Reduce Total Fat Intake to Lower Cholestrol

I have been diagnosed with 250mg/dl level of cholesterol. Should I avoid all non-veg food completely? I find myself indulging in fried papad and pickle at my meal times as I have completely given up non-veg. Please guide me how to handle this situation. I am about 5-7kgs over weight too.

Yes, we have to be very careful about non-veg intake with high cholesterol levels but eating other fatty foods in its place is not going to help the situation.

My belief is that to reduce cholesterol we need to first understand which foods contain high levels of cholesterol, which foods contain saturated fat and which foods have a very high fat content like deep fried food, pickles, nuts etc. All these affect cholesterol levels.

First of all let's deal with foods with very high cholesterol content. Non-veg foods like organ meats, liver, brain, kidney, shrimp (small prawns) egg yolk, mutton, beef, pork, cream of milk (whole milk) ice-cream, butter, ghee, cheese, paneer, must be completely avoided till you see the levels drop to at least 170. After this you may eat any of these once in a week, at any one meal. But now don't touch these.

You may eat lean chicken, without skin, or fish, 2-3 times in a week but preferably only at lunchtime. You may eat 2 egg whites even daily, as they are a good source of high quality protein. You need to take 500 ml of commercially skimmed milk daily. The dairy milk with fat removed is not good enough and is to be avoided as far as possible.

Now foods high in saturated fat, we can identify these as fats that solidify at room temperature. They may be of vegetable origin but since the type of fat is saturated it is easily converted to cholesterol in your body. Hydrogenated margarines or butter substitutes and other solid fats that we use to make bakery items like cookies, biscuits and cakes, puffs and pastries are also dangerous. So don't liberally spread your bread with butter substitutes, you can't use it at all till your levels are normal. Try to use green chutney, ketchup, jam or honey on bread but not butter of any-kind.

A couple of marie biscuits or crackers is all that you may have with tea but any other biscuits or cookies must be avoided for a while. Chocolate, ice-cream and all other creamy desserts have to be avoided too. Chocolate is saturated fat. Coconut and coconut chutney is also solid fat so dangerous for a cholesterol patient.

Finally all fried foods and snacks have to be avoided as they will contribute to the total fat intake in the diet going up and the cholesterol level cannot come down. Lastly nuts are again 50-60% fat content. Even if it is unsaturated fat that they contain 100gm of nuts is approximately 500 calories and 50-60% of this is fat. Even roasted or boiled, it makes no difference, the fat is inside so please avoid.

So you can't touch pickle or papad till your level drops but eat your chicken and fish thrice a week. What you need to do is follow the above rules very strictly for 3-4 months and after you strike normal levels and lose weight you may indulge once or twice a week and maintain your levels and weight. If you indulge now, even once a week the levels will never come down.

A total amount of 2-3 teaspoons oil may be used daily to season dhals, vegetables etc.
Avoid coconut oil.

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