Cholesterol is a yellowish fatty substance in our blood that is essential in small quantities. Excessive cholesterol can block the arteries causing reduced blood supply which causes slow damage to the heart.
Causes of High Blood Cholesterol
Excessive consumption of sugar and fat.
Lack of exercise
Other illness like diabetes, high blood pressure etc.
Fibre rich fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables like orange, guava, cluster beans (gavarfali), green peas, unpeeled carrot etc. help to keep the blood cholesterol levels at bay due to their high fibre content. So, have plenty of raw fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Try the recipe of Muesli, made with a combination of fruits and high fibre cereals like corn flakes and oats.
Garlic (lehsun): Half a teaspoon of garlic has been proven to reduce the cholesterol levels in the blood thereby preventing the hardening of arteries. Though the earlier damage may not be repaired, the chances of a new heart attack do decrease. Try the recipe of Carrot Garlic Chutney, for a flavourful way to add raw garlic to your diet.
Onion (pyaz): Consumption of raw onions every day is said to be helpful in the functioning of the heart and in reducing blood cholesterol levels due to the presence of certain oils in them.
Amla (Indian gooseberry): Dried amla powder strengthens up the organs of our body including heart. Dry the amlas and grind into a fine powder. One teaspoon of this powder with a glass of warm water helps to strengthen the heart.
Arjuna (kahu): The preparation made from the bark of arjuna is known to have a stimulating effect on the heart and is used as a tonic for the heart. A decoction made with the thick portion of the bark boiled in hot water should be taken on an empty stomach every morning. The bark of arjuna looks like cinnamon (dalchini) but is larger and thicker which can be reused at least for 3 to 4 times. Alternatively, 1 gram of powder of this bark can also be consumed with a cup of warm milk.
Foods to be Avoided
Full fat dairy products
Sweeteners like sugar, jaggery and honey
Deep fried foods
Confectionery and mithai
Pickle, canned and preserved foods
Refined foods like maida, sugar, pasta and polished rice
Fast foods like pizzas, burgers etc.
Creamy salad dressings
Ways to Maintain Blood Cholesterol Levels
Choose oil instead of ghee in your daily cooking, as the latter is one of the major causes of high blood cholesterol. Restrict the consumption of fat to 3 teaspoons per day.
Have plenty of onions and garlic as a part of your two major meals – lunch and dinner will help to control your blood cholesterol levels.
Choose whole grains like while wheat flour, oats, bajra, jowar etc over refined cereals like maida, semolina etc as the former abounds in fibre which helps to decrease blood cholesterol levels. Try the Stuffed Bajre ki Roti as its an interesting way of adding fibre to your meals.
Replace full fat dairy products with their low fat counterparts.
Indulge in an exercise programme that will help improve blood circulation and also destroy the excess bad cholesterol.