Moderation – the key to a healthful diet
The appropriate diet you should eat to lower your triglycerides is one that is moderate in fat. A typical woman can daily consume 3-4 Tablespoons (45-50 g/day) of oilslfats and a typical man 5-6 Tablespoons of oilslfats(75 g/day), but the fat should be primarily from monounsaturated sources. Monounsaturated fats are the fats found in olive oil and canola oil. Avoid foods made with saturated fat (fat that is solid at room temperature). To reduce the LDL (bad) cholesterol in your blood, saturated fat and dietary cholesterol should be reduced in the diet. Saturated fats have the most dramatic effect on raising LDL cholesterol. These are butter, ghee, lard, shortening, coconut and the fat in meat including chicken. They are solid at room temperature. They are also found in baked goods (pastries, kulfi, rasmalai, pies, cakes and cookies) and prepared foods made with these fats such as in restaurants (fried appetizers, marinated entrees, butter and cream based sauces). To lower your cholesterol you would choose as little saturated fat as possible and lose weight if you are overweight.
All fats are not created equal
You can eat other types of fat. It is simply not true that “no fat in the diet is better than any fat in the diet”. One type of fat that is thought to be “good” is called monounsaturated fat. This is the type of fat in olives and olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil. By using canola and olive oil in food preparation you can improve your cholesterol levels. If you have a weight problem you will want to limit the intake of all oils including the monounsaturated oils. You can use these in cooking and on food such as salad dressings. There are a few margarines and mayonnaises made with monounsaturated fat. Read your labels carefully looking for canola or olive oil or that list more of these (monounsaturated fat) than other fats on the label. The new margarines made from plant cholesterol e.g. “Benecol” and “Take Control” can also lower LDL cholesterol levels.
Vegetarian alternatives including use of Soy
Tofu is an excellent choice for protein especially in place of “Paneer”. Unlike “Paneer” which is high in saturated fat, the fat in tofu is preferable to unsaturated fat. Legumes (dried beans and lentils) including “daal” are naturally low in fat, high in protein and carbohydrate and in fiber. Soy milk like tofu is available in low fat varieties. Soy milk usually has a beany after taste which most people find quite pleasant. Try using soy milk with fresh fruit to make delicious smoothies. Soy yogurt and soy cheese is available. Check the fat content as these can be high in fat. One egg three times per week is quite acceptable in an otherwise low fat diet. Nuts and seeds, avocados and olives are considered good fats because they are high in monounsaturated (good) fat. Be aware that these good fats are also high in calories and can cause a weight problem. Vegetarian burger patties can be convenient and nutritious alternative to the meat patties. Two or three servings (2 or 3 oz each) of protein foods and two or three servings (8 fl oz) of low fat or non fat milk or buttermilk or yogurt is recommended daily. Also recommended are 6 to 11 servings of grains and 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Use of whole milk in the preparation of “chai” and desserts during the Hindu festivals e.g.‘peda’ can add saturated fat in the diet. Though such items can be worked into occasional use on an exchange basis, they can contribute to high cholesterol and/or high triglyceride levels.