around. He consented. Well, I stretched that out to eight months, but it was worth it! After eating steel cut oatmeal every morning for eight months, I managed to bring my total cholesterol down to 225 and my LDL down to 136. That 35 point drop in LDL was amazing and my doctor said some patients don’t even see those kind of results with cholesterol medications.

Two years later I’m still eating steel cut oatmeal every morning. The latest lab results are looking good. My total cholesterol is 212, but my LDL went down to 119! Of course it helped, too, that I got a job that requires a lot of walking.

Once a month I cook a big pot of steel cut oatmeal. Why steel cut versus the other kinds? Steel cut oats are whole grain groats (the inner portion of the oat kernel) which have been cut into two or three pieces. Rolled oats are oats that have been steamed, rolled, re-steamed and toasted. Unfortunately they lose some of their texture and taste in the process. Instant or quick oats have been further processed to break down fiber. The more soluble fiber, the better. Read this article from the Mayo Clinic on the top five foods to lower your cholesterol numbers.

Here’s my most requested recipe:
Rinse 5 cups of steel cut oats, toast them in large pot, add 15 cups of hot water, stir in cinnamon and dried cranberries (optional), and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes. No stirring allowed. Let oatmeal cool. Scoop about a 1/2 cup or so into a waxed paper square (hamburger patty squares from Smart and Final) and push into cupcake tins. Cover with plastic wrap and let cool. After they cool down, pop out each cupcake of oatmeal and put into a plastic freezer bag and freeze.

Each morning I reach into the freezer, grab an oatmeal cupcake and place it in a bowl. I microwave it for one minute and then peel off the paper. I place it back in the bowl and add ground flax seed, frozen blueberries, a handful of toasted walnuts, and a sliced banana. This concoction gets microwaved for a little over a minute and it’s ready to eat!

Let me know if this helps you with your cholesterol levels!

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