“Cholesterol (a waxy substance that starts coating arteries and pathways of the body) is much needed by the body as the cells, membranes and nerves are made up of it. But in many cases it can tip over, leading to heart disease and other issues,” macrobiotic nutritionist Shonali Sabherwal said in an Instagram post.
While high levels of “good” HDL cholesterol are beneficial, too much “bad” LDL cholesterol can lead to heart conditions. If you have been recently diagnosed with bad cholesterol, it is important to make certain lifestyle changes, starting right from your diet.
Plant-based diet includes vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and whole grains, which are naturally rich in components such as soluble fibre, soy protein and plant sterols, and are often recommended for maintaining cholesterol levels.
Diet tweaks suggested by Sabherwal:
*Increase magnesium (acts like a statin, preventing more build-up)
*Drink green tea (reduce LDL cholesterol)
*Eat more fibre from whole grains (soluble fibre). “That’s why you hear a lot of people recommending psyllium husk to lower cholesterol,” said Sabherwal.
*Add vitamin K2 (reduces serum cholesterol)
*Add coconut oil (cold pressed) balances LDL to HDL ratio
*Add garlic (lowers total cholesterol)
*Add chia or flax seeds or fish oils (increases omegas)
*Stay away from trans fats, processed foods, sugar, smoking and too much alcohol