Nutrition Q&A: Use flax seeds 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. Hi Madam, Thanks for the informative discussion. I could reduce weight of mine by 7 Kg in 5 months in a methodical way by exericising in the Gym everyday – for 1 hour-tread mill for 20 mins @ 6KMPH, using weights up to 5 kg and then workout on twister,Bycycle ergometer for 10 mins and ofcourse tummy exercises and simultaneously dieting especially reducing quantity of rice (I am a rice eater twice a day) and eating pulka-2 nos with lot of vegetables in the night.One more important thing I did is stopping taking curd,instead drank lot of butter milk twice a day. Just taste the sweet but not consuming the whole piece.No fruit juice but whole fruit yes. Sweet Fruits should not be taken liberally -they are very sweet-they again contribute calories.Luckily I am a vegetarian.I am also taking 1 B complex tablet everyday.
Getting rid of abdominal fat helps in improving the quality of life. Parvati madam, Can you suggest me about using Flax seeds for reducing the cholesterol-its practical implications.
Thank you.


It is good to know your efforts are getting good results and more importantly that you are following a healthy lifestyle. Flaxseeds may be ground and added to the buttermilk you drink, salads or porridge.

2. Hi, I’m Dhaarini, 26 yrs, height 5.4 and weight 74. from 60 to 74 due to pregnancy. after one year from delivery i started eating normal amount of food as i stopped feeding my kid. then oo couldnt reduce my weight considerably. please advice what to do to reduce to 60 by span of 1yr. I’m working as HR.
You need both diet and exercise. Also do a complete blood test including thyroid function tests.

Start with 2 glasses of water.

Bed tea/coffee

3 idlis with 1 cup sambar , 1/2 cup skim milk

Mid morning an apple or 1/2 grapefruit

Lunch is 2 slices of bread with grilled chicken and vegetables or one cup rice or 2 phulkas with dal, vegetables

1/2 cup curds (no fat), a small carrot whole. grated or strips squeezed with lime.

Evening Tea/coffee

2 digestive biscuits or 2 cups of popcorn

Early dinner is a glass of low fat milk with bran flakes or oats, a tablespoon of nuts

A plate of salad with varying vegetables

One fruit or 1/2 cup fruit salad

You may have any sweet or dessert you like in small portion twice a week.. Avoid all fried foods.

Put in 1/2 hour to 40 minute exercise 4 times a week. Please reduce your weight before conceiving again.

3. Madam, My age is 58 height 160cms and wt. 63.5 kgs. I have diabetes from last 18 years and HBP from last one and half years. Recently I have tested the blood in laboratory the result as follows.

Blood sugar FBS /PPBS 120/164 HBA1C 7.0
Urine sugar Nil/1.5 Cholesterol 138 HDL 23 LDL 115 SODIUM 155 CHLORIDE 115 I have taken GYNASEMF 1-1 AND
METXL AM 50/5 mg morning one and ECOSPARIN ONE IN NIGHT Blood test done in 7/6/2012 and now 28/6/2012 BP is 150/82 How can I control BP level the range 120/80 and how to reduce sodium and choloride and how to increase the HDL Kindly give me suitable guidance.
Thanking U

Yours sincerely
Can you send me your present pattern of eating? Then I can help you find out why blood sugar is high and how the present eating needs to be changed. This will help you better in the long term than a new diet altogether.

Meanwhile avoid salted foods, commercial snacks, cakes, biscuits, pickles, pappads, and all sweets, sugar, honey, jaggery . Are you exercising?

4. Diabetics, in general, are not habituated in calculating the food intake in grams. That is why what is more required is to give a daily diet chart for the patients with diverse food consumption in regional levels in our country.
Thanks and regards,
Shyamal Gan
Diabetics need to learn to assess quantity of food to be eaten at each meal and be able to exchange one food for the other for the same amount of calories /carbohydrates. They also need to learn how to balance food with medication, especially insulin, and deal with situations like travelling, sick days, partying etc. This is what we call “empowerment”. This is a long process of learning and is worth the effort. One diet chart for the diabetic is not the way to manage eating in diabetes.

5. Is mango good for a cholesterol patient?
Veena Sethi
Yes, all fruits are good.

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