HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Looking for recipes-no sugar, starch, grain, transfats

Hubby went to see the cardiologist and was told he has "small particle LDL" or pattern B LDL in his lipid panel. This is very nasty stuff. After reading some of the studies, we've chosen low carb as the way to go. Along with large amounts of niacin, exercise and weight loss, the idea is to get your triglycerides very low. Contrary to the conventional low fat, whole grain cardiac diet which may lower the total LDL but leaves just the small particle LDL, some advocate a diet similar to the new Adkins but without any grains as well. We can use fruit, dairy, nuts, meat, non starchy veggies, monounsaturated oils, eggs and very dry European wine. We've also used blueberry juice(without sugar or white grape juice added).The idea at some point is to add additional foods as long as they don't bump your blood sugar. Anyway I am trying to come up with some ideas/recipes. The upside to this so far is you don't get hungry and you seem to lose weight without counting exactly what you are eating. Thanks.

Here is the ingredient list of a pumpkin bread I made, an acquired taste.

2 cups ground almond meal
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup sour cream
15 oz canned pumpkin
2 medium to large eggs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
stevia to taste
1 tsp salt

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Wekick, hope your spouse's condition improves and I bet it will from what you've told us...regarding blueberry juice: eating the fruit itself is better because blueberries, wild in particular, are pretty good for fiber...and the benefits are in the skins (or musts)...if by any chance you have a Whole Foods nearby, you might check out their store brand 365 frozen organic wild blueberries..$3.99 for 10 ounces. I eat them 3-4 times each week for breakfast with 0% Greek yogurt and ground flax, a really nice breakfast. I see he's allowed dairy so that's why I'm suggesting this as a possible breakfast food...? Wild salmon is coming into season now...I don't see fish on your list but salmon poached with lemon, white wine and herbs is a very nice entree for dinner or lunch if he's allowed fish (I have to think he can have fish if he can have meat!) * Also* what wines have you found? I love old World dry reds (which often have lower ABVs 12%-13%) but just wondering which ones you like so far?*

    4 Replies
    1. re: Val

      You are right about the blueberries. I think we'll try the yogurt and they actually recommend the full fat dairy. We used to eat fish once a week but have increased it to 2-3 x/week. We have been drinking mostly California reds but evidently there are higher levels of
      Procyanidins in European wines, especially from the Madiran area of France. They are very hard to find around here though.

      1. re: wekick

        Okay, I just HAD to look up "procyanidin"...and found this article, among others...fascinating! Did dr. tell you that apples/green tea are other very good sources of this substance? And this article also notes that the more bitter and astringent red wines are the ones to look for, which of course, would be the European reds as you say but even they seem to be jumping on the higher ABV, bigger fruit bomb trend a little that I've noticed (a few French labels that I used to like for low ABV--pretty sure Jaboulet, or might be Perrin, now sells their CDR at 14%...big disappointment to me, won't buy it now. argh!)


        1. re: wekick

          Wekick, if you live near a Total Wine, I understand from a co-worker that they sell some tannat wines...one is from France called Domaine du Moulie from Madiran...he said it's quite good but you MUST decant it and let it sit for about 30 minutes, will help. I might try it this weekend because I'm curious about the procyanidins. He said the price is around $12.
          Just thought I'd let you know!

          1. re: Val

            Thanks, I am going to try to find this.

      2. Wekick, here's a thread running right now that might also help you with ideas--discussion on low-carb alternatives for spaghetti squash (which may not be on your husband's plan since spaghetti squash is not a green leafy veggie but there are some good low-carb pointers in this thread):

        1 Reply
        1. re: Val

          We'll have to try the spaghetti squash. The carbs don't seem too bad. The hardest part of this is no grains.

        2. This is pretty much the diet I have been on for the past 2 1/2 years (lost fifty pounds and got pretty ripped on it).

          Usually it's pretty easy for guys to follow because we enjoy eating the flesh of animals. There are hundreds of ways to cook animal flesh.

          It gets complicated if you aren't big on eating animals.

          1. Who is advocating this no-grain diet? Do they give reasons for these restrictions? What does the doctor think?

            Does this diet class seeds like buckwheat and quinoa as grains. Technically they are not from grasses.

            4 Replies
            1. re: paulj

              William Davis MD is the main advocate for this diet. He has a book, but quite a bit is in his blog. He does address buckwheat and quinoa.
              There are others who advocate lowering triglycerides to lower small particle LDL.
              Our physician of course recommends weight loss and exercise and I am not sure he would recommend this diet because it does not have the studies behind it, but we will be talking to him about it because we want to see if we can run labs again in a few months to see if it is working. In my last job, I was frequently in the position of teaching patients about a proper "cardiac diet". Some cardiologists would specifically recommend the South Beach diet and one told us years ago he thought carbs were behind a lot of heart disease. It is a newer thing for many physicians to be looking at particle size of both LDL and HDL.

              1. re: wekick

                See Forks Over Knives if it comes to your area of the country. I'm on a similar eating plan to what you are doing, but I cut out all animal protein since that is what appears to make our blood vessels less flexible and gives the bad cholesterol purchase on their interior walls.

                (I'm good at this about 90% of the time--I still eat a little meat or fish every other week or so.)

                1. re: sisterbeer

                  What do you eat if you can't have animal protein?

                  1. re: sisterbeer

                    Sisterbeer, do you even eat fish...wild salmon or sardines? Just wondering...not judging what you said just asking...

              2. You'll find information on this subject by doing internet searches for "primal diet recipes" or "paleo diet recipes" -- the plan you're doing is very similar to the way that these particular diets work.

                1 Reply
                1. re: operagirl

                  I have read about those too. We actually had lunch at a restaurant that had a paleo plate last week.

                2. just some random thoughts, and the best of luck in your endeavors :)

                  - grilled fish lettuce tacos - blacken fish of choice (halibut or something meaty), broil, grill or however you prefer. roast some garlic, make some pico de gallo. make fish "tacos" using lettuce wrap. top as you like with sour cream, cheese, avocado, etc.

                  - ratatouille with fish or chicken - the ratatouille doesn't really need much oil, if any, and can be replaced with cooking spray and a bit of broth; since you're doing dairy, top with a little shaved parm or mozzarella or feta, or a combo thereof.

                  - Crepes (made from egg whites only spread thin in the pan) - filled with ricotta and fruits

                  - Salmon Croquettes - flaked salmon mixed with diced cooked onion, salt, pepper, parsley, egg and just enough almond to hold them together, but still super wet. either cook in pan, or bake free-form or in muffin tins. i make mini ones and serve them as "croutons" for a pureed cauliflower soup.

                  - as an alternative to spaghetti squash, zucchini sliced into string using that spiral cutter makes another substitute for pasta

                  - use one vegetable to stuff another... stuff zucchini with cooked, chopped wild mushrooms, onions, garlic, a little almond meal, and tarragon or parsley, bake and broil with parmesan

                  -shrimp scampi over whatever veggies you like steamed or roasted

                  - non-bean based chili using ground turkey or beef, onions, tomatoes, spices; try bulking it up with finely chopped cauliflower

                  - veggie flat"breads" - works with many veggies, but i make a broccoli flatbread from cooked broccoli, onion, garlic, egg white, veggie broth, a bit of water, S & P and whatever spices i'm in the mood for... puree, spread thin on a baking sheet lined w/ parchment and bake (i tend to start it at 325, then turn it up 20 min in to 375 to crisp it up after its dried out a bit, but cooking time will vary based upon how thinly you spread it).

                  ...that's what i got for now :) happy eating!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Emme

                    Great ideas-Thanks. I got some zucchini to slice and make lasagna.

                    1. re: Emme

                      I made your crepes with egg white and added a little almond meal and then the fruit and ricotta. My husband loved it.

                    2. Wekick, you should definitely check out http://forum.lowcarber.org - lots of people with LOTS of experience doing every variant of low carb diet you can imagine. I hope LC works as well for your husband as it did for mine - his cholesterol and triglycerides were quite high before he started Atkins, and now they're "optimal," according to his doctor - plus he lost about 40 lbs.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: biondanonima

                        Thanks, this is a wealth of information.

                      2. Find some cocoa nibs. The fatty-acids in cacao are cholesterol neutral (nibs being about 50% fat would potentially be an issue!), and some other chemicals in cacao can lower LDL and blood pressure. More antioxidants than almost any other fruit (certain types anyways, of antioxidants, that is), sugar free, taste great and extraordinarily versatile! Yum.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mateo21

                          We are not restricted the amount of fat on this plan, and even encouraged to have some saturated fat. We do avoid polyunsaturated fat. We'll try some nibs.