Fats consist of elements like carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen which are chemically in the same proportion. Fats are divided in to two groups : Saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fats are mainly found from animal sources and are called as animal fat while unsaturated fats are mainly vegetable fats and mainly found from vegetable oils.
According to Ancient Ayurveda fat is one of the essential constituent of our body and is called as meda-dhatu. Now let’s see the production of this medadhatu according to Ayurveda:
Food > Action of digestive juices > Rasa dhatu. Rasa dhatu is the parent dhatu which further gets converted into rakta and mansa which gets nutritious part from the preceeding dhatu. This complied process leads to formation of MEDA which is the essential fat. It is compared to fat tissue and Its main function is Snehana – lubrication.
- Other functions of fat are:
- Provision of chemical energy and heat.
- Transport and storage of fat soluble vitamins like A,D,E,K
- Formation of cholesterol and steroid hormones.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in every cell in our body. It is essential for the formation of membranes of over the cells, for the synthesis of hormones ,production of bile, for digestion of fat, for metabolism of some vitamins (A, D, E and K), etc.. This cholesterol needs to get transported by lipoproteins which are HDL, VLDL, and LDL. HDL is good cholesterol of the body and LDL is bad cholesterol. Change in the ratio of HDL/LDL leads to high cholesterol levels and risk of heart diseases.
HDL means high density lipoprotein and it is known as good cholesterol because it helps to metabolize cholesterol by transporting it to the liver. Whereas LDL is low density lipoprotein does not transport cholesterol to the liver, instead it deposits cholesterol onto the vessel wall. These deposits can lead to narrowing of the arteries which leads to risk of heart disease.
Normal range –
Total cholesterol level—
LDL-desirable 100-115mg/dl above 175mg/dl- high LDL
HDL-desirable-40-60mg/dl below 40- low HDL >>more risk
Triglycerides-Desirable- <150mg/dl 350 and above >> high risk.
Interpretation of BMI
18.5 to 24.9
BMI Over weight
25 to 29.9
BMI 30 or Obese
Body Mass Index (BMI) is one of the ways to determine when extra fat accumulation translates into health risks. Body mass index is a measure which takes into account a person’s weight and height to gauge total body fat in adults. The higher the body mass index, the greater the risk of developing health problems like obesity.These values vary according to the age of the individual.
- Increased abdominal girth/increased weight,
- Kshudra shwas– feeling breathless even after slight exertion or exercise
- Atisweda-– Excessive sweating
- Gatradourgandh— Unpleasant body odour
- Gatrasad – lack of energy or tiredness
- Pipasa Trushna— Increased hunger and thirst,
- Alpa vyavay- Lack of libido
Adverse effects of obesity – Obese person are more likely to develop number of serious health issue like
- . – patients are more prone to develop high blood pressure , high cholesterol and triglycerides level ,
- Heart disease like heart attack due to narrowing of the arteries leading to insufficient blood supply to heart.
- Type -2 diabetes, fatty liver and gynecological problems in women like infertility, irregular menses etc.
As per Ayurveda the Management of obesity is by NIDAN PARIVARJAN which includes the following points:
- Dietary changes: Avoiding saturated fat which is mainly present in cheese, butter, egg yolk meat, and bakery products. Also avoid sweets, fried foods .Include kulith, Yav, moong, buttermilk in your diet which is mentioned in Sanhita. Water content should 1-2 liter per day which helps enhance digestion.
- Detoxification procedures mainly Basti, Virechan which helps in internal purification and improves digestion ultimately correcting fat metabolism. Udvartan is process where herbs like arjun ,karanj, nagarmotha, vekhanda, which are in powdered form are applied over the body after snehan.
- Triphala, guduchi, shilajit, guggul, vidang, shunthi, kshar and honey these herbs helps to reduce unwanted excess fat by correcting fat metabolism.
Thus, obesity is on the gun point of ancient pathy which can be effectively controlled by the advent of Ayurvedic therapy without any side effects, instead of forceful reduction in regular dietary habits, rigorous exercise and shortcut methods for reducing weight.