Cholesterol on the Rise? Expert Reveals Secrets to Keeping it in Check And Preventing Heart Attacks

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But why is bad cholesterol becoming rampant? Dr Mehta attributes this surge to our modern diets, which are increasingly rich in animal-derived foods.

But why is bad cholesterol becoming rampant? Dr Mehta attributes this surge to our modern diets, which are increasingly rich in animal-derived foods.

But why is bad cholesterol becoming rampant? Dr Mehta attributes this surge to our modern diets, which are increasingly rich in animal-derived foods.

Besides heart attacks, diabetes, and hypertension, another common ailment plaguing India is high cholesterol. It seems almost everyone’s cholesterol levels are skyrocketing, posing the biggest threat to heart health and potentially leading to cardiac emergencies at any age. But have you ever wondered why this waxy, troublesome substance is multiplying in your body? What exactly fuels its growth and how can you regain control to steer clear of heart attacks? Let’s uncover these mysteries with insights from Dr Ashwini Mehta, an esteemed heart specialist at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi.

Recently, the Cardiological Society of India issued fresh guidelines emphasising that maintaining healthy cholesterol levels could prevent up to half of the heart attacks in the country. Dr Mehta, a senior consultant in cardiology, explained that cholesterol is produced in two forms in our bodies: good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. However, the catch is that the same foods boosting good cholesterol can also elevate the bad kind. Achieving balance in our diet thus becomes crucial to lowering bad cholesterol and promoting good cholesterol for overall heart health.

But why is bad cholesterol becoming rampant? Dr Mehta attributes this surge to our modern diets, which are increasingly rich in animal-derived foods such as milk, dairy products, and meats. Moreover, the refining of our food supply is exacerbating the issue. Unlike centuries ago, refined sugars and flour dominate our diets today, packing in more calories and less nutrition. Our bodies, largely unchanged genetically over millennia, struggle to cope with these modern dietary excesses, leading to spikes in cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and inflammation—culminating in serious conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

So, what’s the solution? What can people do?

According to Dr Mehta, the answer lies in lifestyle adjustments. Simplify your diet, steer clear of packaged and processed foods, and minimise consumption of refined flours and oils. Reserve junk food for rare treats, opting instead for wholesome, natural alternatives. Trim down on refined ingredients in your kitchen and ramp up physical activity—make it a daily routine to exercise and aim for a brisk 2 to 5-kilometer walk.

Dr Mehta underscores that both Ayurveda and allopathy concur on these principles. Aligning with Ayurvedic wisdom, he recommends structuring your day, rising early, and embracing Ritucharya — a practice that harmonises diet and lifestyle with the seasons—ensuring holistic well-being rooted in tradition and science alike.

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