Enjoying Indian food to the fullest without busting the recommended daily 200 mg cholesterol for lowering bad LDL. Of course you need to make the right choices on the menu, here are a few guidelines.
Breakfast: the usual cooked, rolled oats with almond milk, brown sugar and for the extra soluble fibers and taste: a ripe banana.
For lunch we ate fried threadfin with homemade sambal, fried beansprouts and cooked rice. The sambal contains dried anchovies, so there’s a bit of cholesterol. The main amount of cholesterol, or so I thought, comes from the 75 gram (about 2 ½ oz) threadfin: 29.25 mg cholesterol (see day 13) … However, don’t underestimate the anchovies…
According to fatsecret.com, 1 cup (58 gram or 2 oz) of sambal ikan bilis contains 50 mg cholesterol. MyFitnessPal.com states that dried ikan bilis has 51 mg cholesterol. A bit strange that the sambal contains 1 mg less than the dried fish. However some people buy and eat these small fish with head and entrails included: brains and organs contain most of the cholesterol. We do have the anchovies with head and entrails removed, so we should be better of than the 50 mg/58 grams of fish. However, for estimation sake, we ate about half a cup of sambal dried anchovies: about 25 mg cholesterol.
The beansprouts are fried in olive oil, with garlic, soya sauce and salt to taste. The fish is seasoned with pepper, salt and turmeric, coated with flour and panfried in olive oil.
Sambal ikan bilis recipe:
- tamarind juice
- 10 dry chilies, first soaked in hot water for 5 minutes, then remove the seeds before pounding
- 1 clove garlic
- half an onion
- 1 inch (2.5 cm) of belacan (fermented prawn paste), roasted over a fire
- dry ikan bilis (anchovies: head and entrails removed)
- Pound the sambal ingredients coarsely in a pestle and mortar. Coarsely, so you still see the texture of the onion and the anchovies after pounding.
- Put some oil in a pan and saute the ingredients until the oil rises on the surface separating from the ingredients (about 15 to 20 minutes). If you use a little oil, you better keep an eye on the time, as it will be difficult to spot the little amount of oil separating.
- Then add tamarind juice, sugar and salt to taste.
For dinner: traditional Indian food:chicken tikka, tandoori chicken, garlic naan and thosai (a kind of pancake made from rice and black lentils: much more delicious than it sounds!). For drinks I had a tea and my darling wife a barley drink. Now barley is also known as a must eat food when you want to lower your cholesterol. I can imagine that one barley drink wont have much positive influence, but every bit counts 🙂
Still not fully full, we shared a paper thosai 🙂 For the dietary cholesterol intake:
- According to nutrition.com.sg, thosai doesn’t contain cholesterol,
- 1 piece of naan bread contains 21 mg of cholesterol.
- chicken tikka 76 mg and
- tandoori chicken 72 mg.
That makes my cholesterol intake for dinner: 21 + 76 = 97 mg.
Total daily cholesterol intake: 151.25 mg
- Breakfast: 0 mg
- Lunch: 54.25 mg
- Dinner: 97 mg
Always remember that organs and brains contain much more cholesterol than the meat of the same animal, so by eating complete anchovies, you can easily surpass your recommended daily cholesterol intake.
Other than that: eating Indian food can be extremely delicious and filling, without adding to much to your cholesterol intake. Yet you need to make the right choices: I ate oven grilled chicken meat only and didn’t go for the squid, nor for the deep-fried crab, nor for the mutton curry, nor for anything fried in ghee.
Another surprise was that naan bread contains 21 mg of cholesterol. The dough can contain egg, yoghurt and/or milk and normally ghee or butter is brushed over the hot bread before serving. You can ask that the bread is served plain, without the brushed butter or ghee, in order to reduce a bit of your cholesterol and some of your saturated fat intake.