How to manage the Cholesterol Content of Your Diet?by Dr. Kamalendra S. Assoc. Editor @MODASTA
Cholesterol is essential for the functioning of our body but in normal levels. When there is an imbalance in the cholesterol levels, it becomes dangerous and puts us at risk for heart problems. Striking a balance between tasty and healthy should not be difficult.
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Let us look at some ways we can optimise our diet to achieve the same. Even, if you are on medication to lower your cholesterol, proper diet and an exercise regime can add to their cholesterol-lowering effect. The saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is most apt here.
- Portion Control: A practical and straightforward way is to measure food using your hands. The serving of fish, chicken or meat in case of non-vegetarians should be the size of what fits your palm, whereas the serving of fresh fruit should be fistful, and finally the serving of vegetables and rice should be the size of your cupped hands.
- Avoid Saturated fats: Try to limit red meat, coconut oil, palm oil, etc. that are rich in saturated fats. These can increase your bad, LDL and total cholesterol levels. You can go for olive, safflower, sunflower, canola liquid oils instead.
- Trans fats are bad for your heart. Avoid foods containing high trans fats such as pastries, margarine, fried food, fast food, biscuits, cream-filled candies, etc.
- Add Fibre: Include fibre in your diet, and especially soluble one. You can start off your day with oats, a simple oats porridge, oats dosa, or even oats idlis. There are a variety of recipes available on the net using oats. It is not only very rich in fibre but is filling and tasty too. Other fibre-rich foods include flax seeds, lentils, beans, chickpeas, etc.
- Eat nuts: Nuts are power-packed foods, rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, fibre, protein and help in lowering cholesterol. You have a variety of nuts to choose from like almonds, peanuts, pistachios, etc. So, next time you feel like munching on some fries, go for a bowl of nuts instead.
- Fresh fruits are as crucial as vegetables for a heart-healthy diet. Make your platter more colourful by adding a lot of colourful fruits and vegetables. Apple and pears are very high in fibre content of 4.4 g and 5.5 g respectively.
- Do not snack in between meals, else have a fruit bowl which will satisfy your hunger craving.
- If you are eating out, choose wisely by going for dishes that are either baked, boiled, steamed or grilled and avoid high-fat or oily food. Of course, do not forget portion control.
The cholesterol-lowering effects from diet differ for each of us, as a few factors play a role here like body weight, prior dietary habits, family history, genetics, etc. Diet alone may not achieve the desired result; it has to be backed up by an exercise regime. Consult a physician who can help you with a meal plan to improve your cholesterol.
Created on Jan 23rd 2018 00:12. Viewed 222 times.
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