Healthy living: The skinny on fat

Published: April 7, 2013
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Lowering cholesterol is a battle but if you say no to the samosa and yes to yoga, you’re on the right path

Lowering cholesterol is a battle but if you say no to the samosa and yes to yoga, you’re on the right path

Are you in a panic because your bad cholesterol has increased? Are you looking for ways to reduce it naturally? For starters, the good cholesterol is called HDL or high-density lipoprotein and, according to WebMD it is a “friendly scavenger [that] cruises the bloodstream [to] remove harmful bad cholesterol from where it doesn’t belong”.

The bad guys are LDLs or low-density lipoprotein.

1.  Fibre, fibre, fibre!

Fibre is essential if you want to reduce cholesterol levels in your body. Some forms of fibre are better than others. Take for instance, water-soluble options such as pectin or guar gumpsllium seeds, and oat bran. These fibres take the shape of a gel that helps bind cholesterol and prevents it from entering the bloodstream

How to get tested 

Test name: The Lipid Profile

Breaks it into HDL, LDL and triglyceride levels.

Recommended: Fast for 9-12 hours before 

When to Get Tested

Screening: for adults, every five years; for youths, once between the ages of nine and 11 and again between ages 17 and 21 years. Regular monitoring if you have a proven history

2. Gobble the garlic Have garlic whenever possible. Raw crushed or chopped garlic can be eaten daily with salads

3. Move your body

Research has proven that routine exercise lowers total cholesterol while  increasing the good  cholesterol (HDL)

4.  Abandon caffeine

There is a correlation between drinking tea or coffee and cholesterol levels. Not good news for those who drink six cups a day

5. Stomp out the stress

Regular stress-busting activity and relaxation helps keep cholesterol under control. Try yoga, exercise, meditation or prayer

6. Go vegetarian

Pure vegetarian diets have proven to be effective in decreasing cholesterol. Consider going vegetarian for a short term (say for three to six months). By eating more fresh vegetables, you will provide the body with a large range of vital minerals, vitamins and antioxidants

7. Cut the sugar

Sugar intake is normally out of control in an average individual’s diet to a degree that most people are no longer able to detect subtle gradations of sweetness. It is also highly addictive. If you eliminate it from your diet, you will find even simple grains tasting sweet

Results and levels the numbers to know

Total cholesterol: over 40 mg/dL

LDL cholesterol: under 100 mg/dL

HDL cholesterol: over 40 mg/dL

Triglycerides: under 150 mg/dL

*mg/dL is milligrams per deciliter

Test cost Rs 600 to Rs1,900 is the average range of the cost of a Lipid Profile test

Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, April 7th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • sana
    Apr 9, 2013 - 6:43PM

    such a poorly-written article.

    “Sugar intake is normally out of control in an average individual’s diet to a degree that most people are no longer able to detect subtle gradations of sweetness.”

    uhh, really?

    and what are the test details doing in the middle of one of the 7 (unlabelled) tips on reducing cholestrol?

    reading such unprofessional work is probably not good for my cholestrol.

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  • kiren
    Apr 13, 2013 - 1:21PM

    Just wondering…..was the article proof read before posting?

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