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  1. #1
    Senior Member Sanjuro's Avatar
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    Default How to NOT kill your pancreas and heart. Any advice?

    So, basically, my dad just had a heart attack. This is on top of him having managed to kill his pancreas over the last decade or so. He's OK now, but it raises the point to me that I'm 30 years old, I've inherited his constitution, and my self-preservational skills suck.

    I've been telling myself to eat better (he's like me, he lives off junk food). The problem is, as I've tried being aware of what I eat, I've discovered that I'm either eating something that's likely to kill my pancreas, or something that's clogging my arteries.

    Like Oatmeal is good for your heart, right? But I have to put so much sugar on it to make it palatable that it's like instant diabetes. Or I'll get vegetables, but then they fry them with so much oil that it moots the point. Or I'll eat meat instead. It's like there are no healthy alternatives.

    Part of my problem is that I live in a country where fresh food = diarrhea, so everything is fried. Part of the problem also is that I suck at cooking, hate doing it, and realistically speaking I am unlikely to move beyond making rice and Ramen (both of which discourage me from doing it at all). I will NEVER prepare 3 healthy meals per day, that's simply the way it's always going to be.

    So my question is, what can I eat that won't ultimately destroy me, that's relatively simple to make (as in, a 5-year old can do it), that doesn't involve an oven, or that I can buy with relative ease?

    I'm self-preservationally challenged, so don't hesitate to condescend when educating me. Also, offer suggestions. I just need some ideas.

  2. #2
    Senior Member SubtleFighter's Avatar
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    This has been a challenge for me too for years because I hate cooking but like the idea of being healthy. Here's some things that work for me so far and I hope can help you in some way. (Much of this has been courtesy of my sp-dom friend )

    1) When you do cook, cook a lot of it. I mean, double or triple whatever the recipe says. That way, all you need to do is heat up leftovers for awhile instead of needing to cook again.

    2) When you cook, use actual spices instead of condiments. They give flavor but without the unhealthy-ness. For awhile when I started cooking, all I used in everything was salt and pepper because anything else was too complicated. Eventually I worked my way to buying "Italian spices," which is just one spice container labeled that, which has a couple different spices in it but has the convenience of using only one container. I'm slowly branching my way out to even more spices, but that's a slow process .

    3) Have you tried using olive oil or coconut oil to cook things in instead of deep-frying them? Coconut oil is THE HEALTHIEST oil to use, but extra virgin olive oil is still pretty good (and cheaper if you buy it in bulk). There are people who say that coconut oil is bad for your heart because of its saturated fat, but I've also heard arguments that it's a healthy kind of saturated fat. I believe the latter, but it's up to you. I cook all my vegetables this way because I hate raw vegetables, basically sauteing them in a pan with olive oil in it with spices.

    4) Instead of feeling overwhelmed with so many possibilities, find only a few simple healthy recipes for food that you think tastes good. And practice making those few recipes. And make them in bulk, to back to #1. That way, you'll have a couple go-to recipes for when you want to eat healthy. I honestly only have about 4 or 5 recipes at this point that I keep making over and over. It's not the most exciting thing in the world, but with how boring I find cooking and exploring recipes, this is the best I can do at this point. And it works for me. To find these recipes, try thinking of healthy food that you like, and type "recipes for [specific healthy food you like]" in Google. Then search until you find a healthy one that uses only spices (not condiments), good oils, ingredients you know and can pronounce, and isn't too complicated to do. Then print it out and try making it. If you like the meal, that's one recipe you got under your belt. If you want to only start with just this one, that is totally fine. Trust me, I only knew how to make one healthy meal for the longest time. Baby steps.

    5) If you want healthy TV dinners and things in a can, try Amy's at www.amys.com if you can get it in your country. I've eaten so much of this stuff. One word of caution, though, is that like any food that's processed, their products generally have a lot of sodium, which is the only downside to them. They do offer low sodium versions of a lot of things, though.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."--Ambrose Redmoon

    . . . metamorphosing . . .

  3. #3
    deplorable basketcase Tellenbach's Avatar
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    I believe in the homocysteine theory of heart disease put forth by Dr. Kilmer McCully. According to this theory, it's not the cholesterol that causes heart disease, but an amino acid called homocysteine. When homocysteine levels are elevated, that causes plaques which later traps cholesterol and fat deposits. The solution is to reduce your homocysteine levels. A high homocysteine level is anything over 12 micromole/liter.

    Lowering homocysteine is accomplished by eating:

    1. Vitamin B6: 3 to 3.5 milligrams (mg),
    2. Vitamin B12: 5 to 15 micrograms (mcg), and
    3. Folic Acid: 400 micrograms (mcg).

    In addition, you want about 400 I.U. of vitamin E in your diet. Vitamin E prevents LDL-cholesterol from depositing in the plaques. Vitamin E lowers the risk of heart disease by about 50%.

    In this large prospective study, we observed a risk of major coronary disease among women who took vitamin E supplements that was about 40 percent lower than the risk in women who did not take these supplements
    Reference: Vitamin E Consumption and the Risk of Coronary Disease in Women

    Men with a higher intake of vitamin E have somewhat healthier risk profiles (Table 2). After we controlled for this health-conscious behavior (Table 1), however, a strong protective association with vitamin E intake persisted. Any remaining residual confounding would need to be large to explain the relative risk we observed.
    Reference: Vitamin E Consumption and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Men

    For more details (if you want evidence of the theory or empirical data), ask me or go read Dr. McCully's book "The Heart Revolution".
    Senator Rand Paul is alive because of modern medicine and because his attacker punches like a girl.

  4. #4
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanjuro View Post
    Like Oatmeal is good for your heart, right? But I have to put so much sugar on it to make it palatable that it's like instant diabetes. Or I'll get vegetables, but then they fry them with so much oil that it moots the point. Or I'll eat meat instead. It's like there are no healthy alternatives.

    Part of my problem is that I live in a country where fresh food = diarrhea, so everything is fried. Part of the problem also is that I suck at cooking, hate doing it, and realistically speaking I am unlikely to move beyond making rice and Ramen (both of which discourage me from doing it at all). I will NEVER prepare 3 healthy meals per day, that's simply the way it's always going to be.
    Rather than deep frying everything, have you tried to steam your vegetables? Or you can also use a pan with a "stone effect": they're made in special ceramics, so you won't need any oil to cook anything with them, even at very high temperatures.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

    7w8 SCUxI

  5. #5
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    Eggs are easy to cook and healthy provided they're eaten in moderate quantities. You could try making substitutions to the kinds of carbs you cook too, like brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice and soba noodles instead of ramen, but the flavoring would once again pose a challenge and you'd have to make it yourself.

  6. #6
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    people who drink alcoholically are more likely to get pancreatitist. thats all i know

  7. #7
    Insert Snarky Quip Here Stigmata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prplchknz View Post
    people who drink alcoholically are more likely to get pancreatitist.

  8. #8
    morose bourgeoisie
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    My dad died of a heart attack. I was terrified of following him for years. I eat nothing but rice and a few other things for a year.

    Exercise
    Don't smoke
    Limit alcohol
    Avoid fried foods
    Find love

    These are the things that will make a difference.
    Last edited by Stanton Moore; 11-21-2013 at 11:00 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Sanjuro's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by SubtleFighter View Post
    This has been a challenge for me too for years because I hate cooking but like the idea of being healthy. Here's some things that work for me so far and I hope can help you in some way. (Much of this has been courtesy of my sp-dom friend )

    1) When you do cook, cook a lot of it. I mean, double or triple whatever the recipe says. That way, all you need to do is heat up leftovers for awhile instead of needing to cook again.

    2) When you cook, use actual spices instead of condiments. They give flavor but without the unhealthy-ness. For awhile when I started cooking, all I used in everything was salt and pepper because anything else was too complicated. Eventually I worked my way to buying "Italian spices," which is just one spice container labeled that, which has a couple different spices in it but has the convenience of using only one container. I'm slowly branching my way out to even more spices, but that's a slow process .

    3) Have you tried using olive oil or coconut oil to cook things in instead of deep-frying them? Coconut oil is THE HEALTHIEST oil to use, but extra virgin olive oil is still pretty good (and cheaper if you buy it in bulk). There are people who say that coconut oil is bad for your heart because of its saturated fat, but I've also heard arguments that it's a healthy kind of saturated fat. I believe the latter, but it's up to you. I cook all my vegetables this way because I hate raw vegetables, basically sauteing them in a pan with olive oil in it with spices.

    4) Instead of feeling overwhelmed with so many possibilities, find only a few simple healthy recipes for food that you think tastes good. And practice making those few recipes. And make them in bulk, to back to #1. That way, you'll have a couple go-to recipes for when you want to eat healthy. I honestly only have about 4 or 5 recipes at this point that I keep making over and over. It's not the most exciting thing in the world, but with how boring I find cooking and exploring recipes, this is the best I can do at this point. And it works for me. To find these recipes, try thinking of healthy food that you like, and type "recipes for [specific healthy food you like]" in Google. Then search until you find a healthy one that uses only spices (not condiments), good oils, ingredients you know and can pronounce, and isn't too complicated to do. Then print it out and try making it. If you like the meal, that's one recipe you got under your belt. If you want to only start with just this one, that is totally fine. Trust me, I only knew how to make one healthy meal for the longest time. Baby steps.

    5) If you want healthy TV dinners and things in a can, try Amy's at www.amys.com if you can get it in your country. I've eaten so much of this stuff. One word of caution, though, is that like any food that's processed, their products generally have a lot of sodium, which is the only downside to them. They do offer low sodium versions of a lot of things, though.
    Thanks for the simple steps! The problem is summoning the willpower even to bother with something simple...you're right, Baby Steps. I doubt Amy's would work (postal service is so corrupt nearly everything gets stolen; I wouldn't trust it) but I'll keep it in mind for when I relocate.

    I'll be thinking of ways to integrate this into my life!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tellenbach View Post
    I believe in the homocysteine theory of heart disease put forth by Dr. Kilmer McCully. According to this theory, it's not the cholesterol that causes heart disease, but an amino acid called homocysteine. When homocysteine levels are elevated, that causes plaques which later traps cholesterol and fat deposits. The solution is to reduce your homocysteine levels. A high homocysteine level is anything over 12 micromole/liter.

    Lowering homocysteine is accomplished by eating:

    1. Vitamin B6: 3 to 3.5 milligrams (mg),
    2. Vitamin B12: 5 to 15 micrograms (mcg), and
    3. Folic Acid: 400 micrograms (mcg).

    In addition, you want about 400 I.U. of vitamin E in your diet. Vitamin E prevents LDL-cholesterol from depositing in the plaques. Vitamin E lowers the risk of heart disease by about 50%.

    Reference: Vitamin E Consumption and the Risk of Coronary Disease in Women

    Reference: Vitamin E Consumption and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Men

    For more details (if you want evidence of the theory or empirical data), ask me or go read Dr. McCully's book "The Heart Revolution".
    Thanks for passing that along! I'm a big fan of vitamins, so I'll be looking into this. It certainly can't hurt.


    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Rather than deep frying everything, have you tried to steam your vegetables? Or you can also use a pan with a "stone effect": they're made in special ceramics, so you won't need any oil to cook anything with them, even at very high temperatures.
    The problem is more when I get aggravated with eating pasta, Ramen, and rice all the time and eat out (which is actually cheaper than cooking in this country). They fry EVERYTHING, and not in olive oil.

    The "stone effect" pan sounds like it might be worth investing in, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by senza tema View Post
    Eggs are easy to cook and healthy provided they're eaten in moderate quantities. You could try making substitutions to the kinds of carbs you cook too, like brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice and soba noodles instead of ramen, but the flavoring would once again pose a challenge and you'd have to make it yourself.
    Yeah, I've heard eggs are not as bad as they used to claim. They are indeed a protein source for me. I'm still trying to locate quinoa and teff, which are very nutritious grains that I actually enjoy eating. Again, the problem is with my current location--I've got no idea WHERE to find it!! But, thanks for the reminder!

    Quote Originally Posted by prplchknz View Post
    people who drink alcoholically are more likely to get pancreatitist. thats all i know
    @Stigmata nailed it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stanton Moore View Post
    My dad died of a heart attack. I was terrified of following him for years. I eat nothing but rice and a few other things for a year.

    Exercise
    Don't smoke
    Limit alcohol
    Avoid fried foods
    Find love

    These are the things that will make a difference.
    The first three are givens in my life. The last two will always be a challenge.

    Maintaining low stress seems to help as well--I just got a call from my father who basically said his chronic anxiety was a major factor in creating a cortisol-induced clot in his heart (so not all from cholesterol). That's a bit of a relief, since I don't suffer from stress and anxiety the way he does. Still, I'm working on taking better care of my body and developing healthier habits, so all input is greatly appreciated!!

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