The Low-Carb Diet Plan to Reverse High Cholesterol and Beat Heart Disease
Cholesterol is an essential component of our bodies. While optimum cholesterol levels ensure the proper functioning of the body, higher levels of it can put one at various health risks. Many factors can give birth to high cholesterol levels like genetics, age but the underlying cause of high cholesterol is often an unhealthy lifestyle & eating habits. Processed foods, Tran’s fats, and refined, hydrogenated oils are among the main contributors to bad fats and cholesterol, which lead to plaque creation in the arteries and cause blockages.
A significant share of cholesterol comes from the liver secondly, from the food you eat. So when you control the food you consume, you can make a huge difference in your cholesterol levels. Here, a low-carb diet can help you achieve the same. A diet plan for high cholesterol also makes a positive impact on your overall health, helping restore your heart health, lower your blood pressure, prevent diabetes and maintain a healthy weight.
If you think one has to give up on your tasty meals & adopt bland foods to keep cholesterol levels in check, then you are probably wrong! Indian food in itself is very delicious and healthy. You don’t need to look anywhere for healthy & fancy food options. You have everything right in your kitchen pantry, from fruits & vegetables to lentils, nuts, & whole grains, locally grown fresh & healthy foods! And with plenty of flavors & choices, one can easily spice up a monotonous cholesterol management diet plan.
Here’s a sample plan of what a low carb diet looks like
*Consult a doctor or nutritionist to get a customized diet plan as per your requirements
- Early Morning: 1 cup overnight soaked methi seeds water with 2-3 almonds & walnuts
- Breakfast: 1 bowl of upma or oats idli or porridge made with milk. Oats are excellent antioxidants and help you reduce cholesterol.
Brown bread & egg whites made in your preferable way, but do not fry.
- Mid Morning: 1 cup of green tea or coconut water with an apple, orange, or guava would be a good choice.
- Lunch: 1 bowl each of cooked vegetables & dal with chapatis, brown rice & garden salad/ Vegetable pulao or biryani made with brown rice with vegetable raita & salad/ grilled or Curried Chicken or fish with chapatis
- Evening Snacks: 1 glass buttermilk or tea or coffee, 1 cup boiled Chana/diced watermelon, or 1-2 boiled Eggs or plain khakhra
- Dinner: 1 cup Vegetable Soup & 1 cup each of cooked vegetables & yogurt with Bajra Roti/ whole grain khichdi with vegetable stew/ multi-grain roti with dal.
- Bedtime: A glass of sugar-free skimmed milk with a teaspoon of turmeric. It will help avoid hunger pangs.
Foods to avoid
For reducing high cholesterol, diet plans are effective, but you need to be cautious with eating certain foods that have:
- Trans fat:Trans fats can be the most harmful form of fat one can eat. It raises bad cholesterol levels in your body & increases your risk of heart disease. Pastries, cookies, biscuits, margarine, etc., are some of its sources that you refrain from eating.
- Salt:Too much consumption of sodium can lead to high blood pressure. Try to avoid having canned soups, frozen foods that have considerable amounts of salt.
- Sugar: Excessive usages of sugar in food preparation can cause uncontrollable sugar levels in the body and puts you at risk of diabetes & blood pressure. You must avoid having sweetened drinks, canned fruits, or ketchup.
Few pointers for you to consider while you follow a diet place to reduce cholesterol
- Consume healthy fats rich in omega-3 like fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, & chia seeds as they come with heart-healthy benefits & reduce blood pressure.
- Make sure you include as much fiber in your diet as it helps delay the absorption of carbohydrates & thus reduces the risk of blockage in the arteries.
- Try to add fenugreek seeds to your food whenever possible. Besides reducing cholesterol levels, it ensures good heart health.
- Avoid junk as much as you can. Opt for fruits over chips & other packed & processed snacks.
- Use brown rice instead of white as it contains more fiber.
- Choose fresh fruits over canned & sweetened fruits or juice.
- Try to include physical activity of at least 30 minutes to help you lose weight & improve cholesterol levels.
- Quit Smoking if you do. Smoking increases the level of bad cholesterol in your body that puts you at risk of health diseases.
- Limit alcohol consumption, as it adds extra calories to your diet, leading you to weight gain rather than losing it.
Managing blood cholesterol is quite simple once you learn the mechanism behind cholesterol production, its storage, and utilization. Simple lifestyle changes with the proper diet and some exercise gives you the best result concerning cholesterol & keeps your heart healthy.