About two years back I took a routine blood test at work for measuring the blood lipid levels. It turned out that my cholesterol levels were over the 200 normal limits. I knew I had to do something about it but kept procrastinating.
Well, about eight months into the year I realized I needed to do something about my lipid levels before I take the test in the following year. But then I was also going on a vacation soon. So I decided I will start some kind of aerobic exercise soon after my vacation. I went on a nice three week vacation with family, came back mentally relaxed and recharged but with a minor problem. I had fractured my toe on my left foot! I had not been doing anything super challenging in the vacation. I just tripped on my suitcase and broke my toe.
The podiatrist insisted that I do not walk or do any aerobic activity involving the foot, to help heal my toe faster. Though now I had a valid excuse for my bad lipid levels, I was determined to do something by diet alone.
I just did two simple things. The first was that I just eliminated sugar from my diet. No sugary drinks, no added sugar to food, no sweets. However, I did allow myself to eat foods with naturally inherent sugar in them like fruits.
The second thing I did was, everyday, I replaced one main meal of the day with oats and vegetables. I usually did this for lunch. I experimented with all sorts of oats dishes – oats with spices, oats with fruits, and oats with veggies. This I did for just one meal of the day and the rest of the meals were like usual. Nothing cut back except the sugar.
I did this for about a month and half and then it was time for my annual blood screening at work again. I had my blood test done and the results came. Whoa!! The cholesterol and the triglyceride levels were reduced to half of last year’s readings.
Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which reduces your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad” cholesterol. (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cholesterol/CL00002). If oatmeal and no sugar combination can bring this kind of impact to the lipid levels in my blood, I am sure if I combine this with regular aerobic activity I can do wonders for my cholesterol levels and my heart health.