Sunday, September 05, 2010

How I reduced my Cholesterol without medication!

Its been more than 2 months since I created a draft for blogging this and never got around to finishing it. Today just might be that day...

It all started when an Insurance application of mine got rejected for medical reasons. I at 43, who can run 10k under 1hr and play basketball with college kids was taken aback. How could this be? With some inquiry, the reason was found that my Cholesterol was high. So high that they rejected insuring me! Did that mean they thought chances of me living beyond 10 yrs was too low and they feared making a payout? geez.

Anyway, it set off red flags in our family and I made that long pending appointment with our family doctor to get my blood tested. The results came back..and was high. Total Cholesterol at 230 (30 over high of normal range) with the bad stuff, LDL at 160 (10pts over max)!

The doctor was concerned enough to immediately recommend drugs, which I duly declined and requested her to suggest other methods. She looked dubiously at me, probably wondering if I was capable of following what she was going to suggest. Maybe I looked earnest enough and she suggested the following, giving me 3months to get it back into normal range.


- Morning breakfast: Oatmeal along with black dry grapes, pistachio, almonds, fig, etc. Avoid brown dry grapes(sugar) and Cashews(cholesterol). [I took this for 4 days at least in a week, using Diet Horlicks milk as base to mix Oatmeal and dry fruits in along with a chopped Yellaki (small) banana or apple]
If there is something nice for breakfast such as Dosas, eat the above stuff and then maybe one dosa so that you don't miss out on it and feel miserable. That is, you don't have to sacrifice the usual stuff to follow the regimen.

- Dinner, we usually have Chappathis. I switched to Plulkas which is prepared without oil.

- Lunch, I reduced the amount of rice I ate.

- I consciously avoided or reduced snacking in-between meals. At buffets or family functions, I ate normally but declined second helping of fried or fatty stuff like sweets.

- Avoided yellows of eggs. Reduced or did not use butter, ghee when preparing food.


I was already quite active with running and Basketball. She suggested adding badminton once a week to the routine. Since I had played this game competitively, it was a great workout. I did not over do all this.. just about 1hr a day for 6 days a week.. maybe 30mins more on game playing days.

After about 4 months..(ya, took an extra month just to be on the safe side), did my blood test and waited expectantly for the results.

Lo and behold.. I did pass the test as required by the doctor.
Weight down by 3kgs.
Total Cholesterol came down to 201. (drop of 29)
LDL came down to 130. (drop of 30).

I took it happily like a student to the teacher and nearly held out my hand for some stars from the doctor which I think I deserved! She did not give that... but...congratulated me and said follow the same routine and I should be fine.

So, hopefully she is right..and for the time being I avoided popping a pill every day.
In the bargain, I feel better and fitter.

Sharing all this here, so that someone out there will also be able to use my new found wisdom in Cholesterol control by natural means! :)


Pushpa said...

firstly nanda, you shd post this in sulekha (i make this extra trip for you!!)
i like to say that my cholestrol, triglycerides etc are just about normal which does not mean anything as life just takes you by surprise! my better-half gives me a complex as he takes all the extra care - running, eating-well etc and also popping in a garlic every morning in a empty stomach!!your suggestions look easy enough and let me give it a shot.

Anonymous said...

Congrats man, this is the long haul and you have started very well. Keep going and i am sure the doc will congratulate one of these days once you are closer to the midrange!


Nanda said...

@Pushpa, thanks... it always is best to keep some balance by being cautious a few times in our eating routine. Yet to post it in Sulekha, will do so one of these days.

@Bhaskar, thanks... ya, its good I am able to get into this routine early enough so that I am not surprised later. If it still happens, oh well, at least it wont be because of unhealthy habits which I could have controlled! :)

Anonymous said...

very interesting, thanks

U&Me said...

thats inspiring :)
Recently I was diognized with some stomach infections and was prescribed drugs immediately. I wish I too had asked for an alternative. Although I took some heavy doses a dietitian friend of mine recommended me to have boiled fenugreek seeds early morning empty stomach. It worked like wonders. It reduces your cholesterol level magically. I havent had bad stomach since then. It shall start working in 3 days my friend... give it a try :)

Nanda said...

Thats good to know. I am glad that my experience posted here helped somebody. I feel our generation is too quick to try drugs/medical procedures to fix problems which are mostly fundamental habit issues. It just sweeps the problem under the carpet to reappear again. Just today I read an Ad for weight loss, 4000 Rs for losing 5kg, 7000 Rs for losing 10kg, all without dieting! just amazing... :)

Nanda said...

Just an update. My recent blood test (dec 21st 2011) gave the following:
Total: 156
Triglycerides: 123
HDL: 34 (on the low side)
LDL: 97
CHOL/HDL Ratio: 4.5:1
All good except the HDL but the ratio is better than optimal! Ya!

The past year (2011) I have actually not followed the diet very strictly. Oatmeal twice a week, oil-less Chappathis(fulkas) for dinner, less rice for lunch, limited fried stuff(no 2nd helpings) are what I can say without blushing! I still eat all that I fancy. Excercise has been good though. I trained for and ran the 1/2 marathon < 2hrs in Oct. I consistently workout 4-5 times a week. All these together seems to have done the trick! Hope it continues...

Good luck in your efforts!