I thought perhaps I should straighten that out. Oh, I do try to serve lots of veggies and fruits, and limit sweets, but that's mostly because Cliff and I, at our ages, gain weight just by driving past a fast-food restaurant. As I've pointed out before, it's costly to eat out, and we're getting ready for retirement. Not to mention the health issues: Our family doctor yelled at us recently because Cliff's sugars have been high a couple of times, and he says it's because of weight gain.
I watch sodium religiously. One thing I will say for the much-maligned Walmart, they sell their own brand of salt-free tomato sauce, paste, and canned tomatoes for the same price as the salted variety. Most grocery stores charge a higher price for salt-free and lower-sodium goods.
Speaking of much-maligned, I mentioned that Aldi's has a lot of overly-processed foods, and that is true. However, they are usually the most affordable place to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, beating Walmart prices almost every time. If we had an Aldi's nearby, there are certain things I would buy there regularly. Not canned tomato products, though, because theirs are heavily salted.
When my kids were at home, I baked all kinds of sugary and starchy goodies and really didn't worry much about proper nutrition. They were limited to two bottles or cans of soda per week, but that had more to do with our finances than their health.
Would I do things differently if I had it to do over? I believe I would, and if they had been raised on a more healthy diet, they probably wouldn't have known the difference. Kids do tend to eat whatever they're familiar with. In a school cafeteria, though, they probably like to eat whatever their classmates are having; peer pressure is a funny thing.
For the first year or two after Cliff had heart surgery, I was quite strict with our diets. I monitored caffeine and cholesterol; I read labels with a missionary zeal, checking for sodium and trans-fats. Little by little we slipped totally off that bandwagon, except for continuing to limit sodium at home. However, we got plenty of extra sodium by eating out two or three times a week. Of course restaurant food tastes extra-salty to a palate that's been trained to low-sodium, but that didn't slow us down. As much as Cliff enjoys food, I'm the culprit responsible for our eating out; he'd always prefer to eat at home. He eats out only because it's a treat for me.
We're truly working at getting back to the diligence about our diets that we first had after his CABG in 2006. It's not easy, but then nothing good in life seems to come easily. It's easy to get discouraged, because the pounds don't drop off the way they did when we were younger. But we intend to eat properly even if we never see another pound drop off! There are other benefits to eating properly besides weight-loss. We're both old enough to know we're not going to look like sex symbols, no matter how much weight we lose. We just want to be healthy.
By the way, don't expect your heart doctor to tell you anything about what you should eat and drink. You're on your own. Even when I asked the cardiologist questions about diet, he seemed surprised and had trouble coming up with answers.