I’m 33 now. I can’t live and eat like I was at 13, or even at 23.

I have struggled with maintaining my weight. That and other personal choices have caused a negative impact on my health.

Note this before continuing: I am not a doctor, trainer, or expert in this field at all. This is just a reflection of my own observations and experiences.

I had a doctor’s visit in June for a yearly physical, and the results showed that my cholesterol was really high. The two main things I need to watch right now are saturated and trans fats.

My wife and I started to look into more information about these.

Food to avoid:

  • Red meat
  • Cheese
  • Fried food

Food to have:

  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Fruits and vegetables

We went to Chili’s about a week ago and had to look up nutritional information about the food. We were shocked at how bad the foods were that I was normally getting. At Chili’s we would normally get the Skillet Queso for an appetizer (I would have about half of it myself), the Classic Bacon Burger (with fries), and my Dr. Pepper with grenadine. It came to 3,280 calories and 60 grams of saturated fat.

We then checked out what I normally got a Sonic: SuperSonic Bacon Double Cheeseburger (AKA Heart-attack-on-a-bun) with a large order of tots and a large Dr. Pepper with cherry. This meal has 2,150 calories and 41 grams of saturated fat. Sometimes I would get a Triple Chocolate Master Blast, which would bring the total to 2,770 and 93 grams of saturated fat! (note: I misstated these numbers in the episode)

So, how much saturated fat is okay? The recommendation for the amount of allowable saturated fats from the Mayo Clinic website says:

Limit saturated fat to no more than 10 percent of your total calories. Limit to 7 percent to further reduce your risk of heart disease. Based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, a 10 percent limit amounts to about 22 grams of saturated fat a day, while 7 percent is about 15 grams. Saturated fat intake counts toward your total daily allowance of fat.

On my last trip to Sonic, I got the grilled chicken sandwich instead, stealing just a couple tots, and keeping my large Dr. Pepper (it doesn’t have saturated fat, so it stays for now). This saved me almost 1,000 calories and 35 grams of saturated fat (only having about 3 grams).

With focusing on saturated fat rather than calories, I have lost about 12 pounds in 6 weeks. I haven’t had to starve myself or try crazy things. If this continues, it should help my cholesterol as well.

Mayo Clinic articles:

Special Note:

I am looking into re-branding this podcast/website. I would like your feedback! It was mentioned to me that this podcast could be seen as a home improvement type of show (which it is not), so I’d like to make the necessary changes to reflect what it is really about. I hope to have a more official survey, but for now you can leave your comments below or send me a message.


4 comments on “Simple things you can look at to improve your health (#61)

  1. Good luck on the healthier eating, Josh! We’ve been down the healthier eating path for a while and have learned a lot. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.

    1. Thanks, Lily. We’re adjusting pretty well so far. Before, we would try more extreme things, but nothing that was sustainable. Now, we are working on more sustainable plans. Of course, the higher motivation (high cholesterol) helps, too.

      1. Yep. I hear ya. Have the same issues. Eating healthy is very hard, especially with young kids and being on the go. We try to keep meals very simple. Nothing easy about it, but it’s worth it.

  2. Wade_Thorson says:

    This spring my wife and I did the whole30, and I definitely saw the improvement in both my cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

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