Nutrition Q&A: Controlling cholesterol levels

Nutrition and Dietetics expert, Parvathy Radhakrishnan answers readers’ questions on nutrition. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Wednesday.

This week’s answers:

1. i will be 36 in march-2012, height-179 cms, weight-83 kg(approx).my job is office job from 1000 hrs to 1730 hrs.
my lipid profile results on 7th march 2011 were as follows: –
Total cholestrol-237 mg/dl
HDL – 45 mg/dl
LDL – 148 mg/dl
VLDL – 44 mg/dl

my lipid profile results on 15th december 2011 are as follows: –
Total cholestrol-254 mg/dl
HDL – 44 mg/dl
LDL – 184 mg/dl
VLDL – 29.40 mg/dl
What should i do in order to control the increasing LDL & TOTAL Cholesterol?
i am undertaking 20 +20 minutes walking (05 kms) 06 days a week in morning and evening. in addition i do running and other exercises at least 04 days a week. Also i used to take minimum amount of fats in my diet.

Please suggest me the appropriate food and also the daily exercises in order to control the increasing cholesterol levels.

Joginder, your exercise is good, continue this. Now there are 2 things regarding reducing cholesterol. One is to avoid saturated fats and generally fatty foods like commercially made snacks, fast foods, fried foods, sweets and desserts, ghee, butter, cream, full fat milk and yoghurt, palm oil, coconut oil, red meats, organ meats like liver, etc. If you eat non veg foods go for fish but not fried.

Secondly, your diet should include foods high in soluble fibre – all kinds of dals and lots of vegetables and fruits. This is very important. Some of the things you can include regularly in your eating is whole bengal gram, ragi, oats, barley, guava, apple, whole grain cereals,  methi seeds, different kinds of green leafy vegetables, others like lady’s finger, brinjal, tindla, and all other kinds. Add besan to whole wheat chapati atta to make it rich in soluble fibre.

Use sesame oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, and use 2 types daily.

Triglycerides increase not only from fats but also from eating a lot of sugar, sweets or drinking alcohol.

Hdl should increase with regular exercise.

2. Dear sir /madam I am 37 years old.married with 2 kids daughter 12 years  and son 7 years old both kids are ceasarian and had gall bladder surgery done 4 years back and umblical hernia and abortion done in may i feel very worried about my health and my family too. my height is 5 and wt 60 kgs.

Can u suggest me a diet plan so my weakness goes and i am fit .i am worried for ,my family too. On my face there are freckles too

Zeba Lari

Zeba, you need to eat low fat foods and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. The vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables will help you feel refreshed and energetic. Since you are overweight you may need to reduce your weight down to 55kg. A little bit of exercising, say 1/2 hour daily will help take away mental and physical stress. You may choose any kind of physical activity you like.even if it is dancing, walking, cycling etc.

Since you have a history of gall bladder surgery it is wise to keep your oil to a minimum in cooking and to totally avoid fried foods and snacks.

You may follow tips given in What goes into a 1500 kcal weight loss plan. This should help you. Do get back to me after a month about your weight and well being. Meanwhile, please check your thyroid and hemoglobin levels too.

Send in your questions on nutrition to now! And don’t forget to include `Nutrition FAQ` in the subject line. Please provide complete details of your age, sex, height, weight, location and medication if any, if a diet is required for specific ailments.