Eating our first delicious egg omelet since ages, whilst still not busting our diet of 200 mg cholesterol a day and enjoying every minute of it.
As said before, the main challenge is finding new recipes that are easy to make, delicious of course and low in cholesterol. It’s about time I start browsing in my cookbooks in the vegetarian chapters. Other than that I spend some time surfing vegan websites, as anything vegan should be free of cholesterol.
I am also gaining some inspiration from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstal who went vegetarian throughout the summer of 2012 and wrote a cookbook about it (River Cottage: Every Day Veg). I didn’t buy the book yet, as I first want to test run some of his recipes online. Both my easy pumpkin soup and the simple tomato sauce recipe below are based on recipes out of his book.
I skip any recipes using "industrially made meat substitutes": if I can’t recognize what I buy when I see it, I don’t buy it. That means e.g. I do buy nuts to make my own nut milk, but I will stop buying the ready available nut milk packets: I did buy one recently and apart from gaining experience, it’s a waste of my money. the taste is just not there and you have no clue what really went into the package (after reading the ingredients, the box that said "walnut milk" contained walnuts, soy and oats, with no further mention of the ratio used).
Now for the delicious part
First and foremost I made brazil nut milk. I soaked the nuts overnight and blended them with my normal ratio of 1 part of nuts to 9 or 10 parts of water. This results in a nut milk with 4 to 5% fat content, just the way I love it. One exception to my nut milk ratio rule of thumb: macadamia nuts contain 75% in stead of the usual 50% of fat in nuts, so keep that in mind when making macadamia nut milk.
For a cow milk replacement, I prefer brazil nuts over almond nuts, as the taste is more neutral in my opinion. Almonds for me are still correlated with baking and sweets like marzipan. Having said that, I therefore do love almond milk in my sweet oat breakfast, in smoothies and in pancakes. It’s however not my favorite in mashed potatoes or soups. Today I added some almond milk in my beansoup, and my wife labeled the soup as tasting "artificial"…
For lunch a delicious fried noodle dish: my wife is an excellent cook and this noodle dish is no exception. With 42.5 grams (1.5 oz)/person of pork meat, that’s about 36 mg cholesterol.
For dinner: sharing 1 utterly delicious fried omelet (1 egg, almond milk, pepper, salt and finely chopped spring onion, fried in olive oil on a high fire by my wife). "Utterly delicious"… keep in mind that we have been deprived from eggs for a long time. Anyway, I just love eggs, and I can go without meat anytime if I am allowed to keep eggs in my diet.
So how many cholesterol is there in 1 egg? According to eggs and cholesterol, a (50 mg) large egg contained 215 mg cholesterol in 2002 and 10 years later in 2010 only 185 mg. For a bigger picture, you can read further here to find out how much cholesterol there really is in an egg.
In the 21st century, where a spacecraft can land on mars, we cannot agree how much cholesterol there is in an egg. Utterly ridiculous… So for safety sake: the eggs that we eat are smaller than 50 grams, they are labeled organic (whatever that means) so we take a high number of 220 mg cholesterol per egg. That means we estimate 110 mg in half an egg.
To be really on the safe side, nobody states that eggs contain 300 mg of cholesterol, so half an egg will be always less than 150 mg, giving you 50 mg more to keep under the daily recommended intake of 200 mg for people that need to lower their LDL.
Add to that mixed salad, baked potatoes topped with a delicious yet easy tomato sauce and a cup of bean soup. Read further here for this simple yummy tomato sauce recipe with fresh tomatoes and fresh basil.
Total cholesterol intake today: about 4 mg
- breakfast: 0 mg
- lunch: 36 mg from 42.5 gram (1.5 oz) pork meat
- dinner: 110 mg from half an egg
The good, the bad and the ugly
The good thing is I found a way to incorporate eggs again in my diet, be it half an egg a day. Also happy with the taste of the brazil nut milk and the simple fresh tomato sauce.
The bad thing is that I used to fry 2 eggs for lunch (from free range chicken fed with organic grains and anything the can find on the pasture), which by "scientific standards" would be to much for a low cholesterol diet.
The ugly thing is that when I try to do everything right with my diet, the numbers of cholesterol in eggs are different depending on who is doing the tests and when the tests are done. Who do you believe, after all it’s all supposed to be scientifically proven?
Since there is no consensus, and high cholesterol is a lifestyle disease, it’s not too difficult to imagine that:
- chickens that roam around the whole day and are fed real grains and insects, will lay eggs lower in cholesterol.
- chickens that are fed cholesterol lowering medicines, will lay eggs lower in cholesterol.
For now I will go easy on eggs and if I eat a whole egg a day (that will be around the 200 mg cholesterol/day limit), make sure there won’t be any other cholesterol in the rest of my dishes. Once my LDL cholesterol is good again, I will experiment with eating more eggs, and see what that will bring.