Youngsters more prone to high cholesterol levels!

Updated: Jul 12, 2013, 18:53 PM IST

Ankita Chakrabarty/ Zee Research Group/ Delhi

One out of every four Indians between the age–group of 20–29 years have high cholesterol which is making the y-gen more and more prone to heart and liver diseases. Generally, two out of every five Indians have high cholesterol. Top doctors in the national capital have found that youth in the country are becoming increasingly prone to high cholesterol levels. The medical fraternity is of opinion that one should change cooking oil every month to keep cholesterol levels under control.

According to a study report titled “Cooking oils for heart health” done by Department of Cardiology of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, a heart healthy oil should be cholesterol and trans fats free, low unsaturated fats and high in Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Mustard and Canola oils offer to be ideal in this regard.

Cholesterol is the fatty substance that is found in the blood stream and the body cells. It is an essential substance required for a proper functioning of body especially the brain.

One should use mixture of oils or one should change oil as a cooking medium every month to avoid the rise of cholesterol levels. Endorsing the above view, Dr. Dhananjay Kumar Jhamb, executive director, cathlab and cardiology at Rockland Hospitals, Delhi, said, “One should always make use of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids oil like olive oil, rice bran oil, sunflower oil and mustard oil.”

No variety of cooking oil should be used consecutively for more than two months.

“It is always ideal to change oil after every one or two months,” further added Dr. Jhamb at Rockland Hospital.

Cholesterol is of two types: high density lipoprotein (HDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL). LDL cholesterol is considered as “bad cholesterol” responsible for allowing fatty plaques to develop in the lumen of arteries, leading to their narrowing. If this narrowing develops in coronary arteries (supplying blood to the heart), the person can develop coronary artery disease (CAD) and can lead to heart attacks. HDL cholesterol on the other hand is called as “good cholesterol” and can prevent the development and evolution of these dangerous plaques.

The prevalence of high cholesterol levels depends on geographical location and different dietary habits. Reiterating the above view, Dr. Jhamb at Rockland Hospital, said, “People living in hilly areas have high levels of good cholesterol and low levels of bad cholesterol whereas those living in plains have high levels of bad cholesterol.”

Precaution is better than cure. Concurring with the above view , Dr. A.K Bali , consultant , internal medicine at Moolchand Medcity , Delhi , said , “A simple blood test on an empty stomach can estimate the cholesterol fractions, which should ideally look like : Total cholesterol intake should be less than 200 mg/dl, with the following ratios-LDL less than 100 mg/dl ,HDL greater than 60mg and Triglycerides level should be less than 150mg/dl.”

“An ideal diet to overcome high cholesterol should include: Intake of fresh seasonal vegetable juices like bottle gourd (lauki), celery and aloe vera ; diet rich in fiber, fruits and one should avoid intake of red meat,” advised Dr. Bali at Moolchand Medcity , Delhi.

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