More porridge!

I think I’d better update you on the porridge and my cholesterol test.

To make sense of this post you need to read this one first.

Well, the good news is that my blood test results are back and the cholesterol level has gone down to 6.5 so, thankfully, no need to start taking statins. The GP said continue eating a healthy diet and you should be ok.

I’m still having a bowl of porridge for breakfast every day and I’m sure that helps. I’ve looked for more evidence about the beneficial effects of eating porridge and found this report on the NHS website  . This report is a bit more scientific than the reports I quoted the other day. And this article is interesting too although it’s loaded with advertising.

We ran out of Yockenthwaite oats and bought some more from the health food supplier, Suma. These oats are very good too but the fibre content is considerably less. 10% in Yockenthwaite compared with 6% in Suma.

I’ve started adding a tiny drizzle of Manuka honey to my bowl of porridge. I bet the three bears never had that! It’s very expensive  and is produced in Australia and New Zealand from the nectar of the mānuka tree. The honey is commonly sold as an alternative medicine. While a component found in mānuka honey has antibacterial properties there is no conclusive evidence of medicinal or dietary value other than as a sweetener but a friend of ours swears by it.

The other honey I add to my porridge, as an alternative to Manuka, is from a jar produced by Ryedale Honey. It has a much thicker texture and a creamy, cloudy appearance and costs about half the price of Manuka. The temptation with honey is to eat too much as it’s so delicious. As I said, just a tiny drizzle in the porridge: less than a quarter of a teaspoon. Except when one of us is getting a cold. Then, a teaspoon of honey dissolved in boiling water with a squeeze of lemon always seems to do some good! Or is that just an old tale used as an excuse to have a sweet drink when you’re feeling one degree under the weather?

Generally I avoid sugar and sweeteners. I don’t eat cake, chocolate or biscuits except as a rare treat. So my drizzle of honey is a lovely sugar burst at the start of the day. I stopped eating sugars, except as it occurs naturally in fruit, when I started trying to lose weight. Three years ago I was three stone overweight and I commenced a weight reduction programme and shifted all of the excess. I’ve managed to keep the weight off and currently my BMI is right in the middle of the chart. But, I don’t want to be smug. The temptation to eat too much is always there and I have a regular weigh-in to ensure that I’m keeping in the right zone.

Right, that’s all for today! I’m delighted with my blood test result and that the GP was so supportive. And thanks for being sufficiently interested to read this blogpost. If you’re a fan of porridge for breakfast, hope you’re enjoying yours as much as I am! You might also like my Cabbage and Semolina Blog which has got a couple of new posts this week. 🙂

Who’s been eating my porridge?

When I changed my GP I had to have a new patient screening at the surgery.

The practice nurse took a blood sample to test for Type 2 Diabetes and Cholesterol.

When the blood test results came back my  Cholesterol was 7.6 and apparently this is way too high and put me in the at-risk category for heart disease. So the nurse booked me in for a fasting blood test to get a more accurate and detailed reading.

I didn’t want to take Statins so I made some adjustments to my lifestyle to try and lower the Cholesterol level.

My biggest lifestyle change was starting to eat porridge every day.

Studies have suggested that the fibre contained in porridge can reduce cholesterol levels by as much as 23% according to the National Post and the Daily Mail reported lots more supporting evidence for the health benefits of eating porridge.

The practice nurse at the surgery agreed that it was a good idea to start the day with a bowl of porridge and she also recommended baked beans. I’m not a big fan of baked beans so I was hoping the porridge would do the job and contribute to a better blood test result.

I bought some really good oats from a local farm shop:

Yockenthwaite Real Oaty Porridge from Yorkshire.

The oats are more coarse than supermarket porridge oats. They make a really good porridge both for taste and texture and it only takes a few minutes to cook through.

This is how  I make porridge

For one person

Half a cup of oats

One and a half cups of milk and water mixed

Put the oats in a non-stick pan and stir in the liquid.

Bring the mixture to boiling point and lower the heat.

Simmer for about 10 minutes stirring frequently.

Serve with

a dash of milk

a tiny squirt of honey

or a few bits of fruit

and it’s lovely.

Fill the pan with cold water and afterwards the porridge will slide out of the pan easily for washing-up.

A bowl of porridge will set you up for the day and I’m finding that I’m not so hungry at lunchtime.

Some people like to make porridge in the microwave but I think it has a much better texture if you cook it on the stove.

And who’s been eating my porridge?

He-with-whom-I-share-my-life a.k.a Michael, my husband.

So, tomorrow I’ll have to double up the quantities and make enough porridge for two.

Thanks for visiting my blog today.

You might also like:

Another blogpost about porridge

Porridge and eucalyptus leaves from 1935

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