Dietary guidelines for cholesterol

Whenever we discuss about cholesterol, the immediate response from client is, “hum to bahut kam oil mein khana banake hai….. (we have very low usage of oil in our foods…. )”,  then why we have cholesterol.

We need to look for hidden fats like:

  1. Milk and milk products:

Milk is very high in fat especially full fat milk or buffalo milk.

So go for 1% fat or 0 % fat, i.e. slim milk or fat free milk.

Same works with milk products like Curd, paneer (cottage cheese), cheese, yoghurt, hung curd; etc .

Anything made, should be from low fat milk.

Outside paneer or curd should be avoided.

2. Nuts and seeds:

Nuts and seeds are good for health. They have good oils in them. But finally those are oils. So care should be taken not to take them in high quantity and not to take all at a time.

Each contains 5 ml oil means one spoon oil:

15 peanuts

10 almonds

5 walnuts

1 spoon flax seeds

1 spoon sesame that teel seeds

1 spoon sunflower or pumpkin seeds

So the day you are eating walnuts, avoid peanuts.

3. Coconut:

Coconut is has fibres, but also has lots of oil !

2 tablespoon chutney has 5 ml oil

So have chutney in limited amount or can have green coriander chutney instead.

4. Dalda ghee or Vegetable oil:

Generally, we don’t eat dalda or vegetable oil. It is very high in trans fatty acids or bad fats.

But there are hidden sources which are rich in Dalda like All bakery products, toast , khari, cookies, biscuits, bread, cakes, pastries; etc.

So better to avoid any biscuits, not even multigrain or oats biscuits, as they have healthy grain but those are not the healthy fats.

5. Palm oil :

Palm is one of the saturated oils and increases cholesterol.

Again we don’t have this oil at our home.

But all outside ready to eat fried snacks are made in this oil.

And that is the difference between homemade sev and outside sev or chiwda or any other stuff.

So, ideally we need to avoid fried stuff as we need to keep a check on cholesterol.

But once a while you can enjoy homemade fried food cooked in good oil.

6. Sugar:

Thinking about cholesterol, we always feel that it’s only fats or oils or ghee or fried.

But high amount of carbs, refined carbs like sugar, taken in excess quantity increases fats mainly triglycerides.

So avoid sugar in any form.

Switch to jaggery wherever you can’t avoid.

Also, better to avoid sugar free pills on a daily basis as very less research has been done on it yet.

Gradually develop a sweet taste for the natural taste in food.

7. Fruit juices and shakes:

Fruits are great for maintaining cholesterol and blood pressure levels as they are rich in fibres, vitamins and natural sugars.

This is achieved when we eat it. But while having juice or shake we remove fibres and also the portion size increases.

So instead of decreasing cholesterol, it increases it.

8. Carbohydrates:

Same is with carbohydrates.

We feel that wheat, bajra, jowar, ragi, rice; etc. are very healthy, and actually they are.

But when taken in excess, can increase triglycerides.

So portion size of bread, roti, thepla, rotla, rice; etc. is very important.

9. Stress:

Sometimes, I do get clients who are following all the guidelines 100%, but still have borderline cholesterol.

So, then stress is also one factor.

Any relaxing activities which you really enjoy should be done on a daily basis. Everyone suggests yoga. But many a times, person actually doesn’t enjoy yoga, then how he/she can get relaxation.

So, any activities, be it reading, music, dance, gardening, swimming, walking; etc. can be done to reduce your stress level, and reduce cholesterol.

10. Genetics:

After changing all your food habits and lifestyle modifications, still sometimes there is high cholesterol, then it must be due to once particular genes, which are inherited.

But, by maintaining your lifestyle, you can keep a check on it.

Wishing you good health & a happy lifestyle !! 🙂

Dr. Mansi Pujara

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