Trying to beat triglycerides

Published 9:13 pm Thursday, March 31, 2011

I don’t claim to be a smart man.

There are many things I will never understand. I don’t fully understand why gravy isn’t a beverage or at least acceptable as a soup. I don’t understand why the smell of bacon always makes my mouth water, even when I’m stuffed. And I don’t understand why my brother chose to use my hairbrush to scratch himself when we were children.

Mostly, though, I don’t understand why someone looked at a pot of hot grease and thought “Why don’t I cook something in there?” It was a stroke genius in the world of flavor, but it has been the bane of my existence from an early age.

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It is this last imponderable that gets right to heart of what I am sure will be my last and most formidable health enemy. His name, good people of Suffolk, is Mr. Triglyceride.

After my physical recently, I received my lab report telling me that while my total cholesterol was normal, dirty, old Mr. Triglyceride was still creeping up on me in the worst way.

Now, why is Mr. Triglyceride going to be so tough to defeat? Because, he resides largely in fried foods. And I live in the South, where the phrase “Southern Fried” can probably be found in front of anything from chicken to a can of Coca-Cola on any given menu.

I am surrounded in a sea of sizzling, grease-covered goodness. So where am I to turn in order to defeat Mr. Triglyceride in a world where, if they were battered and dropped just right, I’d eat a heaping helping of my own deep-fried trousers?

My head hangs low, and I look to the ground for answers. And in doing so, I find one literally right beneath my feet. The soil. The sweet, precious life-giving soil. The soil that gives this area its tomatoes, rutabagas, collards, and a wide range of other vegetables to help me fight the evil Mr. Triglyceride.

Luckily, after seeing this week’s food page on community-supported agriculture, I have become more aware that we’re surrounded by more than deep-fried menaces.

So I guess a change in perspective is all I need to better understand the things around me. And I guess the first thing I should understand is that good food is available to us all at area farms. Tapping into that resource as much as possible may just be the ammunition I need to defeat Mr. Triglyceride, who is leading a seemingly ever-growing campaign to wreck all our bodies.

So be advised, Suffolkians, if you’re like I am, suffering from the heart-destroying grip of Mr. Triglyceride, look to the soil and visit some area farms. You’re guaranteed to find the healthy foods you need to help defeat Mr. Triglyceride.

And perhaps, in the process, you may gain an understanding that the foods we eat should not be what ruins us but what makes us stronger.