Posts Tagged ‘cholesterol’


So yes I am back to blogging after quiet a long break since my Fitness centre work ¬†and my Personal Fitness Trainer certification course kept me really occupied. Yes, I passed out with Distinction and now I am a K11 Fitness Academy certified Personal Trainer as well ūüôā

Coming to the point.It makes me feel disgusted to see that even today ¬†nutritionists and dietitians are talking the same old language. I mean, in this age of ¬†technology where we have access to most of the scientific researches being done we have all the chances of upgrading our knowledge, but myths are still seen to be followed blindly. ¬†I am here¬†to burst the most hyped¬†myth related to “CHOLESTEROL” which is “HIGH CHOLESTEROL CAUSES HEART¬†DISEASE”.

“No diet will remove all the FAT from your body because the BRAIN is ENTIRELY FAT. Without a brain you might look good but all you could do is run for public office”

– George Bernard Shaw

In India today almost every other household has at least 1 person taking Statin medications for their “High cholesterol”.

It’s time we understand the “BIG CHOLESTEROL MYTH” and understand the “TRUTH” about cholesterol and its importance.

In April 2015 the USDA reversed their 30 year long stand on cholesterol. – mention since we follow western countries on food choices more than sticking to our roots

Dr. David Perlmutter says in his book “Grain Brain” that we are increasingly challenging our physiology by consuming ingredients for which we are not genetically prepared”. Whenever we are diagnosed with any kind of DIS-EASE we are never asked to stop eating packaged foods which contain bijilion artificial ingredients which are foreign to our body. For ex. A person diagnosed with high cholesterol is immediately put off all kinds of FAT including the natural ones like the famous “Egg YOLK” but are not asked to 1st stop eating “BISCUITS” infect 90% of the time “1 cup tea/coffee + 2 marie biscuit” is part of the diet plan suggested.

Cholesterol is one of the “most misunderstood” molecule. According to Dr. John Abramson, the professor of medicine at Harvard University, cholesterol is not even considered to be high risk in and of itself and cholesterol is vital to many of the body’s important functions. Cholesterol is an integral part of the cell membrane. It is also the “Parent” molecule of some of the body’s most important compounds including sex hormones and vitamin D (J.Bowden, pp 12). It is proven that vast majority of the cholesterol is made in our body by the liver and if we get more cholesterol from the diet the liver makes less of it and vice versa. We need cholesterol. Dr. Jonny Bowden, clearly states in his book, 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth that “Dietary cholesterol (the kind found in egg yolk) has minimal impact on serum cholesterol (the kind your doctor checks through blood test)” – (J.Bowden, pp 12).

Read more on egg yolk here-

Few points by Dr. Jonny Bowden¬†in his talk on his book “The Great Cholesterol Myth”

  1. “High cholesterol and heart disease are not the same thing”
  2. “Cholesterol does not cause heart disease and not even a good predictor of it”.

Dr. David Perlmutter also states that cholesterol is one of the most important player in maintaining your brain health and function. He states that high levels of the good kind of dietary fat (not the trans fats), have been proven to be the key to good health and peak brain function. (D. Perlmutter, Grain Brain).

As Dr. Jonny Bowden stated on the Dr. Oz Show: ‚ÄúTrying to prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol is like trying to reduce calories by taking the lettuce off your double cheeseburger. It‚Äôs not that the lettuce doesn‚Äôt have any calories ‚Äď it‚Äôs that lettuce is the wrong target.‚ÄĚ

He also states¬†than in¬†trying to prevent heart disease ,cholesterol is the wrong target to investigate. Dr. Bowden says ‚ÄúWe fervently believe that neither cholesterol nor fat is the major villain in the American diet ‚Äď sugar is.‚ÄĚ I would like to add that this is true for our Indian diet as well. We are predominantly eating¬†carbs, sugars. The types and amount of biscuits, cakes, pastries (based on foreign diet) + indian sweets to add to these, today we are at par with if not crossing “the american diet”.

Ok coming back to cholesterol, if not cholesterol, what should we be paying attention to? you may ask.

Pay attention to these 4:-

According to Dr. Jonny Bowden¬†They are so insidious and so systemic that he named them ‚ÄúThe Four Horsemen of Aging.‚ÄĚ

They are:

  • Inflammation
  • Oxidation
  • Sugar
  • Stress

“Inflammation, oxidation, sugar and stress will kill you. Cholesterol won‚Äôt”.

– Dr. Jonny Bowden

There is a lot more to discuss on the topic of cholesterol (HDL,LDL cholesterol and their impact) which is beyond the scope of mentioning in this 1 write up so i have given you some useful links and you can further read the mentioned books for detailed info.

I can go on and on about the goods of cholesterol but for now it is important that the one “Greatest” myth about cholesterol is well understood and i do not mean to bore you either ;P but, if any of your are further interested in reading more research studies you may go thru this article published in The on 13th June 2016¬†

Stay tuned for a better understanding on the above four “Horsemen of Aging” ūüôā


** The above information is for educational purposes only. Consult your doctor for specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. **



Bowden,J, Ph.D.,C.N.S(2007). The 150 Healthiest foods on earth. Pp:74-75 Beverly,M. A: Fair Winds Press.

Perlmutter,D. MD., Loberg, K (2014).Grain Brain. The Surprising Truth About wheat, carbs, and sugar¬†– Your brain’s silent killers.Yellow Kite Books, London, UK.





Housefull with “HOLY” Basil



Holy Basil, popularly known as “TULSI” in India is an absolute ¬† ¬†“WONDER HERB”. In India holy basil/tulsi is considered to be a sacred plant and keeping this plant at home is considered to be holy and healthy living. Both the leaves and the seeds of this plant possess medicinal properties and the benefits of using this plant are known from as early as the vedic period.

This plant has many therapeutic benefits and the reason i am writing about it, especially at this time of the year, is its role in respiratory disorders and in viral infections. Every other household has common cold, cough or viral fever going on in my part of the world (Bangalore, India). Normally during the rainy season, common cold, flu, dengue fever are widely prevalent. Experts say that during this time a decoction of tulsi leaves acts as a preventative ( exactly why i add tulsi+ginger tea in my diet plans ūüėČ

The leaves of tulsi plant have expectorant properties. They are shown to help remove phlegm from the bronchial tubes. According to ayurvedic physicians, a decoction made of 5-6 tulsi leaves + honey (pure/organic) and fresh squeezed ginger juice is an effective remedy for bronchitis, asthma, flu, cough and cold (Dr. Bakhru, 2007,pp 205).

According to the review of the scientific literature, it is the darker coloured leaves, known as Krishna Tulsi, is more beneficial in respiratory disorder than the lighter coloured version, known as Shyam Tulsi.

The leaves of Tulsi plant are considered “TONIC”.

Benefits of Tulsi leaves:-

  1. They are shown to sharpen memory
  2. Remove catarrhal matter & phlegm from bronchial tubes
  3. Stomach strengthening
  4. Induce copious perspiration. They are specific to many fevers, especially viral fevers.
  5. Helps relieve sore throat
  6. Found beneficial in cardiac disease and reducing blood cholesterol levels.
  7. According to some studies,¬†the¬†usage of leaves¬†protect against stress significantly. This makes the leaves “anti-stress” agents too (major requirement today ūüėČ
  8. Tulsi is also shown to have strengthening effect on the kidney.

Ayurvedic and herbal experts suggest that 5-12 leaves of tulsi chewed twice a day, morning and evening, helps prevent stress, helps in purifying blood and in the prevention of several common ailments.


** The above information is for educational purposes only. There is absolutely no intension to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any health problems or diseases. Consult your doctor  for specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment and a diet and exercise expert for advice on diet, herbs and exercise.**


1.Bakhru, H.K. (2007). Healing through natural foods. Mumbai, India: Jaico publishing house.

2. Bakhru, H.K. (2007). A Complete Handbook of Nature Cure 4th ed. Mumbai, India: Jaico publishing house.

3. Bakhru,H.K.(2007). Naturopathy for Longevity. Mumbai, india: Jaico publishing house.

4. Chaudhury, R.R.(2007). The healing powers of Herbs. New Delhi, India:Sterling paperbacks








Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Very happy Holidays ūüôā

Holiday season means lots of new “FLAVOURS TO SAVOUR”-

Pumpkin Cinnamon/Spice HOT latte of ¬†Starbucks—- yummmmm!!!!

Pumpkin pie and apple pie— yum!! yum!!

Christmas Plum cake


My Desi masala CHAI (Tea) mmmmmm!!! so good

1 thing all of the above have common is “CINNAMON”. I like to call it “THE WINTER SPICE”.

Cinnamon is used in all types of cuisines at some point. In india it is used in tea, sweets etc.

Cinnamon goes way beyond its flavour and beautiful aroma, it has a lot of medicinal properties. Read on to know those…

  • Cinnamon has shown to help ease pain and stiffness in muscles and joints: Presence of anti-inflammatory compounds make this possible.
  • Cinnamon functions as a carminative (GAS RELIEVER) thus being wonderful for digestion.
  • Cinnamon also contains compound called “catechins” which help in relieving nausea.
  • Cinnamon contains 2 phytochemicals, “eugenol” and “geraniol” which are shown to combat candida (overgrowth of yeast in our system).
  • Excellent for diabetics as shown the ability to moderate blood sugar. In clinical studies cinnamon extracts have shown to reduce blood sugar and “bad” cholesterol. C.Leigh Broadhurst,Ph.D., a research scientist at the USDA and her team tested the effects of 49 different herbs,spices and some medicinal plants¬†on glucose metabolism and according to them, cinnamon was the “STAR” of the show. From the test it was seen ” An active ingredient, methylhydroxychalcone polymer, or MHCP mimics insulin function, increasing the glucose uptake by cells and¬†signalling¬†certain types to cells to convert glucose to glycogen (the storage form of sugar)” – J.Bowden, 150 healthiest food on earth, pp 279.¬†

Homemade treatment for blood sugar as per mentioned in the book on diabetes by C. Broadhurst :-

“3 tablespoon of ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (less if sodium is a problem for you). Take a 32 oz canning jar and fill it with boiling water and the spice mixture. Let it steep at room temperature till it’s cool. Strain the liquid and discard the grounds, put a lid on he jar, stick it in the fridge. Initially drink 1-8 ounce cup of the tea 4 times a day and drop down to 1 to 2 cups a day after 1-3 weeks”- ¬†J.bowden, 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, 2007; pp 279.

** The above information is for educational purposes only. There is absolutely no intension to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any health problems or diseases. Consult your doctor  for specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment and a diet and exercise expert for advice on diet, herbs and exercise.**

Reference :-

1.  Bowden, J, Ph.D., C.N.S, (2007). The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,Beverly,M.A.: Fair Winds Press.


If you are a regular visitor of my blog than you must have read my post on 10 best foods. Did you see “SOY” anywhere???? NOPE….

This does not mean i “Hate” soy or that all soy products are bad.

There has been a big propaganda about adding soy protein in your diet to be healthy “especially for the vegetarians”. Even the advertising and marketing of the SOY products encourage this “SOY MANIA”. Is soy really that great to replace you traditional milk, paneer or cheese or nuts???? Lets see…

Majority of you do not know that there is a huge controversy going on in the nutrition community over soy. Studies and researches done on soy have shown that soy contains large amount of “natural toxins”. Remember toxins hamper our health. Among these toxins are the enzyme inhibitors that inhibit the action of those enzymes that are required for the digestion of ingested protein. The main controversy on this is that these same protease inhibitors are shown to have a cancer- protective effect.

Soybeans are shown to contain a substance called “haemagglutinin”. This is a clot promoting substance that causes the red blood cells to clump together. Soybean also contain substance called “goitrogens”. These goitrogens are shown to suppress thyroid functions. Soy also contains highest phytate levels of any grain or legumes studied. Phytates are shown to block the absorption of minerals. Fermentation reduces this so if you have to have soy product stick to miso or tempeh. (J.Bowden, 2007, pp 166).

Soy contains “phytoestrogens”. According to experts,these can be good or not – so – good depending on many factors including your age and sex.

“An article on soy protein infant formula by the journal of Pediatrics, Gastroenterology and Nutrition, suggested that soy protein formula had no nutritional advantage over cow’s milk protein and that “high concentration of phytate, aluminum and phytoestrogens might have untoward effects.” (J. Bowden, 2007,pp 166) “.

“The American Heart Association Nutrition Committee no longer recommend eating soy to lower cholesterol since April 2006. (J.Bowden, 2007, pp 166).” An article published in 2006 by Harvard Women’s Health Watch was titled “Soy: Not So Miraculous?”

The soy products that are associated with the Asian cuisine (Japanese especially), are completely different than the soy we have been sold. The Japanese eat naturally fermented soy foods like miso and tempeh and old-fashioned fermented soya sauce. They also eat it way less than what we might imagine. We once come to know something is good just go “GA-GA” over it and than every meal has soy product.

Oh and if you are a vegetarian you must be including those “SOYA CHUNKS” in your sabzies and gravies to hike the protein content of the meal. Well, well, here is a news for you. Agreed we don’t get tempeh and miso in india that easily but that doesn’t prove soya chunks to be superior soy protein choice. Soya milk and tofu are far more superior than the “CHUNKS”. Experts recommend not to make SOY the only source of protein in your diet.

So Soy does have its own positive and negatives. You can find a list of positives and negatives on soy consumption taken from the “Conclusions of Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D, based on her reading of more than 500 studies” :-

There are several studies showing that increased consumption of soy products can have detrimental effects on women health due to its estrogen content. There have been several research showing health problems in men consuming high amount of soya milk and soy protein products.

Until we have some strong proof/ truth from well performed research on the consumption of Soy products, lets not go crazy on adding soy in everything. Make wise choice of using soy in “moderation”.


1.  Bowden, J, Ph.D., C.N.S, (2007). The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,Beverly,M.A.: Fair Winds Press.


Green Tea Benefits

I received a text message from a very good friend at 1:00 am in the morning asking me about the benefits of green tea. ” Hey what is green tea? I want to start drinking it from tomorrow.” This message actually made me¬†realize¬†that I have not written anything about this “super food” yet. How can i forget green tea???? So here I am, right now, right here writing about one of my¬†favorite¬†beverages Green Tea and dedicating this to him.

A word of clarification: All¬†non herbal¬†teas, green, white, black and red (oolong) come from the same plant called “Camellia sinensis“. The leaves of this plant contains ¬†powerful antioxidants known as “polyphenols“. The classification of these four totally depends on the degree of processing that the leaves of Camellia sinensis undergo after they have been harvested. Black tea is fully fermented, Oolong (red) tea is partially fermented,green tea is not fermented at all but instead pan-fried and dried and white tea is barely processed ( J.Bowden,2007).

Coming to green tea:

Green tea contains “Catechins”, a very powerful group of polyphenols.

“Epigallocatechin Gallate” is one of the catechins believed to be responsible for the anticancer effects of green tea.

Jonny Bowden called green tea one of the world’s “great¬†super foods”. Green tea has anti cancer activity, it is also shown to help in weight loss, several studies show that green tea helps in lowering cholesterol , it is also associated with much lower levels of heart disease and last but not the least, green tea contains some components that are shown to be helpful in depression and anxiety (J. Bowden,2007)

In a research done in the year 2004 by a team of medical professionals from Harvard Medical School, it was reported that the catechins in green tea inhibits the growth and reproduction of cancer cells associated with a disease called “Barrett’s esophagus. According to the research they said that green tea may help lower the prevalence of esophageal adenocarcinoma, which is one of the fastest growing cancers in Western countries (J. Bowden, 2007,pp 266)

Several human as well as animal epidemiological studies have confirmed the cholesterol lowering effects of green tea. Research also shows that green tea helps in lowering “fibrinogen“- a substance present in our body responsible to cause clots and strokes (J.Bowden,2007).

Weight loss benefits of green tea have also been shown in several studies. One study in the American journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that men who were give green tea burned more calories compared to the men who were given similar drink without green tea. According to Dr. Shari Lieberman, green tea stimulates the metabolism way more than caffeine alone does (J.Bowden,2007).

Adding one more to so many benefits  of  green tea is its mood improving and relaxation inducing effect. A substance called theanine, found in green tea is shown to be helpful in improving mood and increasing the sense of relaxation (J. Bowden, 2007).

So, in conclusion let’s recap the benefits of green tea:

1. Powerful antioxidant protection

2. Anti-inflammatory effect

3. May help reduce blood sugar.

4. Lower cholesterol

5. Protect against heart disease

6. Cancer protection

7. Ability to stimulate metabolism

Come, lets relax with a cup of green tea. What say ūüėČ ???

** The above information is for educational purposes only. There is absolutely no intension to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any health problems or diseases. Consult your doctor for specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment, advice on diet, herb and exercise.**


1.  Bowden, J, Ph.D., C.N.S, (2007). The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,Beverly,M.A.: Fair Winds Press.

Butter and Ghee – better then other alternatives



¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† “Butter”, this word probably scares many of us but¬†¬†Jonny Bowden Ph.D., C.N.S. states that butter, especially from pasture-fed, organically raised cows is indeed a wonderful and healthy food (Bowden, 2007).

It is true that butter contains¬†saturated fat and it is also true that saturated fat is linked¬†with the increase of cholesterol and other heart ailments but researches show that all saturated fat is not created equal.¬† The short-chain saturated fat is shown to offer important health benefits that lack in the long-chain version. Butter contains¬†butyric acid, a short-chain fatty acid which constitutes¬†about 10% to 15% of all fat found in butter. Dr, Haas recommends butter as a better choice over most of the margarines. Margarines contain hydrogenated oils and trans fats and lack the short-chain fatty acid, butyric acid. Butter is also a rich source of vitamin A as¬†well as other fat soluble vitamins, E, K and vitamin D. According to the experts, butter coming from the grass fed¬†cows is rich in the type of fats proven to be¬†healthful for example omega 3 fatty acids which are known to be¬†absent in the grain fed counterparts. Mary Enig¬†Ph.D., our country’s respected lipid biochemist points out that the fat present in butter has shown to inhibit pathogen growth and butter is a source of several kinds of antimicrobial fats, including lauric acid ( Haas, 2006, pg 67; Bowden,2007).

GHEE- The Clarified butter:

Ghee is basically butter with the milk solids removed. Ayurvedic medicine, a tradition¬†in india that dates back nearly 5,000 years considers ghee as a medicinal and healing food. Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa, the author of “Food¬†as Medicine”, states that ghee¬†is highly regarded in the yoga nutritional therapy, where¬†it is valued as a nutrient as well as a preservative of food and medicine. According to Ayurvedic medicine, ghee is believed¬†to strengthen the OJAS, “the vital energy cushion at the root of our well-being and immunity.” (Bowden,2007, pg 178).

Amanda Morningstar, in her book “Ayurvedic Cooking for Westerners” explain the following about the cow-¬† “her milk and her butter, clarified as ghee, are like mother’s milk in Ayurveda, absolutely essential¬†for health and well-being. They must be¬†pure to do this. Many westerners¬†are concerned¬†that the use of¬†ghee will increase their cholesterol or add unnecessary amount of fat to their diet. Used within the context of an Ayurvedic lifestyle, this is unlikely to happen.” (Bowden,2007, pg 178).¬† Dr. Annemarie Colbin, in her book Food and Healing, mentions that “ghee is one of the three best quality fats to use.”¬†(Bowden,2007, pg 178).¬†

According to Ayurveda, ghee helps stimulate the healthy flow of fluids throughout the body. Ayurvedic medicine considers¬†ghee as an important rejuvenating¬†tonic for the mind, brain and the nervous system. Since ghee has all the milk solids removed it is¬†said¬†¬†to be¬†used for cooking at even higher temperatures. Ghee is described¬†as one of the “finest” cooking oils by Ayurveda. Ayurvedic medicine believes that ghee increases the digestive fire thus improving assimilation and enhancing the nutritional value of food. Ghee is shown¬† not to¬†go rancid like many other oils and fats. Ghee, like butter contains butyric acid, the short-chain fatty acid (Bowden,2007).

Recipe to make ghee at home by Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa (Bowden 2007, pg 178):

Simmer organic, unsalted butter over medium-low heat for 10 to 20 minutes  until an almost transparent crust forms on the top. Now, skim of the crust and strain te golden liquid that remains into a container. Discard the white segment found at the bottom. Ghee does not need to be refrigerated.

So, now that we know so much about the benefits of butter and ghee, i hope we all will worry less to include¬†these in our diet. Remember, experts still recommend “moderation” as the key in all areas of life including diet.


1. Bowden, J, Ph.D., C.N.S, (2007). The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,

Beverly,M.A.: Fair Winds Press.

2.Haas, E.M, Levin, B. (2006).  Staying healthy with Nutrition. Berkley: Celestial Arts.

** The above information is for educational purposes only. There is absolutely no intension to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any health problems or diseases. Consult your doctor for specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment, advice on diet, herb and exercise.**

Amazing Avocados



                             Up until recently avocados were avoided due to their high fat content.  Yes,it is true that avocados are high in their fat content but, this is helpful fat. The fat content of avocados is largely monounsaturated fat, specifically oleic acid. Oleic acid is an omega-9 fat which is known to be present in high amounts in olive oil, macadamia nut oil and many nuts. Several researches have proved the cholesterol lowering effects of monounsaturated fats. A research done in Mexico showed that the 45 volunteers who ate avocados daily for a week experienced an average 17 % drop in total blood cholesterol.

                               Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol. This is a natural substance which is shown to significantly lower blood cholesterol and is also shown to be highly protective of the prostate. Avocados also contain lutein.  Lutein is a natural antioxidant and a member of the carotenoid family. Lutein is shown to maintain the health of the eyes and skin.

                             Avocados do contain few grams of saturated fat but experts advice not to worry about it. According to Dr. Bowden Ph.D., C.N.S., this saturated fat is coming from a natural whole food source so is different from the saturated fat present in an order of fries and it does no contain a lot of toxins compared to the saturated fat coming from factory-farmed animals.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† In addition to the good fat content, avocados also contain good amount of fiber, about 11 to 17 grams per avocado. It also contains¬†potassium, folate,vitamin A, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin¬†which is another healthy carotenoid. One more good news, Dr. Bowden also mentions that avocados have “next to zero effect on blood sugar” (Bowden,2007,pg 98). There is a bit of difference found in nutritional composition of California and Florida avocados. According to USDA food database, California avocados contain 20 % less calories then the Florida variety, 13 % less fat and 60% less carbohydrates. Callifornia avocadoes are the significant source of lutein and zeaxanthin, the two important carotenoids.Florida avocados contain 20% more potassium and¬† a bit more calcium and phosphorous.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† So in a nut shell.¬† A for Amazing, A for Awesome—– A for “AVOCADO”.

Pick a slightly soft avocado that is a little darker green in color if you want it ready to eat.  The hard and brighter colored once are not yet ready to eat but can be bought if not needed for the same day use.

Add them to your pasta or sandwiches or have them in the form of guacamole dip. They are simply

DD—– liciously Nutritious.



** The above information is for educational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose, treat or mitigate a disease. Consult your doctor for specific medical advice, diagnosis, treatment,  advice on diet, herb or exercise. **


1. Bowden, J, Ph.D., C.N.S, (2007). The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,

Beverly,M.A.: Fair Winds Press.