Sharon: What kind of substitutions can be made for items such as sugar, margarine, and so forth? My son is only 13 and has high cholesterol and high triglycerides. Please help!
Try substituting canola oil or olive oil for margarine. You can use some of the new canola-oil spreads for toast or sandwiches and the oils for cooking. Canola is an excellent source of omega-3 oils that have been shown to be beneficial for the body. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat — this means it tends to lower the total and bad cholesterol circulating in the blood, while increasing the good, or protective, cholesterol.
Also, try cutting back on processed foods that might have hidden sugars in them. Substitute healthy, naturally sweetened snacks for high-fat snacks such as cookies and cakes. Some healthy natural snacks might include fresh fruit, dried fruit (like raisins), air-popped popcorn, baked corn chips and salsa, or raw veggies and salsa. If your son is really hungry, a whole-grain sandwich with low-fat cheese and lean sandwich meats will do the trick. You can even opt for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich - just go light on the peanut butter and jelly.
With warm weather in mind, low-fat frozen yogurt and frozen ice pops might also be good choices for your son. Be sure to talk to your son’s doctor for more recommendations and to monitor your son’s progress. Good luck!