30 June, 2008


Cholesterol is a waxy, fat like substance that is found in all tissues. It is also found in animals. Plant foods do not contain cholesterol. Cholesterol is found in all meats and dairy products. After all the bad things that you've heard about cholesterol you will probably be surprised to find out that you need a certain amount of cholesterol.
Cholesterol is essential for your cell membranes, nerves, and certain hormones. It also helps your liver to make bile acids which help to digest your food. The bad side is that if cholesterol builds up in your arteries it can cause plaque to form. This can cause a heart attack or stroke.

Good Cholesterol- HDL: A high level of HDL seems to protect against heart attack. A lower level seems to indicate a greater risk. The causes for low HDL are being overweight, smoking, and not getting enough exercise.

Bad Cholesterol- LDL : LDL- cholesterol can build up in the walls of the arteries that feed the brain and heart. A high LDL-cholesterol increases your risk of heart attack. 130- 160 is borderline risk.

Most people can lower their cholesterol by eating a diet low in fats. They can also be lowered by not smoking losing weight and exercise. Try to stay away from fatty foods. Read labels when you go shopping for food. If you buy meat , buy the less fatty meats. Most grocery stores have the meats labeled as to how much fat is in the meat.

Buy two percent milk. Try to eat no more than two eggs a week. If you like eggs a lot save your two eggs for Sunday breakfast. Instead of butter use a vegetable margarine.

Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Have a salad everyday and use a lowfat salad dressing. There are many varieties and they are very tasty. Throw away the frying pan. Broil your meats instead of frying. If you must use cooking oil buy Canola oil or olive oil. Try to take a walk everyday. This will lower your cholesterol and you'll lose weight, too.

Red meat in any form is to be TOTALLY avoided as it is very high in cholesterol. Chicken and fish (especially those rich in Omega 3, such as mackeral and salmon) are very good, especially if they are steamed or grilled.

Shellfish (such as prawns, crabs etc) are also to be avoided as they are high in cholesterol.

Smoking and alcohol are to be TOTALLY avoided. These are literally poisoning your system. Though there is some research that suggests that moderate consumption of red wine is ok.

• For those who are veg, flax seeds make a good addition to the diet. They can be roasted and powdered. About 2 tbsps are to taken daily. This powder can be incorporated in roti dough, mixed with skimmed milk, or eaten directly. The roasted seeds can also be had directly.

The key is to eliminate saturated fats, which are of animal origin (therefore anything that is solid at room temp), hydrogenated veg oils (found in most processed food - so pls read labels before purchase), any kind of refined foods (Refined flour, refined sugar, refined oils etc). OIls that are from seed sources are the best - olive, sesame, etc, but again in minimal quantities.

Food should be sattvik, ie fresh, seasonal. Plently of fruits and veggies, therefore increasing fibre. Whole grains are ok. No rajma, chole or such heavy beans (at least keep them to a minimum). Less oil, less spice, even less salt. Try to keep all processed food to a minimum. No butter, ghee etc. ONly skimmed milk and its products.

Nuts can be had in moderation - NOT more than 3-4 nuts, individually or combined per day. Brisk walking is fine BEFORE meals, but definitely not after. After meals, a light stroll is advisable.

Soak Garlic in honey for 21 days, and start consuming one everyday from the 22nd day in empty stomach. You can do this in bulk and store it for up to a month or more. Again repeat by soaking for another 21 days. Little bit of planning is required for this. This drastically brings down the cholesterol level and is a good healthy medication for your heart.

The extract, called guglipid, comes from the guggal tree and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional Hindu medicine, for nearly 3,000 years. These medicines available in the form of powders and tablets in Ayurvedic.

Cut down foods rich in saturated fats such as butter, cheese, coconut oil, and cream. Use oils such as olive, corn, safflower, and Soya. Green vegetables, fruits, cereals, skimmed milk, skim milk yoghurt should be the main items of your diet. Eating oat bran, Soya beans and grapefruit in diet reduces high blood cholesterol. Fish and chicken with out skin is not harmful. Chocolates should be avoided. Do exercise for half an hour every day. It is good to include fresh salad of tomato, cucumber, carrot, radish, and cabbage along with your both meals. In addition cooked vegetables also should be included. Among fruits try to avoid avocado, pear, banana, mango, chickoo, and custard apple. Onion, garlic, fenugreek seeds are some of the food items which help to reduce the cholesterol level. High fat content foods, organ meats, prawns, oysters, saturated fat etc will increase the cholesterol.

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