If you are looking for ways to reduce cholesterol levels, you must make lifestyle changes. Nuts, especially walnuts, are said to lower cholesterol levels since they are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. However, they are expensive and don't work miracles overnight. You will need to take at least 1/2 a cup of shelled walnuts, every day, for them to begin affecting your cholesterol levels.
Other foods can be included in the diet, that have an equally positive response. Also, make exercise a part of your daily regimen.
A tip about foods: Have foods in their natural form. Avoid processed foods like maida, have whole-grain flours, instead. Prefer a mix of millets (jau, bajra, jowar etc.), along with whole wheat flour. Also, add soya atta to the chappatis. Include high-fibre fruits and vegetables in your diet, as the soluble fibres in them help remove the cholesterol from the body.
1. All vegetables are good for lowering cholesterol levels, but lauki (bottle gourd) is said to act faster
2. Apples also have properties that lower cholesterol levels, as do oranges
3. Use cold-pressed oils instead of refined oils. The following fats are healthy - coconut, sesame seed (til), sunflower, peanut, mustard (sarson) and olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is the best among these fats, as it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, but it is costly
4. Seeds, especially sesame, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds are particularly good
5. Fish, especially the oily variety, is excellent. Salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines (google for local names) will reduce cholesterol levels. Omega-3 fish oil capsules are available, online; they are expensive but effective
6. Isabgol (psyllium husk - unflavoured variety) can be taken before retiring to bed. It is rich in fibre, though it is tasteless and gummy, and difficult to eat. Alternatively, a few teaspoons of the husk can be added to the atta, used for making roti
Remember, the liver produces cholesterol, and sometimes diet alone may not bring down the levels, mainly if the liver is producing more cholesterol. You will then need statins to control the levels.
The key to maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is a healthy plant-based diet, combined with exercise. Drink a lot of water. Avoid ghee, butter and foods with trans fats and hydrogenated fats. Biscuits, namkeens and other fast foods should be out of your diet. If you are a non-vegetarian, take only white meat, chicken without the skin, remove all fat from the meat you eat.
I will write a detailed article on practices that I follow, which have helped me maintain healthy cholesterol levels, all my life. Neither my husband nor I suffer from age-related health problems.
'A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak' - Micheal Garrett Marino