Heart & Circulatory Health

How to Reduce Cholesterol Level?

Written by Dr. Anshul Varshney and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

 

Are You Rich in Cholesterol Figures?

If you are obese, diabetic, hypertensive, have family history of heart disease or stroke, you need to get your cholesterol figures down. You don't need to be a millionaire in cholesterol figures. Even if you are not, trust me, you should still eat healthy and exercise because it’s the only field in which you become a millionaire and you won’t even come to know.

Good news is that, it is good to increase the figure of one type of cholesterol -- HDL. It is also called as "The Good Cholesterol".

But How? A big question! Read below and follow. We often read these kind of articles on internet, newspapers, health columns, but most of us just read and don’t follow. But, You have no option if you are a rich man when we talk about cholesterol figures, and you really wish not to meet doctors in hospital emergencies!

Excessive cholesterol in the blood leads to heart attacks, and stroke and many other disease. Cholesterol can be reduced by eating healthy and doing regular exercises.

  • If you are obese, shed down your weight.
  • If you are a diabetic or hypertensive, please get proper treatment.

One may also require to take medications to reduce cholesterol, if indicated.

Very often people ask me what should I eat to control my cholesterol levels? Which oil we should use?

Following points may help you to solve your queries and may help you to keep your self fit and disease free.

Foods to Avoid :

  • Any kind of oil is bad for your coronaries, strict moderation is required.
  • Avoid Saturated oils like coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil
  • Avoid full cream milk, cream and ice cream
  • Stay away from egg yolks, cheese and butter.
  • Avoid meat of organs like liver, kidney, brain.
  • Avoid fried foods, fast foods.
  • Don't even look at bakery products made with egg yolks, saturated fats and trans-fat.
  • Avoid too much of potato and rice.
  • Alcohol has to be avoided, once in a blue moon in moderate quantities is acceptable (but blue moon should not appear daily!!)

Many people ask me that we have read that red wine is good for heart, so can we drink that or not. I answer them that Red wine has been shown to be effective in some studies only. Many studies have not found it useful though. Its up to you which studies you want to go with. Most important thing is, once a person starts drinking that, again moderation is required, which might be difficult. I know people who started with just 30 ml of red wine a day to keep their heart healthy, but landed into consuming a full bottle in a day giving excuse of its benefits. I ask you what’s the need? We have better ways to control our cholesterol. That’s my personal view point about red wine.

People then ask me, you have asked our all favorites to be avoided. What should we eat then? Or should remain hungry!!! I advise them that you can consume every thing but in moderated quantities, depending upon your target cholesterol and weight.

Healthy Tasty Alternatives:

  • Consume fruits and vegetables (4 to 5 servings of each per day)
  • Use unsaturated vegetable oils like canola, corn, olive, safflower and soybean oils in moderated quantity.
  • Use fat-free, or low fat milk products.
  • Consume lean meats and poultry without skin.
  • Consume fiber containing products like whole grain bread, cereal, pasta and brown rice.
  • Nuts, seeds, and legumes (dried beans or peas) can be taken in moderated quantity
  • Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which reduces LDL, the "bad" cholesterol, even if they don’t they at least make you avoid your favorite, mouth watering “paranthas”, “samosas”, “kachori” which otherwise you may consume in breakfast.
  • Fatty fish contains omega-3 fatty acid which are known to be good for heart. But please don’t deep fry it!!! Bake or grill the fish to avoid adding unhealthy fat.
  • Broil or grill instead of frying your dishes.

Try following these dietary habits. Initially, you may find it difficult, but trust me once you achieve your targets, you will be asking others to follow this. You might become an idol of many cholesterol millionaries, who may come to you for advise!

Meet you doctor. Get yourself tested today, if you have any risk factors.

Achieve your goals. Stay Healthy.

Last reviewed at: 07.Sep.2018

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