Home » Wellbeing and health

From Wellbeing and health

Lowering LDL’s

I have read that grapefruit can lower cholesterol. I asked my MD and did some web searching, but can’t find the recommended amount of juice necessary to lower my LDL’s (I drink Pink Grapefruit as I read this was more effective). Do you have any advice? I currently take no cholesterol medications. Thanks, Bruce


Thanks for your question. There have been some studies to show that citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits may have a beneficial effect on cholesterol and cardiovascular health in general. One study showed two glasses of orange juice a day had a positive benefit on cholesterol, whilst another showed three glasses of orange juice a day had a benefit. Regarding grapefruits specifically, I believe the study was not using grapefruit juice but whole grapefruit. The serving was 1 grapefruit per day. I would suggest it is better to eat whole oranges and grapefruits over the juice, because these fruits are rich in fiber. Fiber in itself has been show to lower cholesterol and also regulate blood sugar so you are doubling your benefit when you eat the fruit vs the juice. Drinking juice is fine, however you need to remember fruit still contains sugar and drinking three glasses of juice everyday is going increase your calorie intake significantly. Over time this could lead to weight gain. I would suggest limiting yourself to one 250ml glass of juice a day and then try to eat a whole grapefruit and orange a day. As mentioned above fiber is also beneficial for lowering cholesterol as fiber binds with fat in your digestive system and prevents it from being absorbed by your body. Try to eat a source of fiber with every meal. This way you always make sure you will benefit from fiber and reduce your fat absorbed with each meal. Foods rich in fiber are vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and seeds. If you eat cereal in the morning, look for a hi fiber cereal that contains whole wheat, oatmeal and seeds. Look at the label and look at the fiber content looking for products with over 10 grams of fiber per 100 grams. Anything about 6 grams per 100 grams is considered a high fiber food. Based on your stats you should be aiming to consume 30 grams a fiber per day. Other things to include in your diet is fish, specifically oily fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel. Oily fish is high in omega-3 which has a beneficial effect on cholesterol. Two to three servings of oily fish per week should be consumed. Avoid farmed fish and Tilapia which tend to be low in Omega-3. As you are already taking a multi-vitamin check the formula and look if it contains Folic Acid or Folate. If it contains Folic acid, I would recommend looking for an alternative product which contains Folate. Folic acid is a synthetic B-Vitamin which the body cannot metabolize effectively. Folate is the naturally occurring form of folic acid. There is some suggestion Folate may have beneficial effects on cholesterol and cardiovascular health.

Getting your body more alkaline

What is the alkaline diet. What foods should I eat


When we eat certain types of food our blood PH can decrease or increase becoming either more acidic or alkaline. Generally the body tries to maintain a slightly alkaline blood PH of 7.35 to 7.45, when the blood becomes acidic the body can try to offset this acidity by leaching alkaline substances from the body such as calcium from bone in the attempt to offset the acidity. Soda’s such as Coke can have an PH of 2.5, the lower the number the lower the PH, the more acidic it is. When you drink a can of soda your body has to work to reduce the acidity to get blood PH back to normal. In terms of what to eat, vegetables and fruits have an alkaline-forming effect on your body. Most grains, animal foods, and highly processed foods have an acid-forming effect.

Gatorade instead of water

I have a problem drinking water. I’m 23 and never realized that other people don’t get itchy throats after drinking water, like I do. It feels like I’m inhaling every dust particle in the room after drinking even a sip. I can’t remember the last time I drank an entire glass. So, to keep hydrated, would it be okay to drink Gatorade instead of water?


No I would not recommend drinking Gatorade instead of water. Gatorade contains a wide range of artificial sweeteners, flavours, preservatives and colourings as well as a number of other ingredients I would avoid. From a long term perspective this is not a healthy option. I have come across a few people who have similar problems to you. I would recommend firstly trying to find alternative more healthy ways to consume water through the day. For example rather than drink artificial drinks like gatorade, you can try herbal teas, such as peppermint or fruit based teas. Tea is an easy way to stay hydrated, whilst also introducing some valuable anti-oxidants and nutrient to your diet. I would also recommend purchasing a water filter to purify your water. It may give you some peace of mind that the water has been filtered of impurities and does help reduce the metallic or chemical taste of water in area’s where its been heavily chlorinated. Squeezing some fresh lemon, lime or oranges into your water is another way to give it some flavour. If this is not enough try buying some real fruit juice from the supermarket and dilute it with some filtered water, try half and half and then over time, try to reduce this ratio so you drink less juice and more water. Over time hopefully you can overcome your desire to avoid drinking plain water.

Could eating meat be causing my headaches?

Hi! I am a 28 year old woman who has recently adopted a pescetarian lifestyle… Kind of. In an attempt to lose extreme weight I have become what I am calling a “dirty pescetarian”. Five days a week it is all about fish and veg. On the weekends however, I allow myself to eat meat if I want it. However, after eating meat on Saturday and/or Sunday, I seem to get tension headaches midday Sunday that put me in bed the rest of the day. Could this be due to eating meat? Height: 5′ 9″ Current Weight: 289 lbs Goal Weight: 170 lbs Daily Calorie Allowance: 1700 Cheat Day: Sunday


Thanks for your question. Regarding your headaches, there have been cases where people experience headaches following the consumption of meat. Meat contains a substance called Tyramine, that in certain individuals can potentially cause headaches. Additionally processed meat products such as sausages, bacon and salami contain nitrates, another substance that may contribute to headaches. You didn’t mention if you were following a vegetarian or pescatarian diet prior to you following this new diet. If you were previously not consuming meat, and you are experiencing the symptoms after every “cheat day” then it may well be the case that it is the cause. Try changing the meats you are consuming to low Tyramine foods such as poultry or eggs.

PCOS related Issues

I was diagnosed PCOS in ultrasound. I have oily skin and have on and off pimples. I also have hair on chin from a few years. I am married and want to conceive. Kindly recommend me diet tips to lessen pcos effects


Thanks for your question. Regarding your diet, two of the key are that I would recommend to focus on are controlling insulin and androgen levels, as PCOS is associated with high levels of both. If not already doing so, you need to reduce your consumption of refined processed carbohydrates as much as possible, switching white rice, pasta, or bread for brown high fiber varieties. Processed cereals are high in sugar and low in fiber, porridge from oats or sugar free bran flakes are a better option as they are high in fiber and prevent rapid increases in insulin levels. Reducing your consumption of refined carbohydrates and increasing fiber will help regulate your insulin levels better. You profile listed that you consume soft drinks on a weekly basis along with some snacks. Sodas are also high in sugar, and the diet versions whilst not containing sugar have unhealthy artificial sweeteners that can have negative side effects. Some recent studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can trigger the same response in the brain as consuming sugar which could in turn lead to elevated insulin levels. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help regulate and maintain stable insulin levels as well as increase insulin sensitivity. Try to consume 2-3 servings of oily fish such as salmon or sardines per week. I would also consume a high quality omega 3 fish oil supplement daily. In terms of regulating androgen levels there are some possible options you could investigate. Flax seeds (not the oil) have been shown to possibly reduce testosterone levels in both men and women and one study showed a decrease in hirsutism in a woman with PCOS. Flaxseeds can easily be added to a salad and additionally are a rich source of fiber as well so can help contribute to regulate insulin levels. Low levels of Vitamin D (cholecalciferol) has been identified in women with PCOS. Increasing your Vitamin D levels may be of benefit. Vitamin D is naturally produced in the skin when exposed to sunlight. Try to make sure you get at least 15 minutes a day sunlight exposure on your arms and face. Eating oily fish will also provide Vitamin D. I could see you are currently not engaged in any exercise. Exercise has been shown to have a number of benefits including improving insulin sensitivity, balancing hormone levels and also improving cardiovascular health. PCOS has been associated with increased cardiovascular risks, so it may be worthwhile including some moderate exercise three times a week

Supplement for Stage 4 Lung Cancer Patient

Have you ever heard about Naturally Plus Super Lutein? The ingredients of this Super Lutein per unit dose of capsule 540mg consists of: Beta Carotene (Providing Vitamin A 595 I.U.) 3.5mg Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1)(Providing Thiamine 0.395mg) 0.50mg Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) (Providing 0.5mg) 0.50mg Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6)(Providing Pyridoxine 0.41mg) 0.50mg Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12)(Providing 0.55mg) 0.50mg Vitamin E (Providing Vitamin E 241U) 35.00mg Lycopene (from Lycopersicon Esculentum)(Providing Lycopene 0.70mg) 12.00mg Tagetes Erecta (Providing Lutein 6.1mg) 30.00mg Tuna Fish Oil (Providing DHA 17.00mg and EPA 4.50mg) 74.50mg Wheat Germ Oil 70.00mg SOURCE OF CAPSULE SHELL (GELATIN): BOVINE May I know this supplement is it safe for Stage 4 Lung Cancer Patient to consume? Please, I need an answer. Thank you.


Hi, thanks for your question. Currently there is not sufficient evidence to show that carotenoid consumption has a significant protective effect against lung cancer. The evidence is small, however there is some suggested benefit as there is for Lycopene which is also included in the supplement you listed. There are some foods which have been shown to have cancer fighting properties in particular Broccoli and some other members of the cruciferous family. In particular Broccoli shoots have significantly higher concentrations of these nutrients. Garlic and Lycopene in cooked tomatoes have also been linked to having anti-cancer properties. I would suggest that you try to make consuming these foods a regular part of your diet. If you can, you could use a juicer and add some broccoli, apples and carrots which are a rich source of Beta Carotene. Consuming a mix of cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, spinach and kale will ensure you get the most of these beneficial nutrients. Before you do start taking any supplements or changing your diet I would suggest that you check with your healthcare provider first to make sure that nothing your are taking or doing is interfering with your current treatment regime.


Hi, I’m 21yo male, 6′, 143lb. I have this habit where I take 2 laxative pills once a week as I believe it helps to “cleanse” my body. Having that in mind, I usually eat a lot and go to gym prior to taking the pills. My concern is, is this a healthy habit? Oh by the way, I have no bowel problem at all and I am pretty sure that my diet is okay. It is just that those pills help me feel thin :/


Thanks for your question. If you are not suffering from any kind of medical condition that requires you to take these laxative pills, then you should cease use of them as soon as possible. No medication is without side effects. The purpose of laxatives is to increase bowel movements and effectively accelerate the transit of food in your digestive system. By taking laxatives you are interfering with the natural process of digestion and reducing your bodies ability to absorb the nutrients it needs to maintain health. Abusing laxatives may cause fluid and electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, diarrhea and in the long term lead to more serious issues such as irritable bowel syndrome. I would suggest you discontinue use as soon as possible.

Cast Diet

I recently broke my ankle as I was in a good rhythm of losing weight. As all I do now it sit around all day, I know I need to reduce my caloric intake but make sure I get all the nutrients that my body needs as an 18 year old male. I was wondering what foods or meals would be good for me to eat to possibly be able to keep lose weight. I would have still liked to go to the gym, but unfortunately it’s my right ankle that broke so I can’t go anywhere. So, what should my daily caloric intake goal be, and what can I eat to achieve that while staying healthy?


Hi, you didn’t complete your profile, so I don’t have much to work with, but I can make some general suggestions. Firstly I would suggest that when it comes to eating after 16:00 hrs that you try to minimise the amount of carbohydrates that you consume. Aim for a protein rich meal with some green vegetables and cut the potatoes, rice, bread etc. Your metabolism is at its slowest during the evening so this is when your body has the least requirement for calories. While you are sedentary due to your injury you also need to recover as quickly as possible. Its important that you provide your body with the nutrients needed to heal. Making sure you have a good breakfast and lunch can set you up for the rest of the day. Important nutrients to consume are calcium, vitamin D, Vitamin K, and magnesium. All of these are involved in the bone formation and will help your recovery. To try to consume dairy products such as low fat cottage cheese, yoghurt and low fat milk as these provide calcium. Eat some oily fish like salmon or sardines three times a week as that will provide Vitamin D as well as Omega-3 fatty acids which can help reduce inflammation in your injury. Spinach and Broccoli are good sources of Vitamin K and Spinach also contains magnesium too.

I have high cholesterol

My doctor would has suggested I use statins to lower my cholesterol levels but I would like to know if there is anything else I can do via my diet?


Without knowing your specific details, I can only suggest that you follow your doctors recommendations. However there are dietary changes you can make so as to assist in the process of lowering cholesterol. Firstly read the labels, look at the nutrition facts for Trans fats, make sure this is zero. Trans fats have been shown to reduce good cholesterol and increase bad cholesterol. Increase your fiber consumption, in particular soluble fiber which can be found in oat-meal and fruit can help reduce the amount of fat and cholesterol that is absorbed during a meal. I’d take a look at your cereals also and try swapping them for high fiber varieties. Introduce more polyunsaturated fats into your diet such as Olive oil or from walnuts which have been shown to lower blood cholesterol. Recently Broccoli was found to have protective effects on the heart valves, preventing building up of fatty plaques in the more vulnerable areas.

Diet chart to control VLDL and uric acid

Hi, I am 30 years of age, male, weighing 91 kg and a height of about 5.8 or 5.9. Lately, I started feeling pain in the knee joints and I went for total lipid profile and uric acid estimation. The results show Uric acid at 7 which is borderline and VLDL was too much above normal. So I was pondering to eat healthy which is why I am seeking your help to prepare a diet chart for me. I also want to know if I can have Nestle Maggi noodles for breakfast everyday?


No I would not recommend Maggi Noodles everyday for breakfast. These are very highly processed and only supply very simple carbohydrates. They also contain a lot of additives. Many instant noodles contain monosodium glutamate (MSG) as an ingredient and MSG has been shown in studies to elevate levels of Uric acid. I would suggest you swap these noodles for low fat yoghurt with fruit. Alternatively scrambled eggs or omelette with vegetables can be a good low carb alternative. There are certain foods you should try to avoid which can contribute to increased levels of purines and cause increased levels of Uric acid. You should limit your consumption of protein from animal sources and avoid certain types of vegetables, such as asparagus, kidney beans, lima beans, lentils and spinach. Consuming protein from or soya or dairy sources can be an alternative to meat and can help improve your symptoms. Salmon is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and can help reduce inflammation in your knee joints. Pineapple also contains enzymes which can reduce inflammation in the joints. Cooking with ginger or slicing ginger into hot tea can also help as it contains anti-inflammatory substances. Olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties and can have benefits in reducing cholesterol. Cooking with olive oil and adding it to salads is an easy way to include it in your diet. Based on your stats you are approximately 50 pounds over weight with your ideal weight being around 140-160lbs. I also noticed that you are not engaged in any exercise. Excess weight will be a contributing factor towards your knee pain and if you are able to loose weight this would help both reduce pain and improve your conditions. I would recommend some low impact exercise such as cycling or walking daily to introduce your body to regular exercise.