From fat to fit - Managing cholesterol the easy way

  • By Team TDO

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance of a waxy consistency formed in liver and other cells in the body and found in certain food substances like dairy produce, eggs, meat etc. This waxy substance amasses in blood vessels (arteries) making them narrow and making you susceptible to heart disease.

Cholesterol is not all bad, though. There is HDL, the good cholesterol which is essential for healthy heart. The LDL and the Triglycerides are the bad cholesterols. Being detected with high cholesterol is a warning bell for you to pull up your socks and get into action or you may end up with serious events like a heart attack.

Here’s what you should do:

  1. Lose the excess weight: Are you a couch potato, one with a sedentary life that sees very less physical activity? You need to hit the gym as soon as possible! Exercise burns the excess fat and doesn’t allow it to clog your arteries. 30 to 45 minutes of moderate to intense workout helps melt away the bad cholesterol and improves the levels of the good cholesterol.
  2. Go Green: Can’t do without the regular dose of coffee or tea? Replace it with the healthier version- Green Tea. Green tea is loaded with friendly anti-oxidants which helps lower the LDL levels. Moreover it is a definitive healthier option to coffee, tea or the fizzy sodas.
  3. Put off the cigarette: The nicotine in cigarettes lowers the level of HDL, which is the good cholesterol.
  4. Go Nuts: Your grandma probably told you to start your day with 5 almonds? She was right. Nuts, especially almonds and walnuts, are packed with antioxidants that help lower the cholesterol levels in the body. So go grab a handful!
  5. Eat Fibres: Fibres are a rich source of heart-friendly antioxidants. They absorb the fats from the digestive tract and lower the LDL levels. Fruits, leafy vegetables, wholegrain, beans, oats, barley are among the richest source of fibres.
  6. Go Fishy: Fish are packed choc-a-bloc with omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have a positive effect on the heart; they decrease the blood pressure and help in burning LDL. If you are vegetarian, then you may find Omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseeds, soya beans and walnuts.
  7. Cut the saturated fats: Saturated fats are a form of triglycerides. They add up rapidly to the cholesterol levels in the body. Chocolates, palm oil, coconut oil, ready-to-eat foods are the richest source of saturated fats.

High cholesterol levels may be a major cause of heart diseases. But it is a condition that is very much controllable.