Cholesterol Clarity

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

SHARAN conducts a variety of programs to help YOU reach your highest health potential. From film shows, talks, potlucks, webinars, cooking classes, six week weight loss and health gain programs  and day long events we can support you on your health journey. For the average person it’s not always possible to stick to the commitment of a whole plant based diet for life, but with our support, anyone who is determined can do it. We encourage you to come to our events as often as possible. When you master it, use your knowledge to help others. The more we teach, the easier it is to follow.

SHARAN has been conducting 21-Day Health Retreats too. This year we are launching a one week Lifestyle Retreat, Nurture, in December, especially for NRIs and foreigners who would rather come to India in the winter or wish to have a shorter retreat. It is my hope that this will support those who do not live close to the cities where we have our regular events.

Let us all work together towards better health and a healthier world.


Testimonial of Ms. Simmy

Ms. Simmy was one of Dr Nandita Shah’s earlier patients who was treated with the whole plant-based diet, eleven years ago! Her results inspired Dr Shah to continue spreading awareness of cure through nutrition.

Ms. Simmy is a kindergarten school teacher and was about 70 years old, when she met Dr Shah. She came soon after 3 weeks of hospitalisation in intensive care. She had a history of 3 years of heart problems. After making the dietary changes, she walks everyday and feels very energetic.

Lime Avocado Dressing

Avocados contain the good fats that our body can do with. Rich, green and creamy, the avocado is termed as one of the best foods in the world.

This easy to make dressing, could be used as a dip, as a salad dressing, spread on toast or even had as a sauce for raw zucchini pasta!


  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • Handful fresh cilantro
  • 1 small green chili pepper, seeded and chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method for dressing

Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth.


If you love Facebook, then join us to be supported on your plant based journey. We offer 3 possibilities from 1st Jan 2016.

1. SHARAN India This is SHARAN’s main Facebook page which you can like and follow for getting useful daily updates and news from the plant based health world. You will also get news about the latest SHARAN events, see testimonials, and more

2. SHARAN’s Vegan Support Group This is an open support group to know more about vegan/plant-based lifestyle. Here you can ask questions and share inspiring stories, tips, recipes, etc.

3. SHARAN’s Plant Powered Health This is the new group only for the past attendees of SHARAN’s events: seminars, cooking classes, retreats or longer programs.

All our doctors and presenters will be here to answer your questions and give you tips. If you have attended our events join this group to be a part of our family.

Please like the main SHARAN page and join the group(s) applicable to you.

Food for the Mind


Cholesterol Knows & Know-nots!

One of the biggest myths that we hear is that nuts cause high cholesterol! Cholesterol is only produced by animals. Plants do not produce cholesterol, therefore all nuts including cashews and coconut and all vegetable oils are cholesterol free!  As we are animals we both produce and need cholesterol. But today many people have high cholesterol levels because of eating animal derived foods or foods too rich in fat. Nowadays many people have low cholesterol levels, because they are over medicated with anti-cholesterol medications.

Having high cholesterol does not produce any symptoms in itself. It’s only when cholesterol lining the arteries narrows them causing blockages that it causes problems . After switching to a whole plant based diet the cholesterol levels tend to normalise. This can take time because the cholesterol which has accumulated in the arteries over the years must dissolve. Thus an initial rise in levels is normal.

Read 6 simple questions that will help you understand cholesterol

1. What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy and fat-like substance found in animal cells. A certain amount of cholesterol is needed as it has important natural functions.

2. What does it do?

Cholesterol has four main functions –

1) Contributes to the structure of cell walls
2) Makes up the digestive bile in the intestine
3) Allows the body to make Vitamin D
4) Enables the body to create certain hormones

3. What is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol?

Cholesterol is oil-based, so it doesn’t mix with blood (which is water-based). It is carried around the body in the blood by lipoproteins – LDL (low-density lipoprotein known as ‘bad’ cholesterol) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein known as ‘good’ cholesterol)

4. Why is it called good and bad cholesterol?

High levels of LDL lead to a build-up of cholesterol in the arteries, which blocks the blood flow, creating a major risk factor for heart disease. Whereas HDL carries cholesterol to the liver for removal from the body.

5. What causes high cholesterol?

Two major causes are – wrong diet (animal products) and lack of exercise.

Plus certain diseases like diabetes, liver or kidney disease, polycystic ovarian, pregnancy etc increase LDL. Also certain drugs like steroids etc, increase LDL and even reduce HDL.

6. How should one maintain the balance between good and bad cholesterol?

Going on a whole plant based diet that SHARAN recommends is ideal to maintain this balance. One automatically then stops animal products, saturated fats which are found in processed foods, and trans-fats found in fried foods. Plus one consumes high fibre foods which helps.

When the body starts cleansing by going on a whole plant based diet, initially the cholesterol may rise, as the LDLs which were stuck to the walls of the arteries are flushed into the blood stream (on the way out).

This newsletter was compiled by SHARAN Associate Reyna K Rupani, who is based in Mumbai. She facilitates the Six Weeks to Health & Weight loss program and also conducts Health talks for schools, groups, corporates and more. Find out how she has benefited in so many ways by going on a whole plant-based diet here

Sanctuary for Health and Re-connection to Animals and Nature (SHARAN) is a non-profit organisation with the goal of spreading awareness about holistic health and an ecologically sustainable compassionate lifestyle.

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