My Novels

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Life is moving along almost normally here, with the exception of a vastly different diet eliminating most fat and sodium -- which is NOT easy. DH seems to be steadily improving, but he is also somewhat depressed in that he has finally realized that life will not ever be quite the same again. We're both anxious to find out what his first cardiologist checkup will show next Wednesday, and perhaps whether therapy will be in order to determine the level of activity he can safely return to.

Let me also state that I am NOT on a mission to ban fast food such as burgers, fries, etc. from the public. Quite the contrary, I firmly believe in CHOICE; if you want to eat such food, you should be able to. If, however, you go to a fast food place you should also have the option of OTHER healthy stuff too. And I am sure that things are moving in that direction.

Don't think trans-fat is a problem for you? Here's a link you might find sobering:

Ban Trans-fats

An excerpt from the website:

"By our most conservative estimate, replacement of partially hydrogenated fat in the U.S. diet with natural unhydrogenated vegetable oils would prevent approximately 30,000 premature coronary deaths per year, and epidemiologic evidence suggests this number is closer to 100,000 premature deaths annually."

Nothing in our food supply is more dangerous than trans fatty acids ("trans fats") that are produced by the partial hydrogenation of oils. Yet partially hydrogenated oils are used in thousands of products, including cakes, cookies, other baked goods, many diet and "health" foods, and in most restaurants.

If the 100,000 figure is correct, then an average of 274 people are dying each day from consuming trans fats. On top of that, there are a far greater number of non-fatal but terrifying and damaging heart attacks caused by trans fats, not to mention other health problems.

This group has just won a major lawsuit against MacDonalds:

McDonald's to Pay $8.5M in Trans Fat Suit

Feb 11, 9:28 PM (ET)

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (AP) - McDonald's Corp. (MCD) will pay $8.5 million to settle a lawsuit accusing the fast-food giant of failing to inform consumers of delays in a plan to reduce fat in the cooking oil used for its popular french fries and other foods., a nonprofit advocacy group, sued McDonald's in California state court in 2003, alleging the company did not effectively disclose to the public that it had not switched to a healthier cooking oil.

In September 2002, McDonald's announced it would lower trans fat in its cooking oils and said the switch would be completed in five months. In February 2003, McDonald's announced a delay. The lawsuit accused the Oak Brook, Ill.-based company of failing to adequately inform consumers of that delay.

The agreement announced Wednesday requires McDonald's to pay $7 million to the American Heart Association to use the proceeds to educate the public about trans fats in foods. Heart-clogging trans fat is made when manufacturers add hydrogen to vegetable oil - a process called hydrogenation.

Wednesday's settlement also requires McDonald's to spend $1.5 million publicizing that it has not followed through on its 2002 pledge.

Additionally, the company will pay $7,500 to and $7,500 to Katherine Fettke, who had filed a separate complaint against McDonald's and has also agreed to settle.

McDonald's has reduced the amount of trans fat in its Chicken McNuggets, Crispy Chicken and McChicken sandwiches, said spokesman Walt Riker.

He said the company is working to reduce trans fat in its other fried foods.

"We're continuing to test. We want to make sure we get it right for our customers," he said.

I realize that there are various kinds of heart trouble and heart attacks. I myself have always had an abnormally fast heart rhythm, and it was discovered back when I was 23 and having major kidney problems. I've been on Inderal since age 28, and still have occasional heart rhythm trouble, feeling my heart beat so fast it makes me breathless. I think eventually I'll probably need a pacemaker. I know this does come from a genetic link in my family. But DH had NO history of heart problems in either side of his family; therefore, one must conclude it was high stress, poor diet with lots of fat, lack of appropriate aerobic exercise AND the years and years he smoked long ago. He gave up smoking at age 35, but had smoked since he was around age 15. There is no doubt those factors all played a part in his heart attack and condition -- narrowing of the veins/arteries, as well as the clogs in his heart that caused the heart attack.

We have also made progress on speeding up the final project for this house. We got an estimate Monday on having a green metal roof with sofit trim and gutters installed by a crew, and they started on it yesterday. If there's not much rain next week, maybe that will be finished in a couple weeks. We wanted to get this done, since it is the LAST project on the house itself. Should we have to sell it and move, we'd get maybe double what we invested in this place. I hope we don't have to do that, but then again, it takes serious work to keep up five acres of pasture, horses and several outbuildings. If DH is unable to do this, then we can sell the place and move back to town -- either in our house there, or buy another home and keep renting our other house in town.

We also got our taxes done, and will get back over $2,000.00 which is good news. The rental house didn't cause us to pay in anything, so that means we can keep that income.

At any rate, life goes on here. Only time will tell how this all turns out, I suppose. I'm looking for a visit from my sister and brother-in-law later this afternoon, and that should be relaxing.


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