A few years ago when I turned 47, blood tests indicated my cholesterol levels bordered on high. The news was hardly surprising. My mother’s cholesterol was high enough for her to participate in a clinical trial for a leading cholesterol-lowering medication.
I am not philosophically opposed to taking medications. I believe that pharmaceuticals are one of the great achievements of the modern age. But I was not ready to begin the journey down a road of daily drug treatment for my own cholesterol management. I knew that if I wanted to avoid starting down this road, I had to actively engage in developing an alternative to achieve and maintain healthy cholesterol levels. As I did so, one of the great pleasures of my life played into my thoughts: my love for food. The kitchen is my artistic pallet.
For me, many of life’s magic moments occur over a meal. Casual acquaintances turn into friends once they accept my invitation, “Can I cook for you?” While my wife may curl up with a novel, I like to end the day with a good cookbook. Over the breakfast newspaper, I am as zealously outspoken about the day’s published recipe as an article about world affairs.
This passion for good food is as much a part of my genetic code as is high cholesterol. Food and health were themes of my childhood household: My father sought out foods for longevity and kept canisters of raw nuts, seeds and dried fruits on our kitchen counter. My mother spent years on a quest to find the perfect diet, sampling Stillman’s high protein diet, Atkins™’ low carbohydrate diet, Weight Watchers® and more. My parents hosted meals for family and friends love and food co-mingled at the center of the table.
This environment influenced the career choices of my sister and me. She became a PhD epidemiologist with a focus on nutrition while I became president of one of America’s oldest continuously operating chocolate companies.
Combining my love of food with the desire to at least delay daily the need for pharmaceuticals like statin drugs, I began a search of information on the role of nutrition in heart health. I found an abundance of information proclaiming the power of one diet or another to improve cholesterol levels and general heart health. There are no shortages of food products advertising their heart healthy qualities. The number of dietary supplements promoting their heart health benefits is extensive. It took time and passion to organize and distill the good information.
My journey culminated with the creation of Kardea Nutrition in 2007. Kardea was created to help you move more quickly along the learning curve of heart healthy nutrition, to enable you to eat delicious and heart healthy.
Eat smart, eat delicious.