Cholesterol is the biggest culprit for all the heart ailments. Do we really know what cholesterol exactly is? Cholesterol is a compound that is produced in the liver and stored in the gall bladder. The other source of cholesterol in the body is from the food we eat. Most of the foods from animal sources are rich in cholesterol. For example milk and milk products, meat, and organ meats. let us see the details on Indian diet plan for reducing cholesterol ( Reduce LDL, VLDL and Increase HDL levels ).
Types of cholesterol :
- Good cholesterol – HDL Cholesterol ( Normal values men – greater than or equal to 50, women greater than or equal to 60 mg/dl )
- Bad Cholesterol – LDL Cholesterol (Normal Values 100 – 129 mg/dl in both men and women)
- Total Cholesterol ( Normal value is less than 200 mg/dl in both men and women)
Functions and importance of Cholesterol in Human Body :
Cholesterol, as labeled, is not all that bad. Cholesterol is required for various reasons in the body like:
- It creates insulation around the vital organs like heart, liver, kidneys, skin, etc.
- Cholesterol is part of the hormones released in the bloodstream
- It creates lubrication between joints
- High HDL keep heart healthy and boosts immunity
However, the excess cholesterol available (LDL) in the body gets stored in all wrong places. The most affected area is the abdomen, thighs, and hips. Cholesterol if gets accumulated in the walls of blood vessels, it creates blockages. There are many disorders caused by excess cholesterol. It leads to varicose veins, heart disorders, hypertension, fatty liver disorder, gallstones, etc.
Risk Factors associated with High cholesterol:
High intake of saturated fat found in animal sources or trans fats in bakery products increases cholesterol. Excess consumption of desserts, fried foods, processed foods or sweets or chocolates also increases blood cholesterol levels.
Having a body mass index (BMI) 30 or more automatically is a risk factor for high cholesterol levels. Read – How to lose weight effectively
Large waist circumference:
Exercise keeps our cholesterol in check. It increases good cholesterol (HDL) and reduces bad cholesterol (LDL). But, a sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for high LDL cholesterol. Read – Top 10 yoga poses for weight loss, Exercises that are good for weight loss and Top 12 Aerobic exercises.
Smoking damages the arterial wall of blood vessels. Thus, it makes space for accumulation of excess cholesterol leading to blockages. It also reduces good cholesterol. Read – Diet to quit Smoking.
High blood sugar leads to high LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol. Diabetes is a direct risk factor for heart ailments. Read – Indian diet plan for diabetes.
Indian diet plan for Reducing Cholesterol ( Reduce LDL, VLDL and Increase HDL levels )
Here is a Sample diet plan for Indian diet plan for Reducing Cholesterol.
Sample Diet Plan:
Empty Stomach: 1 Teaspoon soaked Methi seeds with 1 cup warm water with 2 – 4 Walnuts or Almonds
Breakfast: 1 bowl Oats porridge with milk
Mid-morning: 1 cup Green Tea + 1 Apple or Guava
Lunch: 1 cup Salad + 2 Chapati + ½ cup Brown Rice + 1 cup Vegetable + 1 cup Dal
Mid-Afternoon: 1 glass buttermilk
Snacks: 1 cup Tea/ Coffee + 1 cup boiled Chana or 2 boiled Eggs or 2 Plain Khakras
Dinner: 1 cup Vegetable Soup + 2 small size Bajra Roti + 1 cup Vegetable + 1 cup Curd
Bed-time: 1 tspn Isabgol with 1 cup of either water or milk or curd or buttermilk
( Note – List of vegetables that you can eat – Lauki / Bottle gourd, Yellow pumpkin /Kaddu, Ridge gourd /Toru, Asparagus, Capsicum, Carrots, Tomato, All green leafy vegetables, Onion, Garlic, and Squash . )
Tips on How to Reduce Cholesterol Naturally
A healthy diet controls excess cholesterol production and prevents its accumulation. We will be seeing an Indian diet plan for Reducing Cholesterol after this.
- Eat good fat: Consume omega 3 rich foods. Omega 3 fatty acid helps in increasing HDL cholesterol and reduces LDL cholesterol. It also helps in reducing total cholesterol. Include fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds in the diet.
- Fiber: Fiber reduces the cholesterol absorption from the intestines into the blood. It also delays the absorption of cholesterol. Studies show fiber also reduces the risk of blockage in the arteries.
- Reduce sugar: Excess sugar is stored in the body in the form of fat. Also, with uncontrolled sugar the walls of blood vessels become stiff. This leads to abnormal cholesterol calcification and accumulation.
Studies show prolonged cardio exercises use stored fat as fuel for energy. Initial 20 minutes of cardio exercise uses stored carbohydrates as fuel for energy. Post 20 minutes it is a fat that gets burned. This is how the body reduces cholesterol. Walking, cycling, swimming, aerobics are a few workouts that you can take up. The recommendation is 150 hours a week or 5 days for half an hour in a week.
Read – Benefits of walking
Use of functional foods:
There are certain foods that have a compound which reduces cholesterol from the blood. It either reduces the production of cholesterol in the body or removes extra cholesterol via excretion. It can also reduce the absorption rate of cholesterol. we have used these in the Indian diet plan for Reducing Cholesterol.
- Methi seeds/ cinnamon: Saponins in methi seeds reduces cholesterol production in the body. Cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon helps to reduce cholesterol that is circulating in the body. Cinnamon increases the BMR of the body, thus leading to the use of fats as fuel for energy. Read – Health benefits of Methi seeds
- Oats: Oats contain beta-glucan that helps in reduced cholesterol production in the body. It also excretes excess cholesterol in the intestine.
- Isabgol: Isabgol is a soluble fiber that binds cholesterol in the intestines and excretes it. Studies show isabgol also helps in reduces the circulatory cholesterol from the body. Read – Benefits of Isabghol
- Green tea: Green tea is rich in antioxidants. The catechin in the green tea reduces the damage done by the cholesterol deposition. It also helps in reducing the circulating cholesterol. Read – Benefits of Matcha Green Tea
- Garlic: Garlic contains allicin that reduces the cholesterol from the body. It reduces the accumulated cholesterol and prevents heart ailments.
- Smoking: Smoking damages the blood vessel lining and it attracts the accumulation of fats. Smoking also reduces good cholesterol and increases bad cholesterol.
- Alcohol: Excess alcohol consumption increases fat deposition in the body.
- Tobacco: Tobacco-like cigarettes damages the blood vessel lining.
Being overweight means having excess cholesterol in the body. Also, the sedentary lifestyle of an obese individual leads to no usage of fats as fuel. Thus, the excess cholesterol calcifies and proves fatal for an individual. check this video.
Managing blood cholesterol is not that difficult. Just understand the mechanism of cholesterol production, storage, and utilization, and the problem is solved. Simple lifestyle modification with the right diet and appropriate workout gives you the best result concerning cholesterol. Hope this Indian diet plan for Reducing Cholesterol helps you in becoming Heart Healthy.