10 steps to lower your cholesterol and stay fit as a fiddle
People get worried about elevated cholesterol levels and I tell them to calm down and stop associating cholesterol with a negative connotation. It is...
People get worried about elevated cholesterol levels and I tell them to calm down and stop associating cholesterol with a negative connotation. It is important to know that cholesterol is a vital part of our body’s cells and cannot be done away with.
This waxy substance is essential for the body to make hormones, vitamin D and helps in digestion of foods. There are two main types of cholesterol – Low-density lipoproteins (LDL, which is bad cholesterol) and High-density lipoproteins (HDL, which is good cholesterol).
High amounts of LDL means there is a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries and that can be bad as it clogs up the arteries. So a high level of LDL cholesterol is detrimental to health and it can be linked to several other chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases.
I know for a fact that it takes just a matter of a few weeks with the diet I prescribe on a day to day basis that helps get your cholesterol to optimum levels. So let us look at how easy it is to incorporate them daily.
Coriander – is tossed on practically every Indian food as one of its properties is that it lowers levels of bad cholesterol in the blood and along the inner walls of arteries and veins. It improves levels of HDL, which is the good cholesterol.
Lemon - squeeze lemon on all your food as it synthesises and eliminates fat deposits that accumulate in the body. Vitamin C that is present in lemons is known to be a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals that elevate cholesterol and clog your arteries.
Tomato – contains lycopene a carotenoid which is a more powerful antioxidant than beta-carotene. These naturally occurring chemicals in the tomato reduce cholesterol levels by breaking down this artery-clogging fat. It is so easy to toss a tomato in your food on a day to day basis and reap the cholesterol-lowering properties.
Coconut - coconut oil is one of the few saturated fats that contains no cholesterol and actually helps lower cholesterol and outperforms cold pressed olive oil in this regard. The cholesterol-lowering properties of coconut oil are a direct result of its ability to stimulate the thyroid, which specifically reduces LDL cholesterol. I advise you to sprinkle grated coconut on your salads, vegetables, daals and chutneys.
Walnuts - the most unique nut among all healthy nuts. Walnuts are special because of its fat composition, which makes it predominantly helpful when it comes to lowering cholesterol levels. It is the only nut based source of omega-3 fatty acids from plants and is rich in polyunsaturated fats too thus making it an ideal food for cardiovascular health. Having a handful a day can dramatically drop cholesterol levels.
Barley – is mentioned as one of the oldest grains known to mankind. It is naturally rich in B vitamins and contains 16 per cent of niacin, which is known to lower cholesterol. Just include this as your grain source and make roti’s from it. Have it with your vegetables as it is better than popping a niacin pill which can cause nausea, dizziness, fast pounding heartbeats as well as allergic reactions and shortness of breath.
Turmeric – this great spice used in Indian food contains the photochemical curcumin that lowers cholesterol levels.
Garlic – this flavourful spice is known for its treatment of stomach disorders but it is also excellent for cutting bad cholesterol from the cells of the body when had in large doses.
Pulses - unlike animal protein do not raise cholesterol as they contain phytochemicals, fibre and have very less fat. So include chickpeas, mung beans or kidney beans. All legumes are a part of a daily Indian diet.