Heart health diet for Indians is different from the rest of the world.
CASE STUDY & SUCCESS STORIES
Age: 28 years
BMI: 34.5 kg/m2
Case History: Kavin has a family history of heart condition, his father and most of his uncles have previously had heart attacks in their 40s and therefore he wanted help to reduce his blood parameters that could cause him heart attacks at an early stage. Since he was already obese, he wanted us to help him with the weight loss as well. According to him, he was eating healthy but he was not able to control his hunger pangs and used to end up snacking. Even when he tried eating less amount of food, he used to start feeling hungry soon and was not able to control his hunger even after using his will power and therefore was not able to lose weight. He was around 105 kgs and wanted to lose weight and improve his overall health parameters. He was also experiencing digestive health issues and low energy every time he started a diet.
Analysis: Blood reports, dietary recall and lifestyle. His blood reports indicated that all the parameters related to heart health such as cholesterol and triglycerides were on the higher side. His HDL/triglycerides ratio which indicates high levels of insulin resistance was also high. His Vit. D and Vit. B12 levels were quite low which were responsible for his bad digestive health. According to his diagnosis, his liver parameters such as ALT and AST were also close to the borderline indicating that the body was getting into stage 2 fatty liver. When we analyzed his dietary recall and pattern of food consumption, we realized that he used to eat fast and used to lose control of his portion size. Most of the time he would opt for food options that did not require chewing like sambar rice, curd rice, idlis with sambar. He felt that since they are easier to digest, they are heart friendly diet.
Approach by top nutrition expert: We educated him on his blood reports and explained to him that apart from the obesity, he was eating food and following a lifestyle that was causing fat accumulation in the arteries as his insulin factor of HDL/triglycerides was high and we provided him food that would reverse his grade 2 fatty liver condition. We also educated him on choosing food options that required proper chewing and the gut-brain connection that is needed to help him feel satiated. Therefore, we designed a program that included a variety of vegetables, portion of fruits, nuts and seeds along with heart healthy protein. He is a non-vegetarian and loves meat but was scared of consuming it as he thought that it would aggravate his heart health parameters. We explained to him the reasons why Indians get heart problems are different from the West. For Indians, fat accumulation is due to excessive portions of quick-digesting grains in their diet and protein deficiency whereas, in the West, the fat accumulation is due to excessive grain-fed meat in their diet. Also grass fed meat is healthy for the heart if taken in moderate portions and Indian red meat is grass fed. Therefore, he could consume it in a portion controlled manner every day. We also explained to him that grass fed meat when consumed with sufficient portion of vegetables helps in improving the heart health. Since they are a young couple, not comfortable with elaborate meals and would take time in the kitchen, we helped them with easy recipes that could be made with novices and also those recipes that would not take too much time to prepare. Our constant monitoring, real-time guidance through the programs helped him sail through different work and life contexts with ease. Since Kavin did not have a healthy gut, it was very important that we gave him food that he could tolerate without feeling uneasy. He was also advised to take Vit. D and B12 supplements to heal his gut.
Results: He and his wife were very skeptical about our approach as it seemed very radical. We shared videos and content related to our thought process and told them that they could get their blood tests done after 2 months and check for themselves. In 2 months, after making lifestyle changes, he lost 10 kgs, triglyceride levels reduced significantly from 333 mg/dl to 134 mg/dl. His good cholesterol i.e. HDL increased from 27 mg/dl to 32 mg/dl and his LDL cholesterol reduced from 230 mg/dl to 193 mg/dl. Encouraged by the results, he continued to follow the programs and lost a total of 25 kgs in 8 months and has been maintaining it.
Deepika Chalasani is a Clinical Nutritionist, Mind and Body Transformation Coach and co-founder of Fit4Life India, an integrated nutrition and wellness organization for Indians that provides complete solutions, addressing health and wellness challenges of individuals by working on their overall well-being. Deepika, best nutritionist in Hyderabad for weight loss and online dietician can be contacted via email firstname.lastname@example.org or Mobile +91 9491011202