My husband has high blood pressure and moderately high cholesterol. What can I cook?

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My husband has high blood pressure (140/95) and moderately high cholesterol (210). He is currently taking medication to control his blood pressure. While he needs to reduce the fat and cholesterol in his diet, he doesn’t need to lose weight – he’s 6’6″ and 200 lb. He consumes approx.3500-4000 calories per day. My blood pressure and cholesterol are low (105/65, 159), but I need to lose about 40 pounds. I’d appreciate any suggestions on how I can meet each of our needs without preparing separate meals. Thanks for your help!

Both of you should eat less than 30% of your calories from fat. Choose lean meats and dairy products. Limit your use of added fat to one food per meal. For instance, put margarine on your potato or bread or dressing on your salad, but not all three. This would help your husband lower his cholesterol to under 200 and you to lose weight. If you husband is over 60, I wouldn’t worry about his cholesterol, but for a healthy diet, I would suggest eating a low-fat menu.

In addition, your husband should limit the sodium to 2400 mg per day. I would suggest food be cooked without salt, that you avoid salty foods and take the salt shaker off the table. New research suggests that insufficient calcium in a person’s diet can increase blood pressure. Does your husband drink 3 glasses of skim milk per day or get the equivalent of 1000 mg of calcium per day? If he is not allergic to milk or milk products, I would suggest he include three servings of skim milk or low-fat milk products in his daily menu.

I would suggest you talk to a Registered Dietitian who can assist you in combining all your health concerns so that you can cook one meal that you both can enjoy for health. Since your husband is probably taller than you, though you didn’t provide your height, he can eat larger portions of the same food you eat.