High cholesterol is typically combated with daily medication that often leaves a bitter after-taste. But bringing you some sweet relief is the natural way to battle this condition as explained by Ayurvedic physician Dr. Swapnil Bhanushali .
What is cholesterol
“Cholesterol is the substance that is formed in the liver and is made from the fats that we consume. There are two types of cholesterol – high-density lipoprotein (HDL) that is good cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is bad cholesterol. Ayurveda is effective in reducing bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol,” explains Dr. Bhanushali.
Besides running off the fat and staying off greasy burgers and cheesy pizzas, or anything that will put a load on your heart, try the following Ayurvedic diet tips as recommended by Dr. Bhanushali to bring down cholesterol.
- Fruits, vegetables and nuts are ideal ingredients to lower bad cholesterol. The fiber content present in these foods reduces the absorption of fat in the intestines. The best fruit to achieve this is pomegranate as it is rich in antioxidants, which are effective in lowering bad cholesterol. But it is advisable to consume citrus fruits too as they have added benefits. Eating the fruit as opposed to simply drinking its juice, is more beneficial as that gives you enough fiber to control cholesterol. Doing this will help you shed some weight as well.
- Avoid pickles and fried food items like fries, chips, cheeseburgers, fast food etc. These foods are high in LDL which cause the spike in cholesterol and may trigger other conditions like diabetes or even lead to obesity. Instead of fried foods, try to opt for baked or steamed food to keep your cholesterol in check.
- Non vegetarian foods, especially red meat and shell fish are best avoided and carbohydrates like white rice should be consumed in moderation.
- Dairy products like cheese and butter are high in saturated fats and are best avoided if you suffer from high cholesterol. Milk can be consumed in moderation and Ayurveda advises cow’s milk as it is low in fats and calories and will help keep cholesterol down while fulfilling the needs of calcium and vitamins. As such, ghee prepared out of cow’s milk is allowed in moderate quantities.
- Avoid fast food, white bread, soft drinks and candies or chocolates.
Ayurvedic Medications for High Cholesterol
While changing the way you eat is one way to combat high cholesterol and increase your HDL levels, merely making adjustments in your diet will not suffice. The inclusion of these foods will assist in the cleansing of your arteries, but certain herbal medicines will be needed to treat the condition. Dr. Bhanushali lists out some of the important ones. “Medications like Arjunarishtha, Arogyavardhini, Triphala guggulu, etc. should be taken under the supervision of an Ayurvedic physician.” He leaves us with a few words of wisdom. “Eat as per one’s Agni (digestive fire), moderation is the key, low-animal fats and little sweets.”
High cholesterol is common in individuals with a sedentary lifestyle, an unhealthy diet and an affinity to poor eating habits. The combination of all three is an open invitation to high cholesterol and all problems associated with it. Go the Ayurveda way to help kick these habits and gain a healthy lifestyle. After all “Health is Wealth.”