Nutrition Q&A: Fibre, the secret to reducing cholesterol

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.My wife diagnised with a TGL level of 203 and VLDL of 41 mgs/dl.Other parameters were within the limit. What care to be taken in her food habits.Also she having a moderate diabetic .Plkeae reply
If the diabetes is not under control, TGL goes high. So first step is to get blood sugar under control. You have not mentioned age or weight of your wife. If she is over weight reducing weight is priority. Avoid fried foods, excessive oil in cooking, sweets, sugared drinks, reduce or avoid coconut, coconut milk and its oil. Eat enough protein foods like dal and reduce carbohydrate foods like rice. Eat lots of salads, vegetables.

2. I am 37 years,hight is 165, waight is 73 k.g. My cholestrol level is 225 to 240. mostly i am vegetarian. some times ocationally i take non vages like fish and eggg. i never eat meat.let me know how to control my cholestrol level by proper food and exercies.


You need to avoid certain foods like commercial snacks and bakery products, ghee, butter, full fat milk. Avoid eating from restaurants regularly, eat home cooked dishes more often.

Exercise daily for at least 1/2 hr to 40 minutes. Walking is good to start with.

Vikram, fibre is the secret to reducing cholesterol. So make sure you get it from fruits, vegetables, dal, whole grains. All kinds of dal have the right kind of fibre to reduce cholesterol. Fish is fine. Egg 3 to 4 times a week.

3. Are there any side effects of sugar free tablets used for sweetening tea?
Prem Negi

Excessive use could have a laxative effect. Saccarin and cyclamates were believed to cause cancer but not proven so. Also aspartame is suggested to cause headache, neurological problems and cancer but not proven so. People born with phenyl ketonuria (PKU) should avoid aspartame. It is safer for pregnant ladies also to avoid these.

Best advice is to use these sweeteners in moderation.

4. hi, My mother is having bad cholestrol range of 140. Her weight is 80 and aged 50. She doesnt have any other problems. plzzzzzz Help. Is there a neccessaryto be worried.

She needs to reduce her weight. Cholesterol may be high due to menopausal age. Let her follow the 1500 kcal diet plan and exercise daily for 40 minutes. Being overweight at this age may lead to several health problems after menopause. Even if she loses 8 kilos, there will be a positive difference in overall health.

5. mam, read ur article it was really helpful. is it true that methi seeds reduces cholesterol bcos they usually say it reduces sugar levels. so pls explain on that and my cholesterol level is 210 and i weigh 93 kg after my first pregnancy, i wanted to reduce weight, pls help. can i try that passive weightloss, by massage and heat therapy, is it useful, but they are too expensive pls help me to reduce weight and cholesterol mam. i go for walk four days week for half an hour. pls help mam

Yes, methi seeds are good for diabetics and those with high cholesterol. You need to lose weight through regular aerobic type exercise and by eating lesser calories. Please increase your exercise to 45 minutes 4 times a week. I suggest you start eating only low fat foods and avoid sweets and fried foods. This is a good start.

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