Plant-based Diet for Cholesterol: How Healthy Food from Sampoorna Ahara Helped Kiran Reduce Cholesterol Levels

Plant-based Diet for Cholesterol: How Healthy Food from Sampoorna Ahara Helped Kiran Reduce Cholesterol Levels

Did you know that high blood cholesterol levels can increase your risk of heart disease? The good news though is that you can do something about it. Your lifestyle plays an important role in keeping your cholesterol levels normal. Here's how How Healthy Food from Sampoorna Ahara Helped Kiran Reduce Cholesterol Levels


What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is an essential substance that is produced by your body. It is present in every cell of the body and has important functions including digesting food, producing hormones, and allowing the body to generate vitamin D.

Cholesterol may also be introduced through dietary sources if you eat animal foods. This is called dietary cholesterol.

There are two types of cholesterol:

low-density lipoproteins (LDL), which was earlier known as “bad” cholesterol
high-density lipoproteins (HDL), which was earlier known as “good” cholesterol

Now we know that reducing all types of cholesterol, and reducing total cholesterol, gives you maximum benefit of heart disease prevention.

What Causes High Cholesterol Levels?

Eating foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats, and low in fiber, may cause you to have high cholesterol levels. This combined with the sedentary lifestyle and smoking put you at a higher risk of a range of chronic lifestyle diseases. High levels of cholesterol in your blood puts you at an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

Often you do not have any symptoms for high cholesterol and is detected through a blood test.

Many fatty foods in your daily diet may contribute to high cholesterol content

Cholesterol: it is present only in animal products such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy products.

Saturated fat: is present in some meats, dairy products, and some oils. Any product made from these ingredients will contain saturated fat

Trans fats: it is present in hydrogenated vegetable oil and animal foods, even curds. So any processed foods and deep fried foods will have high trans fats.

Is High Cholesterol Levels a Problem in India?

Cardiovascular disease in India has been on the rise. In 2016 India reported 63% of total deaths due to Non-Communicable Diseases, of which 27% were attributed to Cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular diseases also account for 45% of deaths in the 40-69 year age group.

High cholesterol levels is one of the risk factors of coronary heart disease. High LDL Cholesterol also increases your risk of other medical conditions. In India today, owing to high levels of cholesterol in foods, there has been an increase in obese adults with high heart disease risk.

Recent studies have reported that high cholesterol is present in 25-30% of urban and 15-20% rural subjects.

What Happens if You Have High Cholesterol?

If you have a family history of high cholesterol, you are more likely to have high cholesterol - but there is good news.

Most genes can only predispose you to developing high cholesterol.

Even if you don't have high cholesterol, if your parents or grandparents were diagnosed with high cholesterol, you may benefit from proactively adopting a healthy lifestyle to keep your cholesterol levels in the normal range.

There are some familial traits that can cause excessively high cholesterol and triglycerides - usually above 300 mg/dL. This may not be entirely lifestyle related and may require medications to treat it.

However, even in these cases, diet and lifestyle changes can play a major role in preventing complications and reducing chronic disease risk.

Many of these chronic lifestyle diseases run in the family because diets run in families.

The key to reducing risks and possibly preventing these disease is to change what's on your plate, and adopt an overall healthy lifestyle.

🤷🏽‍♀️ Let's be honest, you may not be hearing something like this for the first time. Now, more than ever, there are several articles, videos, and WhatsApp forwards that are health focused.

High cholesterol is one of the major causes of heart attack and coronary heart disease.

High blood cholesterol levels and high levels of triglycerides increases your risk of heart disease and risk of heart attack.

And there's no doubt in the fact that most fried foods contain cholesterol, which can turn out to be very dangerous for health in the long run.

Fried foods are also high in trans - fats, can increase your LDL cholesterol levels, contribute to weight gain and lead to metabolic syndrome.

Does this mean you should cut down on fat altogether?

No, the quantity and type of fat you eat makes the difference.

Cutting down on animal-based fats like meat and dairy products and reducing and minimising oils can go a long way in improving you health and keeping your cholesterol levels in check.

Substituting these with healthy fats like whole avocadoes, nuts and nut butters like almond butter & peanut butter, and seeds like watermelon seeds and pumpkin seeds is the way ahead.

A low-fat diet comprised of whole plant foods is a heart-healthy diet.

Additionally, research has found that consumption of oils, refined or cold pressed:

⚠️ Increases inflammation and impairs endothelial function.
⚠️ Increases your risk of autoimmune conditions, heart disease, cancer and insulin resistance among others.

👉🏽 This is why we transitioned to a Whole Food Plant Based Diet.
👉🏽 This is also why we started Sampoorna Ahara with its various offerings that improve heart health

Everything we make at Sampoorna Ahara is:
✅ 100% Vegan
✅ Sugar/jaggery/honey-free
✅ Maida-free
✅ Oil-free
✅ No Processed Plant Based Butters
✅ Fiber Rich
✅ Diabetic Friendly
✅ Premium Ingredients - Nuts, Spices, Whole Grains and Dates
✅ Calorie Dilute

Your daily calories can be full of variety, nutrition and flavour without the dietary cholesterol that animal products bring to the table.

You can enjoy all this and more while moving towards your healthy weight without eating less than you need.

Healthy food for cholesterol includes three critical steps:

1. Low saturated fat

This is the most important dietary change to reduce cholesterol. Your liver converts saturated fat into cholesterol.

The more saturated fat you eat, the higher your cholesterol levels may go.

Filter out foods with high saturated fat, such as chicken, mutton, fish, eggs, milk, ghee, butter, coconut oil, and palm oil.

Maximise foods with low saturated fat, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

2. High fiber

Fiber helps trap bile, cholesterol and fat, and poop it out everyday.

Without fiber, the fat you eat gets fully absorbed along with bile.

Fiber can help prevent this and improve fat excretion through stools.

Maximise your fiber intake from whole food plant based foods.

You can enrich your diet with daily intake of brown rice, leafy greens, fresh fruit, black-eyed peas, and get your dietary fat intake from nuts and seeds.

A diet rich in whole plant foods with all the macro and micro nutrients you need is a great way to keep yourself healthy.

We recommend getting 70-75 gms of fiber everyday, including soluble and insoluble fiber.

3. Reduce cholesterol intake

While it has less of an effect on blood cholesterol than saturated fat, eating cholesterol can boost blood cholesterol too.

Shifting from an animal food based diet to a plant based diet can help you eliminate cholesterol from your diet.

Your lab test may say that total cholesterol less than 200 mg/dL is 'desirable'.

But the problem is, people who have a cholesterol of 180-200 still have a high risk of heart attacks and stroke!

Ideally, you should aim for a total cholesterol of 150 or less, and LDL cholesterol of 50-70 or less

You can best achieve this through a whole food plant based lifestyle. Get started with learning about this atNutritonScience.inor sign up for daily meal deliveries atSampoornaAhara.comfor a more convenient option.

Video Transcript: How Healthy Food from Sampoorna Ahara Helped Kiran Reduce Cholesterol Levels

Hi and welcome to today's live video. I'm Dr. Achyuthan Eswar the co-founder of and I'm a lifestyle physician, that has dedicated my life to helping you and your family live longer healthier lives through evidence-based nutrition and lifestyle medicine.

Our goal at Sampoorna Ahara is to make healthy eating easier for you. Now, we believe that it should be just as easy as the click of a button to prevent disease, treat it, potentially even reverse it, through delicious meals, snacks, and sweets and even online courses where we teach you how to prepare these absolutely fantastic delicacies at home every single day.

Today, we have a special guest with us. I'm going to be introducing Kiran Reddy who's been a member of the Sampoorna Ahara Movement since its very inception. He has traveled abroad, he has lived in various countries, and he has come back here he's adopted a healthier diet and lifestyle for himself and for his family. Today, he's going to be sharing his experience with us. The benefits he experienced. The benefits his family experience. The difficulties he faced and how he overcame them to live a happier, healthier life today. So please join me in welcoming Kiran. Thank you so much Kiran for taking your time and spending it here with us today. We're very happy to have you on board with us at the Sampoorna Ahara Movement.

Thank you, I'm glad to be here, thank you.

Great, so Kiran could you tell us a little about yourself, about your background. What you do? Where you are today?

Yeah, sure. So my name is Kiran Reddy I was born in Bangalore, I currently work at an IT company called Rapid Circle as a cloud consultant. In my free time, I like to read books on my kindle, that is mainly fiction and I also listen to music and watch a lot of cricket - there's an IPL going on right now and also do some yoga to keep myself fit. So that's a short introduction about me.

Fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing that, Kiran. My first question for you today is what inspired you to go plant-based? What inspired you to change your diet and lifestyle and adopt a more plant-based diet? I'd love to hear about the start of your journey.

Sure, so a couple of years ago I was in the Netherlands and even when I was in the Netherlands I was pretty mindful of what I ate and I used to always do some research on what kinds of food to eat and at what times of the day I should be eating those foods for example like banana is good during the daytime but not towards the evening because it kind of becomes difficult to digest it and same goes with the apple as well. So, yeah, basic things like this I used to do a lot of research, to keep myself fit and when I came back to India, my sister was already a subscriber at Sampoorna Ahara and I heard a lot of good things about this plant-based diet subscription from her and also some of her friends were also subscribers so I decided to give it a go and I have been a subscriber since then. That is, more than two years ago now.

Lovely, so you have taken your time to do your research to learn about plant-based nutrition to learn about your health, you actively started making changes to your lifestyle, that's fantastic to hear, Kiran. When you started making these changes could you tell us about what are the health benefits that you personally experienced? There must have been a time when you started feeling better, you had more energy, you had better sleep, better motions, your focus improved, and maybe some of your lab tests improve. So, tell us about that journey what are the health benefits that you experienced.

Yeah, sure, so basically, like I mentioned a couple of years ago, I was still in the Netherlands and the Netherlands is famous for its various kinds of cheeses so I used to eat a lot of these cheeses at one point of time. I used to have around like 7 to 8 different cheeses every day and that is a very unhealthy amount of cheese to be eating for anybody and because of that my cholesterol levels short up to an alarming degree. I didn't know about it until I came back to India and had a test done. That was like a wake up call to me and when I after I started eating plant-based food from the Sampoorna Ahara subscription, I think about eight months down the line, I had another test done and this time the cholesterol levels were back to a manageable degree. So, that's when it became apparent to me that this plant-based diet is extremely good thing for your body, it can not only keep you fit but also reduce some of the existing ailments that you may have. Apart from that, like you mentioned there's definitely a change in the energy. Basically, you don't feel as tired as you used to feel as the day goes on, towards the evening and also you don't feel very hungry because the lunch that we get is quite substantial for one person, and also things like your bowel movements, those will also improve. There hasn't been any improvements in sleep to be honest, but that may be because I have worked a lot in night shifts when I was working at a call center. And also, when I was abroad we used to do these 12-hour shifts, so maybe my body has taken a toll from all that night shift work but apart from that I can definitely feel the benefits in terms of energy and in terms of lowering the cholesterol and perhaps there are some other benefits as well that I'm not aware of, so, yeah,.

Lovely, so how much did your cholesterol reduce? It went from what number to what number?

I think it was about 280 before. That's pretty high and then it came to about I think 175 something so yeah.

Wonderful! fantastic! so happy to hear that. I'm sure you would have reduce even further from there.

Yeah, probably yes.

So when you started making these changes, Kiran, what was the first step that you took? What was the first lifestyle change that you made personally? because for a lot of people they get stuck in the first step, right? It takes you a long time to start, but once you start it becomes easier to make all the other changes so what was the turning point?

I think for most people it's a change in their mindset that they have to make. For me it was slightly easier because like I mentioned I was already doing some research on plant-based food and their benefits and also I had the benefit of having my sister as a subscriber to Sampoorna Ahara. So I already had a lot of information with me beforehand. So I think for a lot of people, they are afraid of depriving themselves of the taste mainly. Most people eat food, for mostly the taste rather than I think the benefits. So for me the change that I had to make was in the timings, because I used to eat very late, especially in the evenings around I think 8:30 or 9:00p.m before, but now with the subscription it is delivered every day at a specific time and in order to retain the freshness of the food, I tend to eat it as soon as we get the food. So yeah, I think the timing when I used to eat food is the biggest change that I had to make.

Fantastic! I'm so happy to hear that you are able to improve your food timings. You're able to start eating healthier meals this as well and from that point until now you have continued eating a healthy diet and you didn't give up half way and that's another problem people face. They get started but then something happens and they get stuck and then everything reverts back to their old unhealthy lifestyle. So my next question for you, Kiran, is what made you decide to stick to a plant-based diet until now.

Sure, so basically I think it comes down to the personal discipline that you have. If you give up too easily on something then you will be giving up you know on a lot of other things as well. So it comes down to your perseverance. How much you're willing to persevere. Like I said, anything in the beginning is quite tough. So in the beginning when I subscribed to Sampoorna Ahara, it was a little bit difficult for me as well. To change from the food that I was eating to a completely plant-based food and also there were a lot of varieties and the low salt and all this. So there were a lot of changes but I had a lot of determination that is one is obviously to reduce those cholesterol levels and the second was also I knew that continuing with plant-based food diet will definitely reap huge rewards in the future. So keeping that in mind, I persevered and it's not that I completely deprive myself of of other foods like if I want to have a pizza maybe I'll have it you know once a week or once every two weeks on a Saturday or a Sunday. So I can still eat those foods and enjoy it but my focus is to have about 80 to 90 percent of plant-based diet and 10 percent of other kinds of food. So, yeah that's about it.

Fantastic, I'm happy to hear about your perseverance and the way you stuck to healthy eating and the way you've gotten further and further on that journey from then until now. I'm sure you will hit that hundred percent very soon now. It's difficult to change yourself but you made it happen right? Something that's even more difficult than even that is to change your family and you said that you were lucky in that respect because your sister was already eating Sampoorna Ahara, she was already eating a whole food plant-based diet, but what about the rest of your family? How did you feel when you came back and you had to convince some other people at home? or your other relatives when you spoke to them about plant-based diet. What was your experience like?

So, actually, like you mentioned, my sister was already a subscriber, so in her family, she was the only person eating plant-based food. She has two kids but with kids it is uh difficult to convince them you know to change their diets. So she was the only person having that food but in my family it's me and mother for now. And with my mother there were no problems, she took to it very easily and so I don't think she had to make a lot of changes because she is also very mindful of what she eats and she also likes to keep herself fit. So in those terms we didn't have a lot of big challenges that some of the other families might face. I know it's different for each person and each individual family. So yeah, I have been kind of lucky to adopt this lifestyle very easily without making a lot of changes. Yeah that's it.

Wonderful, so you had your family support, not just support they also got on board with you and actively started making these diet and lifestyle changes. It's so much easier if your entire family's on board. It gives you motivation, gives you support, and less problems to be honest.

So my next question is for you, with all the support with the meals that you get from Sampoorna Ahara, how difficult is it to follow a whole food plan based diet at home on most days because for a lot of people they feel, people who have not yet started, they feel "Oh my god! this is too difficult for me" "All of this is fine, it sounds great, but it's so difficult for me, I can't do it" so what do you feel? What is your experience?

Sure, like I said, I mean anything is difficult in the beginning, right? So it just depends to a large extent on the determination that you have and what you want to achieve right. So for me, my goal was to have a healthy body and also a healthy mind, so I was willing to put up through the hardship and when I say hardship it's not like you're eating grass or something. The food that we get is pretty tasty. I know in the beginning, these salads especially, I used to have a hard time eating it, but Sampoorna Ahara has come a long way. Since the last two years, there have been constant changes based on the feedback, I think, received from people in the WhatsApp groups and through other channels and so I can definitely see a lot of improvements and today I actually look forward to eating the salads more than anything. So yeah, I would say you know just keep at it, don't give up easily, give it at least say six months of time and even after six months of time if you feel that this is not for you then obviously it's not for you. So you can choose something else. So for me I haven't found any issues with continuing this diet there have been no side effects or whatever so I'm perfectly happy with the situation that we have right now.

Great! so it's been easy for you just because of how the food tastes right I mean at the end of the day that's what counts. People are not so interested in, "okay tell me what exactly went into this dish? how you made it?" when you're hungry, you just want to eat food that tastes great and as long as it's healthy that's fantastic because your mind is just tasting delicious food, it's enjoying it. But you know that the planning that went into that dish was 100% healthy. So, I would like to ask you about something slightly different, Kiran. You mentioned that you lived in the Netherlands and you were eating seven different types of cheese a day and from there now you got almost completely plant-based so and I'm sure that while you were doing your research there, you found a lot of interesting things and you may have found something different in India as well so what was your experience researching, learning and trying plant-based in the Netherlands in India and elsewhere in the world .

Yeah sure so yeah it is true, I have lived in Singapore and in the Netherlands and yes the main staple in these countries is a meat-based diet because meat is available very easily. From the street vendors and from the supermarkets and everywhere so it's very easy to have a meat based diet in these places but there are also a lot of places where you can get good salads especially in Singapore. Some might argue that they are a little bit expensive but you cannot be comparing you know one currency to our Indian currency because then you won't be buying or eating anything. But yeah, like I said there are a lot of good places where you can get some really tasty salads and healthy ones as well, in the, oh yeah and also in Singapore there are also a lot of street vendors that have these cut fruits. So you don't even have to take the time to cut them, just buy it and eat it. So you can still follow a healthy lifestyle even though you are not your in your own country and not used to the kind of food that you were eating before. In the Netherlands there is no specific cuisine as such, I think it's a mix of Chinese, Indonesian, and western but yeah in the Netherlands there are a lot of supermarkets in every corner of every street called AH and these supermarkets have a lot of good salads a wide variety of salads that are also I think pretty reasonably priced. So yeah you can you can also look for those options. If you're not used to cooking or don't have the time to cook, you can also look at these other options. So yeah that was my experience.

Great! so plenty of salads plenty of things to eat in supermarkets and restaurants you just have to look for it and find it, no matter where you live that's a lovely insight, thank you for sharing. Kiran, coming to what exactly what do you eat every day? what does your typical day look like? or what do you eat throughout the day from morning to evening? because this is another problem people face they say okay I've understood the theory but what should I cook what should I eat so what do you eat on a typical day? What are your favorite dishes?

Sure, so we start of the day with green juice it can be anything based on vegetables or the green leaves spinach or whatever and then have a couple of glasses of water and then that's about it then we wait for the Sampoorna Ahara food to be delivered which is around 11:30 or 12:00p.m, because we've been doing this for a period of over two years, for us it is okay. We don't mind skipping the breakfast. I know it is a big deal for a lot of people, so yeah like I said it takes time to get used to it and once you do get used to it it becomes second nature to you. At 11 - 11:30 or 12:00, we get the food, then along with the food we may prepare a roti or two along with palya based mainly on spinach or any other vegetables that we have and that's it for lunch and in the evening we just have fruits, maybe one or two fruits at around 6:00 pm and after that around 7:00 or 7:30 have another couple of glasses of water and that's it that ends the day for us we don't eat or drink anything after that

Fantastic! Thank you for sharing that, Kiran. I think that would have inspired many people watching this video on what they can also eat on a typical day. It's not that difficult, it's not that tricky. Once you figure it out, it's actually quite straightforward. My last question to you today is what are your favorite Sampoorna Ahara products? What do you absolutely love eating from us?

Yeah, sure um so I have a massive sweet tooth so I like everything that is sweet based. So I like the brownies that Sampoorna Ahara has and also the chocolate date spread apart from that there's also this tofu based cream cheese that goes very well with you know the various kinds of breads that you have. So yeah, and also yeah, I think in the early days we used to get this, I think payasam made from black rice. I don't see it nowadays. Probably it's being only offered on festivals, but yeah that is another dish I used to like and look forward to. Yeah, apart from that yeah the salads every day that's also become a favorite of mine so yeah these are my favorite foods yes.

Fantastic! thank you so much for sharing this Kiran. Thank you once again for taking your time spending it here with us today and sharing your experience of going plant-based it is definitely a journey go from step one to a step hundred and I'm so happy to hear that your Sampoorna Ahara meals were able to help you accelerate the process make it easier for you and I'm looking forward to helping many people watching this video to do the same. Thank you once again for taking time spending it here with us today.

Yeah, thank you for having me, doctor. Pleasure to be here.

Thanks again for all those watching this video. Thank you so much for taking time watching this video. I hope it inspired you to start going plant-based and to adopt more vegan lifestyle. I hope it inspired you saying that it's easy it's not that difficult. It's actually easy when you take the right kind of support, when you learn the right stuff, when you cook the right stuff right, it's easy to eat healthy and tasty meals all day every day.

I look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions please feel free to put it in the comments of this video below. If you like this video then hit the like button, if you found it useful and share it with your friends and family anyone else who may enjoy watching it as well and make sure to subscribe to our channel and I will look forward to meeting you at the next live video tomorrow, have a great day. Be Blessed.

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