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Diabetic and have high cholesterol level. Are avocados good for health?

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Dr. Madhuri Patil

Diabetologist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 362 Questions

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Posted on Sat, 15 Dec 2012 in Diabetes
Question: Are avocados good for diabetic patients who are also diagnosed with high levels of bad cholesterol levels? What is the suggested diet for patients with the aforementioned problems?
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Answered by Dr. Madhuri Patil 1 hour later
Hello Mr XXXXXXX
Thank you for your query.
Avocados are natural sources of fat, vitamins, minerals and relatively low carbohydrates when you compare with sweet testing fruits. The fat is not a bad fat but full of usefull fatty acids called mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids which help build good cholesterol. But what should a person with diabetes and dyslipidemia (derranged levels of different types of cholesterol) follow?
He/ she should always choose a mid-way even the sources of fat have good fatty acids in them. The reason is these fatty acids, when sugars are not under control, tend not to be so good for body when eaten in excess. When we say nuts (peanuts, almonds, pistachios, walnuts) are great the same applies to them that they should be eaten in moderate quantities to avoid ill-effects due to long running high sugars.
I hope you are also on medications for the increased LDL(bad cholesterol). This kind of high LDL in people with diabetes does need medications for sure if it is more than 100. So please make sure you continue taking them along with dietary precautions.
For a person with diabetes and high bad cholesterol the diet should be according to the following general guidelines:
- Calorie restriction if you are overweight. This has to be achieved by directly cutting down your total diet by 25% to 30%. I mean, if you consume 5 idlis for breakfast then cut down to 3 idlis, if 3 chapatis for lunch then come down to 2 chapatis, same with rice quantity. This 30% applies mainly to staple foods like chapati/ rice/ upma/ poha.
- For sugars coming from milk and fruits- you should consume only fresh fruits those are seasonal and grown in your area. Even fruits like mangoes (half of 200gm), custard XXXXXXX (1 medium sized), chickoo (1 big), bananas (1 big) can be comsumed in place of 1 XXXXXXX or 1 orange or 1 big bowlful of cut watermelon or 1 medium bowlful of papaya. Always remeber you should exchange these portions of fruits with each other and do not go overboard by consuming 2/3 mangoes in one go just because they are allowed to you. Dry fruits best to be avoided if sugars run high.
In case of milk, remove the cream and consume 400 to 500 ml of milk in various forms spread throughout the day- in tea/ coffee/ as curd/ as buttermilk/ as paneer. The fat will be less and the sugar will be controlled when you do not consume beyond that.
- Oils, ghee, butter, cheese, fried items are very active in laying the bad cholestrol over the interior surface of your blood vessels supplying heart and brain (process known as ATHEROSCLEROSIS) and hence people with high sugar and high cholesterol, when do not cut down on these items from the diet, tend to get heart attack and stroke kinds of complications. Make sure the vegetables and dal preparations you eat are seasoned with minimum fat and avoid richly gravied vegetables.
In case of non-veg food please make sure you cut down on red meat and consume only chicken, fish, egg white. These items should be cooked with very less oil and with no gravies. microwave them, roast them, boil them but do not fry them.
- Consumption of alcohol beyond 30 to 40 ml adds to calories which are stored in your body as excess fat which gives rise to bad cholesterol flowing freely inside the running blood. If you consume alcohol in excess, make sure you take steps to cut down that.
- Your physical exercise improves good cholesterol- HDL. This in turn brings down the ratio of bad to good cholesterol and the process of atherosclerosis is slowed down. So take up physical exercise seriously.
overall this is to give you an idea. But if you can let me know precisely which tablets and insulin you take in what doses I would be able to guide you further on main meal- snack meal patterns.
As of now, I feel you got your answer. Get back for any further details. Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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