A Bitter Pill perhaps

These past few days have seen me checking out a few things in readiness for this post.
You might like to have a recap of the latter part on Monday’s post to get an idea.
I know I prattle on about my diet so I won’t be offended if you skip this post, as it is rather long and possibly boring! However, it helps me get things into perspective.



Diets have always confused me. What is recommended one month might not be the next, and foods we consider good for us maybe aren’t, depending on what we are trying to control.

I was diagnosed with borderline type 2 diabetes in 2011. I have managed to control the numbers by diet, apart from cholesterol, which in recent years had seen a decline but is now on the up.

The funny thing was I got checked out not because of the above symptoms (I didn’t have any) but because my Mum was diabetic as was her brother and father, and following my visit to NZ, I was such a novelty at not being on any meds, eating the skin on my baked potatoes but not chicken, and didn’t drink alcohol, I thought I’d better play safe.
My cholesterol has always been a bit high, but in 2001 my GP of the time was more concerned with getting my body sorted in order to lose weight and she didn’t seem that worried. Fast forward to 2011, and suddenly every GP was pushing statins and aiming for a cholesterol level of 4. Mine was then 6. Reading about possible side effects and being aware of people whose levels were on the increase from taking them, I held my ground…… until now.
In February, I had my diabetes MOT, 2 years after the last due to a lackadaisical surgery. My sugars were 4.1 (they like them below 5) and cholesterol 6. New surgery, and blood test recently revealed my cholesterol had shot up to 6.9, the highest it has ever been. I do however believe a lot of that was bad diet content these past few months, even though I synned what applied. The fact that I have maintained my SW target for 2 years must surely count for something.

So, my plan of attack was to do a traffic light system from the doctor’s diet sheet of cholesterol reducing foods given to me by my neighbour as her husband had high cholesterol, and check out what else I could do to help myself. I have six months before the next blood test, so won’t have any idea if it works until then, but I can at least try, right?
I also started my new Ezetimibe meds last night so that has also got to help (please??!!)
I’ve highlighted in bold things I usually have , so with all the home grown veg lately and my fruit intake, I thought I was doing OK.
Now out of curiosity, I also did a bit of groundwork on what I spend on fruit too.
It’s sad I know, but I keep a spreadsheet of our food expenditure which is considerably less than last year already, and I cannot say that is just down to not buying Maggie’s food anymore. We are simply shopping less often and buying less.
Fruit and veg equates to nearly 18% of our total food bill so far, and of the £204.55 spent.  58.66% of that is on fruit.
Grapes, strawberries and bananas are top of the leader board, but not all fruit is considered good for you, especially if you are controlling your sugars. My figures do not include frozen fruit which I buy periodically as that’s nice with yogurt, which is fat free.

I found this interesting in respect of watermelon (though I don’t like it and prefer honey dew or galia which aren’t mentioned), baked potatoes, white bread (especially baguettes as I love those), some popular cereals, and rice, but equally interested in butter and cheese which were too low to measure. I hope you can read this OK as I had to reduce it in size.
It is available on the internet though.
As I’ve said, my sugars are OK, but is it no wonder people trying to eat sensibly get confused with the data available?

So on to my amber traffic light:
I thought I was OK here, but the cakes, pastry and puddings made with suitable fat are probably a no no as I don’t bake much now, and so all are shop bought. If I do make a crumble, it has no fat in it, just a 50/50 mix of oats and granola, and cooked on top of the fruit in the microwave. I do have mayonnaise on my salads, and that is a low fat variety which carries 1 syn per tablespoon. I confess I have a generous dollop so allow 2 syns in my diary.

Finally, the big No-No list.

Funny how we can have egg whites but not yolks. Both of us love meringue nests which attract 2½ syns each, the same as a gingernut biscuit, but the sugar contents knocks them up on other charts. I haven’t bought sausages for months, we open a tin of spam which will last us 3 days, and have found the bakers do delicious savoury pastries since discovering the meat pies we liked are no longer a viable option for Hubby. Those are therefore off the list, but I did have them, and above all else in these kinds of posts, I try to be honest.
The cakes and pastries though I have not highlighted in bold type as usually they are very few and far between for me. They are however something Hubby can tolerate so have snuck in but allowed for in my syns.
Cream of course goes without saying in the cheese cake I make, but the last was on my birthday 3 months ago.

With all this information available and by highlighting what I have or likely to on a regular basis, which is exactly what I did with my SW bible, I am hoping to get my cholesterol under control.
The question of course will be is it the meds or my diet? Time will tell, and of course, I’ll let you know.

If you read to the end, thanks, and you deserve a chocolate fix with a cup of coffee.
I’m now off to get lunch.


About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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9 Responses to A Bitter Pill perhaps

  1. scifihammy says:

    Highly interesting and not at all boring. We’re all getting to the age where we have to be more careful about our diet and you have presented this so well. 🙂
    I hope you have success in reducing your cholesterol enough to avoid having to take more meds. 🙂

  2. I’m having a mocha latte so there is chocolate in my coffee. Years ago, when I had a different primary doctor, my cholesterol would bounce around 200 (old scale — uppermost limit). I was able to bring it down with diet but it was work and boring. Then I switched docs who said there is new protocol and they wouldn’t put me on statins for what they considered borderline. I retired and my diet changed. I didn’t have to grab lunch on the run and there were no donuts sitting around. I could plan my food. My cholesterol dropped a bit and there has been no talk of meds since. This past blood test in May I saw that it was back up to around 200 but my doc didn’t react at all not even to tell me to limit fat. He said new studies are questioning cholesterol’s role in causing heart attacks/disease. So now what? I’m eating healthy as normal with the occasional bacon thrown in. (For me fats and salt are much more attractive than sweets.) When I recently had my accident they did a scan of my head to my pelvis and all my organs including my heart are normal. I’m happy about that (not the accident part!). I wish you luck in unraveling all this conflicting information. At the end of the day you are doing well. Huge weight loss and you take care of your diet (mostly). More than what most people do.

    • Thanks for this Kate. It goes to show we are all different and how GPs approach the subject. I know we have to have cholesterol
      to make our bodies work, and I love bacon sarnies. I intend to watch what I eat more carefully, but I know from days past that
      if I cut everything yummy (to me) out of my diet, it makes me crave it more and grouchy. I seem to have got past my sweet phase
      for now and more into savoury things. I don’t buy crisps, but do like the salty sweet popcorn which I can syn and wouldn’t have
      every day anyway. I just hope I don’t get too lax in the next 6 months!!

  3. Carol anne says:

    Hi di! All you can do is do your best, to get it down! Mine was high too at my last check up, I am borderline diabetic too! I am trying now to get it down, and as you know I go to slimming world also. I have a ways to go to get to target yet, but hope to get there at some point. You seem to be doing all the right things, so give yourself a pat on the back! Xoxo

  4. I’m sure you’re going to get it under control simply by diet. You’ve done amazing things with your diabetes (I’m eternally in awe of that), so why not the cholesterol too? Sorry this comment is so late, but you know how my weekend went 😦 and I’m just now catching up! Great post by the way!

    • Thanks Melanie. I confess the past few months have seen too many pastries and vanilla slices pass my lips, so the fact that I remained in target was a miracle, so something had to give!

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