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Mar 28, 2009 11:00 AM

Heart Healthy Chow in Arlington?

My doctor just gave me the tragic news, I have to drastically limit my Ravi Kabob lamb chops, and my Pho 75 meals are just about off limits entirely, due to a cholesterol count so high that if it was a batting average, I would be batting cleanup for the Nationals this spring. Any heart healthy suggestions, would the chicken tacos at TECC be low in cholesterol? Are there low chol. items at cheap eats type of Thai places?
Any healthy dishes, ethnic or not, in the cheap eats category, would be GREATLY appreciated!

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  1. Why is pho off limits if you are watching cholesterol? With the eye round, there is not too much meat and it is not fatty. Cholesterol is found in animal products only, so you could try a tofu pho, but it is not low fat because the tofu is deep-fat fried (and yummy!). I suppose you should ask whether to limit triglycerides, saturated and trans fats, and sodium too.

    Sodium would be a really bummer because it would limit almost all Asian cuisines.

    Probably like many on this board I splurge on meals out and cook at home to have greater control what I'm eating. That said, what about the grilled fish sandwich at Big Buns in Ballston? but watch the condiments! It is in Alexandria but I love the vegetarian combo at the Afghan Restaurant- spinach, pumpkin, and eggplant with rice or naan. Tasty and cholesterol free.

    9 Replies
    1. re: yvetteski

      thai has so much fish and soy sauces that I don't know whether you'd be able to do low sodium there..... You can try the hummus plate at Ragtime (home made and actually delicious), the sauteeed mushrooms, spinach, and colcannan (sp?) at ri ra, there are some nice veg dishes at mingh's (sp?) vietnamese restaurant. I specialize in low cholesterol dishes cuz i'm a vegetarian, so if you have questions, just send me a message

      1. re: kubasd

        Here's what to limit--egg yolks, beef, pork, lamb, shrimp, crab, lobster. That means real mayo, real butter, beef stock in some pho. Most fryer oil around here is not transfat free, a cholestrol-exacerbating factor, except in sophisticated restaurants paying attention to health and getting out in front of looming mandates. Montgomery County MD is already transfat free, so all the fries you can pack in are cholesterol free there. The MD Pollo Smackdown was created with this in mind--rotisserie chicken appears to be low--not zero--cholesterol, compared to red meat, if you avoid that great skin. But the fries with the mayo sauce will nail you.

        Sodium has nothing to do with cholesterol.

        Head to El Pollo Rico in Clarendon, sadly and bravely avoid or give most, not all, the skin to others, and only sneak a couple fries.

        1. re: chowsearch

          I wasn't saying sodium has anything to do with cholesterol, just that if you're looking for heart friendly food, it's usually good to avoid high sodium items.

        2. re: kubasd

          Yvetteski, thanks for tip on Big Buns, I Yelped it and it sounds good! From some of the comments, I probably never would have known it was there. Definitely going to try the mahi mahi, I have been looking for a good fish sandwich for months! I have read that Pho is fairly high in both cholesterol and sodium. Sodium I can deal with, my blood pressure is pretty good, but if the articles I have read are right Pho has about 40-80 mg of cholesterol per serving. Not sure where it comes from, maybe from marrow in the stock? I don't know if tofu Pho would be lower if the stock is the problem, but I will check.
          Kubasd, thanks for the idea on Ragtime, I used to go there for the seafood Tuesday special, which was a great deal on pretty good food. No mas, alas, but a hummus plate sounds interesting and they usually have a good beer special as well, I kind of like that idea! And sauteed mushrooms are always welcome! I hit Lebanese Taverna for the their mezza platter, got babba ganouje, foule, tabouleh, couscous, pita and stuffed grape leaves for under $10. I think that was fairly healthy, it was definitely delicious.
          Chowsearch, thanks for the information, my doctor spent less time explaining what I needed to do. Between you and WebMD, I have learned a lot more than my doctor told me. Interesting about the fryer oil, I am going to have to ask the ladies at Dave's Seafood and subs what they are using. And El Pollo Rico is a good idea, but giving up the skin will be a true test of my diet dedication! Better to splurge on a low cholesterol chicken than artery clogging, albeit delicious, burger at Rays Hellburger.
          Thanks for the ideas!

          Lebanese Taverna Market
          4400 Old Dominion Dr, Arlington, VA 22207

          1. re: Ziv

            How strict a diet are you on? I figure that once a week for just about anything should be OK. Don't let you doctor scare you. Talk to him or her about what you like to eat and ask what's OK to eat in moderation. Then enjoy your favorites, but maybe not quite as frequently as in your young and reckless days. <G> . Have a bowl of pho one week and a Ravi Kabob the next week.

            1. re: MikeR

              MikeR, I don't think you should be giving medical advice like this; it's inappropriate and inaccurate.

              Ziv, as a nutritionist, please follow your doctor's order. I'm too familiar with Arlington's restaurants, but I can give you advice about DC's (or some general tips).

              1. re: Jacey

                Quoting from my post: "Don't let you doctor scare you. Talk to him or her about what you like to eat and ask what's OK to eat in moderation." What part of that is inappropriate and inaccurate? I didn't say "Eat whatever you want." Good doctors, an good nutritionists, can be reasonable. It's easy to say "cut out beef" but it's usually not necessary to be absolute - though I recognize that there are cases when that may be the only course. That's why I suggested talking to his doctor and coming up with some guidance that he can relate to restaurants of his choice and foods that he enjoys.

            2. re: Ziv

              No more tuesday specials at ragtime?

              1. re: kubasd

                No, I think that they still have seafood Tuesday, but I shouldn't go there for seafood too often because the oysters, clams & shrimp are pretty high in cholesterol. Who knew?
                But MikeR is right, everything in moderation, including moderation. I usually eat out 8 or 9 times a week. Now I will probably eat out less often, choosing healthy most of the time, but every once in a while I think I will still splurge on something like the lamb chops at Ravi, or maybe splitting a Hellburger.