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Five guaranteed ways to lower cholesterol

How to lower cholesterol is one of the major concerns for Indians living abroad, especially those keen to lose weight. In fact, high cholesterol is one of the common health issues for NRIs and Indians worldwide.

The problem is also common among Americans. According to a media release by Proctor and Gamble, more than 102 million Americans have cholesterol levels that are considered borderline high-risk.

While cholesterol can lead to many illnesses, you can take some timely steps to control cholesterol. There are some guaranteed ways to lower cholesterol, as long as you are committed to lead a healthy life.

But before we look at the guaranteed ways to lower cholesterol, we must first understand what is cholesterol.

What is cholesterol

Every person has a waxy substance in many parts of their body. This is cholesterol. Not all cholesterol is bad. Not all cholesterol is fat. There are two types of cholesterol – HDL or good cholesterol, and LDL or bad cholesterol.

It is the Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) which is a cause of concern as it builds up in the arteries and causes heart disease. On the other hand, High Density Lipoprotein (HDL), or the good cholesterol, protects against heart attack.

HDL in fact cleanses our system by removing cholesterol from the arteries and back to the liver where it’s passed from the body. As you can see when you read this article, you can maintain healthy levels of cholesterol with these guaranteed yet simple changes to lifestyle.

Remember, LDL cholesterol is bad for health, but HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol is not only good but is also essential for your health. Don’t assume that high cholesterol is bad for you, like high blood pressure. Please get your cholesterol checked regularly, and learn how to interpret the cholesterol numbers. Keep a record of your cholesterol levels.

Why cholesterol is bad for health?

Cholesterol associates with triglycerides to form plasma lipids. Triglycerides are the chemical form in which most fat exists in food as well as in the body, says American Heart Association. “Triglycerides in plasma are derived from fats eaten in foods or made in the body from other energy sources like carbohydrates. Calories ingested in a meal and not used immediately by tissues are converted to triglycerides and transported to fat cells to be stored.

“Hormones regulate the release of triglycerides from fat tissue so they meet the body’s needs for energy between meals.” AHA says.

“Excess triglycerides in plasma is called hypertriglyceridemia. It’s linked to the occurrence of coronary artery disease in some people.”

Now let’s look at the easy ways of lowering cholesterol fast. These steps are recommended by Metamucil and Dr. Michael Roizen, Chairman of the Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic.

Lower cholesterol

Five Easy Ways to Lower Cholesterol Fast

Walk more

Dr. Roizen recommends the use of a pedometer and walking or running more every day. “Grab a pedometer and watch the numbers roll as you make simple changes for your health and take the stairs, walk to work, or stroll around the neighbourhood to increase your physical activity for better heart health.

Pedometer can be a great motivator. “Tracking your progress throughout the day can be great inspiration to keep going, and walking is a simple and easy type of exercise to help lower cholesterol!

Get an exercise buddy

One of the main reasons why people fail to lose weight is lack of motivation. Dr Roizen appreciates that a healthy lifestyle requires motivation, encouragement and a friend to lean on.

“Grab an exercise buddy and support each other in the challenge to lower your cholesterol.”

You can go on long walks with your friend or partner. Make sure you encourage each other to try new types of physical activity to get the heart pumping and to keep cholesterol levels down! This togetherness not only helps physically but also creates a positive mental energy.

“Enjoy each other’s company and laugh – reduced levels of stress will help your heart too!”

Eat well

No, we are not recommending eating more, or eating junk food. We are just suggesting eating the right food. Increasing the intake of fiber can help you lower cholesterol. Of course, not all fiber is good. Viscous soluble fiber like psyllium fiber, the natural dietary fiber found in Metamucil, is proven to help lower total and “lousy” LDL cholesterol because it forms a thick gel that traps and helps remove some cholesterol, bile acids and waste in the gut.

“This is why I recommend my patients supplement low fat, low cholesterol diets with 7 grams of soluble fiber from psyllium daily.”

When fat is good

Avoid fatty food but there is one thing that’s good for you – docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a polyunsaturated fatty acid. DHA is good for your heart. It improves heart function and helps lower Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL).

It also raises the levels of High Density Lipoprotein (HDL), or the ‘healthy’ cholesterol. Some of the popular sources of DHA are salmon, sardines and tuna. But if you don’t like seafood, don’t panic “Try fish oil supplements, or if you don’t like fishy taste, get them from vegetarian supplements made from algal DHA.”

Avoid dangerous foods

They say: you are what you eat. Be aware of what you are eating. Read food literature and familiarise yourself with what goes in your bread and pasta.

“Get to know your ingredients and read the nutrition labels thoroughly,” says Dr Roizen.

Do you know that there are hidden sugars and unhealthy ingredients in your food that can increase your weight, which can lead to high cholesterol. Avoid all foods that contain high levels of cholesterol, saturated fat and hidden sources of sugar such as high fructose corn syrup, some dextrins, or evaporated cane juice.

FAQs

How does cholesterol affect health?

Lowering your cholesterol is the most important thing you can do to promote overall heart health. Too much cholesterol can result in atherosclerosis, which is when fat and cholesterol crowd the walls of the arteries,preventing adequate blood flow to parts of the body like the heart and brain, and resulting in signs and symptoms of heart disease, such as angina and heart attack

Whether you are 35 or 65, it is never too early or too late to start to reduce the risk of heart disease.

 How does fiber help heart?

Certain kinds of fiber lower cholesterol because they form a thick gel that traps and helps remove some cholesterol, bile acid and waste. Be sure to consume lots of soluble fiber, like beans, oats, barley or fruits. Most Americans only get 10 to 15 grams of fiber per day through their normal diet vs. the recommended 20 to 35 grams.

Also read:

Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha’s weight loss plan

What diet did Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor follow to lose weight?

Four foods to stay in shape

(Editor’s note: Views expressed here are not of The Global Indian magazine. Seek medical advice.)

Bollywood Food Health

Secrets of Sonam Kapoor weight loss diet

Weight loss was a major goal for Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor. She had studied in a boarding school in Singapore for two years, and had no intentions of losing weight because she wasn’t planning to make a career in Bollywood. For Sonam Kapoor weight loss was a distant goal.

She had gained eyed pounds more as due to her emotional eating. Being alone in a foreign land with thousands of miles away from her parent had created a real craving for fatty foods for Sonam Kapoor. When she decided to enter Bollywood, she was faced with a big question: how to lose more than 30 kilos fast?

For Sonam Kapoor weight loss diet was a major challenge. Being a Punjabi, she had a natural inclination for food. “We are from Peshawar, a city where rich food and eating with abandon is a way of life,” Sonam said in a newspaper interview. “I am very proud of my roots. But I realised it is neither healthy nor practical to live that way.

For Sonam Kapoor weight loss tips came from her mother who was a big help. “Having a health-conscious mother has been a blessing. She’s always made sure we ate , wholesome meals, and as a family, we avoid overeating.”

When she decided to enter Bollywood, she committed herself to losing weight. She was willing to do whatever it took to lose weight fast. She followed a strict diet plan and her mother helped her.

“It was my mother who helped me get rid of my excess weight.”

What diet did Sonam Kapoor follow to lose weight?

Sonam Kapoor weight loss diet

Sonam Kapoor – before

She stayed away from all the usual culprits that cause weight gain: chocolates, ice creams, fried foods and sweets. Her mother helped with this. “The first thing she did was to keep me off the stuff I was so fond of as a teenager-chocolates, ice creams, fried foods and sweets.” She had her eyes firmly set on losing 35 kgs.

She was put on a six-meals a day diet which was a low carb, high protein diet. “My breakfast consisted of oatmeal and fruits. Post-work-out, I had brown bread with egg whites. Afterwards, it was a protein shake with juice.”

Sonam’s lunch included dal, sabzi, one ragi roti, salad and a piece of chicken or fish.

She had an evening serving of high-fibre crackers with chicken cold cuts or egg whites.

Her last meal of the day was soup, salad and a piece of chicken or fish.

“I followed this routine for a year and lost 35 kilos in all,” says Sonam.

She also avoided fried food. “I am quite particular about avoiding fried foods and sweets.

“Salt and sugar are silent killers, so I consume both in moderation by switching to natural sugars and seasoning in my food.”

Exercises for Sonam Kapoor weight loss

She was trained by industry experts in yoga, Pilates and Kathak too. She received weight training from Shervir and Monisha, general fitness with trainer Zarine Watson, artistic yoga and Power Yoga from Bharat Thakur, Pilates from Yasmin Karachiwala.

She also trained in Kathak. “It’s a vigorous form of classical dance and helps you get a toned body.”

Since Sonam played many sports in her school days, especially basketball and rugby, she had the flexibility needed to perform cardio exercises.

“I feel cardiovascular exercises work best for me in combination with weight training. Each day of the week I focus on a particular body part, such as the abdomen, arms, shoulders or waist.”

Sonam completes 30 minutes of cardio every day. This is supported by dance exercises twice a week, which she has learnt from Ashley Lobo.

“On other days I practice Bharat Thakur’s Power Yoga. It is very strenuous but has immense health benefits.

She also loves to swim in the months of summer.

“Whenever I get the time, I play squash too, which requires a lot of strength. I try to do different workouts and balance them out in order to keep my motivation high.” She also mixes exercises which is more fun and helps burn more calories.

So, there you have it, Sonam Kapoor’s exercise regime: cardio, squash, swimming, dance and power yoga.

Sonam Kapoor weight loss secret

Reducing fat and losing weight is possible if you eat in moderation. “I never binge and eat everything in moderation.” However, this does not mean yo should starve yourself.

“I never ignore my cravings. I eat whenever a craving strikes, but in small portions.

“When I felt like chocolates, I didn’t hold back, I took a small piece.

“When I’m traveling I carry an apple or sandwich or health bars to satisfy myself without piling on excess calories.

Sonam Kapoor’s detox tips for weight loss

Sonam drinks warm water to flush toxins out of the body in first thing in the morning. That was her grandmother’s tip. “t flushes out toxins from the system. I follow it up with honey and lime water.”

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day also helps to remove the toxins.

“I drink coconut water every hour or two; it not only quenches my thirst but also helps me feel fun.

Other natural drinks such as cucumber juice and buttermilk also help me stay hydrated and keep my energy levels up.”

She also tries to stay in a healthy, ‘no smoking’ environment everywhere she goes.

Myths about weight loss

You don’t have to starve yourself to lose weight. In fact, you may even gain weight if you suppress your craving for food.

“Yeah, looking at my figure people often assume that I don’t eat much.

“On the contrary, I eat every two hours. Since my day is packed with strenuous physical activity-shooting, swimming or dancing-I never allow myself to go hungry for too long. I snack on nuts and dry fruits.”

One last weight loss tip by Sonam Kapoor

It is possible to lose weight as long as you are committed to eat healthy food every day. It is important to seek medical advice. You might be gaining weight due to sickness.

Sonam Kapoor’s weight loss diet

Breakfast

An egg white omlette, a toast, a seasonal fruit, a glass of warm water. You can even try idli, or poha.

Lunch

Chicken, rotis, a seasonal vegetable, curd and fruits. “I try to avoid red meat. Once in a blue moon, I do have white rice too. My rotis are made of bajra, bran or jowar or any low grade protein-rich wheat.” Sonam also drinks a few cups of tea without sugar.

Dinner

Not just what you eat, but when you eat also matters in weight loss. Early dinner is extremely important. “Usually have it by 6:30 pm. On most days it is a vegetarian or chicken sandwich, salad and may be some crispy French fries.

“I also enjoy fish- grilled or cooked in a Spartan gravy. If I still feel hungry then I end my day with a glass of soya milk or a protein shake before going to bed. In addition, I take multi-vitamins.”

How did Sonam Kapoor lose weight?

Eat more often, but less – Eat every two hours. Avoid fatty foods to lose weight quickly.

Exercise – its a myth that you can lose weight by diet alone. Exercise, even if moderate, is important. Use a combination of cardiovascular exercises with weight training.

Follow routine – try to follow a routine for eating, sleeping and exercise

Relax – a stressed body is more prone to put on weight. Just put on the music and shake a leg.

Toxins – reduce all toxins including drinks that contain caffeine, such as Coke, coffee and tea.

Fluids – Water should be your preferred drink, not Coke or Pepsi. And when drinking water, drink at least 1.5 litres.

How long did it take Sonam Kapoor to lose weight? She had to be persistent over months to lose weight.

If Sonam Kapoor can lose more than 35kgs fast, so can you. You just need Sonam Kapoor’s weight loss and diet plan, and a little bit of commitment.

Also read: Sonakshi Sinha Weight Loss Plan