Mamta's Kitchen

Forum Thread - cholestral

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Norman, on 29/11/2005 02:24pm

Found this, thought other readers would be interested:

The National Heart, Lung and Blood institute (HTLBI) recently lowered it's cholesterol guidelines. The recommendations indicate that people at high risk for heart attacks should have the LDL cholesterol (“the bad kind&radquo;) under 100mg/dl instead of 130mg/dl.

Unfortunatly this may mean that more people will start taking cholesterol lowering drugs in order to meet the new guideline.

Even though some people may need these drugs to help lower their cholesterol you should not overlook how some simple lifestyle changes can help. Nothing major; simply adjusting some habits may make a difference.

Factors that help reduce the bad LDL cholesterol include good nutrition, controlling your weight and exercise.

Adding whole wheat and whole grains, nuts, nut oils and salmon may help. The whole wheat, grains and nuts have fiber to help lower your LDL cholesterol while nuts, nut oils and salmon help raise your good (HDL) cholesterol levels while lowering the bad (LDL) cholesterol.

Christopher Freville

Alberquerque, NM

AskCy, on 29/11/2005 11:26pm

As far as I'm aware the body makes all the cholesterol that it needs.

We end up with raised levels when we eat extra in foods that contain it (such as oils and fats). The body can get rid of some of it when you "catch it" by eating fibre in your diet.

Cholesterol is the bodies lubricant but too much clogs the system.

Mamta, on 30/11/2005 01:02pm

Hello Steve

Long time no see! We have missed your input on this board.

Apart from eating habits, hypercholesterolemia can be genetic and hereditary too, as most of Asians know to our cost!

While making life style changes is very important, cholesterol lowering drugs do help to bring LDL levels down in people with hereditary/genetic problems and save lives.


AskCy, on 30/11/2005 09:03pm

yes with it coming upto Christmas I've been busy doing the shopping and sorting varying things out like putting a computer together without daughter even noticing its there.. (and she's a nosy little )

Medical Scientis, on 19/2/2006 05:55am

Here is my long take on this (sorry). Most people(including the USDA) seem to be missing or under emphasizing the role of refined carbohydrates. In fact your total carb load should be quite moderate. In our research, we have seriously questioned the existing dogmas of massive carb loading as is recomended. This is not to go along with the Atkins diet fully, but our carb needs are quite small. Even fiber in excess inhibits nutrient absorption (e.g. phytates in grain fiber). I have found that the Indian vegetarian diet esp. the one followed by the Jains (no offense meant here)to be most harmful. The diet is too low in protein and essential fats and does more harm than the so called saturated fat. Also, coconut oil being a medium chain fatty acid, is not an offender in sensible amounts. Whole coconuts provide decent nutrition when part of a balanced diet. Eggs have also needlessly received a bad rap, as a few eggs a week is healthful. The trick as many have pointed out, is to control the total calorific intake and balance it with exercise. Mamta has also rightfully pointed out the role of genetics.

Trans fatty acids are the worst, but we have found that cooking of carbs (and BBQ of meat) (caramelizing at high temp.) to be even more harmful, as these linked sugars are handled very poorly by the body and can chemically induce artery hardening. I happen to like these breaded, crisped roasted stuff, but I limit consumption. Steaming and light stir frying is best but then life would get very boring.

In conclusion, a note to vegetarians esp. vegans: From an evolutionary perspective, humans are better suited to a meat based diet (with some nuts and vegetables thrown in). At 30 years per generation and about 4000 odd years since agriculture, we can see that we are still "paleolithic" inside. Many Indians shifted to hard core vegetarianism too quickly and are paying the price. The sudden availability of grain during the dawn of agriculture adversely impacted health (including dental health). I also examined sections of early Indian scripture of the Vedas, only to find that meat was highly prized and prayers were conducted for its continued availabilty. The morality of meat eating that my wife throws at me is also a bogus one, as after all we are part of a food chain.

We still stay married and eat our preferred foods! Viva la freedom.....

kennyliza, on 19/2/2006 10:11am

I like browning my onions when I'm cooking a curry. Does this mean that this is bad because it is caramelising the sugar?

Mamta, on 19/2/2006 11:40am

Hello Medical Scientis

Thanks for your interesting mail. I hope more people will join in to express their opinions.

The morale of this story is to eat everything in moderation and not to go for faddy diets that exclude any food groups or types. Your point about high temperature cooking being harmful is very valid. I agree, eat things you like, but limit the amount if they are not so healthy and surplus/harmful to body.s nutritional requirements.

You are quite right about Vedas. Our ancestors did eat meat and we are part of a food chain. Just because we humans can stop eating meat, doesn.t mean that the rest of the food chain will also find alternative foods. As to whether it is right or wrong to eat meat, each person has to make their own decision, based upon their own reasons, whether religious, nutritional or moral. Many modern people become vegetarian, because they don.t like taking life to keep themselves alive. It is interesting that if people are stuck somewhere without vegetarian food for a while, say in a jungle or on a boat, they will revert to eating whatever they can lay their hands on, in order to survive.

I am glad you have freedom of choice in your household ;-)!

Best wishes


Medical Scientis, on 19/2/2006 08:29pm


In regards to your query about browning of foods the answer is "yes". Browning of the potato (and other roots/tubers) produces these linked sugars which react with tissue and blood in an undesirable manner and dont metabolize that well either. The good news is that the body clears most of it out quickly if the amounts are modest. (assuming normal kidney function) The trick is to eat only one item in small quantities per day that is prepared this way. Diabetics run into trouble becase their kidneys tend to be somewhat compromised to varying extents and are less tolerant, thus going on to develop atheroscerosis. The moral for the rest of us is to be sensible and not go crazy. Even heating milk produces these compounds in small quantities even though no "browning" has taken place. Diabetics should truly minimize carbs and "browned" products. The worst offenders are of course fast foods (McDonalds etc.) as their entire menu is full of this. Since these browned sugars make things tasty it is all over the place; fries, hash browns, apple pop tarts, breaded and browned chicken etc. etc. They spray extra sugar on the fries before frying to boot. Add milk shakes and soon you have a high calorie heart clogger. Once a month only please! (Americans eat this thrice a week starting at a young age so you can see the problem).

AskCy, on 20/2/2006 11:31pm

I remember reading about McDonalds spraying a sugar solution on the potato to help brown them but only during part of the growing season as its own natural sugars didn't develop enough (or something along those lines. It was a long time ago) What is basically said was at some times of the year the fries wouldn't brown as well, so they helped them...

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