ICMR: Cholesterol rates highest in Tamil Nadu

Cholesterol is just one of the many substances created and used by human bodies to help stay healthy.

Chennai: Nutrition is given very little importance in Tamil Nadu where people appear to consume foods that aggravate cholesterol levels. A study by ICMR reveals that cholesterol rate is highest in the state.

Highest rates of hypercholesterolemia was observed in Tamil Nadu (18.3%), highest rates of hypertriglyceridemia in Chandigarh (38.6%), highest rates of low HDL-C in Jharkhand (76.8%) and highest rates of high LDL-C in Tamil Nadu (15.8%).

High levels are considered to be the cause for a host of illnesses, including heart disease, blood pressure and diabetes.

Cholesterol is just one of the many substances created and used by human bodies to help stay healthy.

Dyslipidemia (abnormal amount of lipids e.g. cholesterol and - or fat) in the blood may be due to diet and lifestyle, was diagnosed using National Cholesterol Education Programme (NCEP) guidelines.

The ICMR study claims that regional disparity existed with the highest rates of hypercholesterolemia observed in Tamil Nadu (18.3%), and highest rates of high LDL-C in Tamil Nadu (15.8%).

This calls for urgent lifestyle intervention strategies to prevent and manage this important cardiovascular risk factor.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance originating from one’s body (liver makes all the cholesterol needed and circulates it through the blood) and food.

This lipid is vital for many body processes, such as insulating nerve cells in the brain and providing structure for cells but cholesterol is also found in foods from animal sources, such as meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products.

Liver produces more cholesterol when a diet high in saturated and trans fats is

Excess cholesterol can form plaque between layers of artery walls, making it harder for the heart to circulate blood.

Incorporate healthy changes in lifestyle

Urging people to incorporate healthy changes in lifestyles, Dr Vijay Viswanathan, Head and Chief Diabetologist, M.V. Hospital for Diabetes, Royapuram, here, advocates frequent monitoring of cholesterol levels.

“Reducing saturated fat is the single most important dietary change you can make to cut blood cholesterol. Used as a replacement for meat and cheese, soy foods help your heart by slashing the amount of saturated fat that you eat…. There are some plant-based saturated fats you should avoid too, notably palm kernel oil, coconut oil, and vegetable shortening,” he said.

“Another very effective change one can make is to replace products high in saturated fats like butter with lower fat alternates like low fat table spreads, which are good for health,” advices M. Sowmya Binu, senior nutritionist, Motherhood Birthing Centre, Chennai.

A recent study by the Diabetes Foundation of India (DFI) and the National Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation found that pistachios have a low glycaemic index, are naturally cholesterol free, and are source of protein, fibre and antioxidants.

These properties make consumption of pistachios potentially useful for those at risk for obesity and heart disease.

Besides, including whole grains, unprocessed food, fruits and vegetables in daily diet and exercising regularly will help.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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