Nutrition Q&A: Diet changes for cholesterol control

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. Thank you for the kind response – for they serve typical south indian foods like idli’s / dosas and pongal, for lunch they serve rice, sambar, vegetable and one chapathi. For the past one week I have been eating oats in the night. The current food is not supporting me physically and I am not getting enough energy to work out. Please advice a diet plan with high protein. Please also advice if I take whey protein sold is stores is good on a long term basis.
Choose foods that are not oily or not fried from the office menu. For example, for breakfast most days have idlis and not dosas. Eat a fruit like apple 3 hrs after your breakfast. For lunch have one chapatti, one serving (equal to your fistful) of rice of whatever variety served but most often stick to plain rice, sambar, vegetables as needed and a cup of buttermilk.
Later at tea time have a fruit and whey protein drink.
Continue with oats at night, a full glass of fat free milk, a plate of salad (vary the vegetables) a fruit.
I assume you exercise after 7pm?
Hope this helps. Do update me after a week on this. Check your weight every week to make sure you are maintaining your weight.

2. Hi! I cook food in 1/2 tsp oil or one at best. My daily menu consists of – breakfast at 8.30am – 1 doas and -1 cup curd with a tablespoon of flax seeds. sometimes a glass of mosambi. Lunch at 1.30pm consists of a bowl of dal, 1 bowl of vegetables and 1/2 cup curd with 2 wheat chappatts. 5pm – 1 cup of coffee in the evening with 2 tsp of sugar.
Dinner consists of 1 leg of chicken, a vegetable and a big bowl of rice/oats with dal-rasam and 1 cup curd.
I do enjoy a piece of chocolate or 1/2 packet of biscuits (wheat) after dinner. THere is NEVER any in between eating/snacking between meals.
My husbands cholestrol reading is -HDL – 26 LDL 123

I would be very grateful if you could tell me what I am doing wrong in this food menu. My husband is 45 years old. He is being treated with statin for many years.
Regards, Raena
Raena, the quality of food items is important to reduce cholesterol. There should be sufficient soluble fibre and right source of fats in the diet. Let me redo the present diet for you with certain specific foods. Let me know after 6 weeks. Please ask your husband to exercise 20 minutes a day at least. I assume his weight is within normal limits. If not he needs to reduce weight. For every 2.7 kg he reduces, hdl will increase by 1 mg/dl.
breakfast at 8.30am
1 dosa (make different dosas that are healthier like wheat dosas, adai (made with dal), pesarattu (green gram) or plain besan dosa.
1 fat free cup curd with a tablespoon of ground flax seeds (whole flax seeds don’t digest well. To get the full benefit, grind it.)
One guava with peel daily
Lunch at 1.30pm
a bowl of dal, 1 bowl of vegetables (best are okra, brinjal, tindla, etc) Vary vegetables.
1/2 cup fat free curd with 2 whole wheat chapattis (besan flour 1/3 and 2/3 cup atta)
5pm – 1 cup of coffee in the evening with 1 tsp sugar
6 almonds or 2 walnuts or 20 peanuts
3 ounce pan grilled fish (choose fatty fishes, use the oil that comes out of the fish) 4 times a week.
Other days, breast piece of chicken (no skin and grilled)
a big plate of salad with one teaspoon olive oil (add whatever he will eat raw). Vary the vegetables, use lots of greens.
A medium bowl of rice with dal-rasam and ½ cup fat free curd OR a big bowl of oats, ½ cup fat free milk. Add 2 teaspoon of wheat bran to the oats.
After dinner
One apple or ½ grapefruit or ¾ cup papaya or pineapple
OR if you want your chocolate have 70% or more dark chocolate. Nothing else is permitted. No biscuits are allowed.

3. Hi i’m 30yrs old, 68kg, I’m anemic. irregular periods. have PCO’s, how to reduce or remove PCO’s, is there any diet plan or medice? Now i start doing yoga. please suggest me some good suggestion. i’m married trying for baby but due to PCO’s cant perganant.
Please read the article Weight loss with PCOS
Eat lots of vegetables, lean meat and fruits. Exercise daily to lose weight. Consult a gynaecologist for treating PCOS.

4. I am diabetic neuropathy patient. I am 8o years old and diabetic since `979 and my sugar level throught out is under control. Now it has taken serious turn. I am neither able stand or walk. I am taking food supplements. What us the remedy.
Rajendra Lal
Sir first of all, kudos to you, for keeping blood sugar under control over these years. I know it takes a lot of consistent effort and responsibility for one’s health to do this. It has been over 30 years now, and some deterioration is to be expected after 25 years. Continue the supplements. Include a tablespoon of sesame seeds or ground flax seeds in your daily eating.
If your blood sugar is under control you may need to look at other than food to help you slow the neuropathy.

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