Green Bean Sushi and CHOLESTEROL
Eggs, eggs, and more eggs! What about my cholesterol you ask?
I have a cute client who went to see the lipid specialist who ironically used to work for Cargill!
The specialist told her she must stop the coconut oil and can only consume 2 eggs per week. She was so upset considering she has her own chickens and organic eggs she gathers from her back yard. Let me back up, her cholesterol numbers started to creep up.
Why? Well, she was in the beginning stages of menopause and her ovaries were slowing the production of progesterone. All our major hormones are made from cholesterol, including progesterone, estrogen, cortisol, DHEA, and testosterone.
If we don’t eat enough of this vital nutrient, our bodies convert cholesterol from our endocrine system to use for our brain and thyroid function. When that happens, it’s almost impossible for our bodies to maintain hormonal balance. This is when we experience sleep issues, anxiety, and hot flashes! So a low-cholesterol, low-fat diet is very unhealthy, especially for women.
Cholesterol is so important to our body that nature has created a backup plan in the event your diet falls short, such as a famine. If this happens, your liver helps out and makes cholesterol to guarantee your body a baseline level. If you follow the guidelines of most lipid specialists of a low-fat, high-carb, oatmeal-filled diet, high levels of insulin will be released which triggers the body to siphon off excess blood sugar into the liver to make cholesterol and triglycerides. In a healthy body, our liver makes around 75% of the cholesterol you need. The rest you have to eat. My favorite sources are coconut oil, butter, grass-fed meats, shellfish, and EGGS! I also want to mention that a woman’s breast milk is SUPER high in saturated fat, which helps babies produce healthy thyroid hormones that govern brain development.
If you cut out cholesterol and start to eat more “whole grains,” your body goes into famine mode which causes your liver to overproduce triglycerides and cholesterol to make up the difference and stock up. This overdrive state can’t stop until you start eating cholesterol again. Eating a low-cholesterol, high-carbohydrate diet can actually lead to high cholesterol! Not to mention it also is hurtful to our hormone levels. Many of the men I see in my office who take cholesterol-lowering statin drugs also take Viagra because they aren’t producing testosterone, which lowers sex drive.
Being dehydrated causes your cholesterol levels to be high because your liver is helping out the kidneys and can’t focus on the job of making cholesterol. Emotional stress also can cause cholesterol levels also respond negatively for similar reasons.
So bring on the eggs! Looking for a cute appetizer to serve at a party? This would be a hit. Very tasty and they can be assembled (but not cut into pieces) 1 day ahead and chilled. I kept my rolls wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Make sure to cut the rolls while cold, then bring to room temperature before serving, about 30 minutes.
“HEALTHIFIED” GREEN BEAN SUSHI
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed
3 hard-boiled large eggs, quartered
2 TBS Paleo mayonnaise
1/2 tsp grated lime or lemon zest
1/2 TBS fresh lime or lemon juice
1/3 cup minced scallions
15 thin slices nitrate free ham or prosciutto (about 7 by 3 inches)
Make hard-boiled eggs. (TIP: I always boil 1 dozen when I bring mine home from the neighbor so I can have an easy snack in the fridge. My kids love Deviled Eggs!) Cook green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water (1 TBS salt per 2 quarts water), uncovered, until just tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and place into an ice-cold water bath to stop cooking. Drain and pat dry.
Place the hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, zest, lemon juice, scallions, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Place 3 slices prosciutto perpendicular to slats and slightly overlapping to form a large 9- by 7-inch rectangle on a sushi mat with slats running crosswise or a 9-inch square of parchment paper on a work surface.
Spread some of the egg mixtures evenly across the bottom half of the prosciutto rectangle. Place the beans on egg side by side and end to end, overlapping ends, in 8 tight rows parallel to slats. Spread another tablespoon of the eggs over beans.
Roll up the sushi very tight using the mat. Transfer the roll, seam side down, to a cutting board. Trim the ends and cut crosswise into about 10 (3/4-inch) pieces. Repeat and cut 4 rolls. Turn pieces upright to serve. This recipe was inspired by Gourmet Magazine. Makes 10 servings.
NUTRITIONAL INFO (per serving)
“Healthified” Sushi = 63 calories, 2.9g fat, 6.4g protein, 2.5g carbs, 1g fiber (1.5 effective carbs)