Doctor Regale is back! with healthy tips on cholesterol reduction

After taking a break about a year and a half, Dr Regale is back providing more insightful reviews and critics on delicious food all over the world. 

Please do feel free to email me at doctor.regale@gmail.com if you have any questions for me or if you would like to share your food experience. All are welcomed. Bon Appétit! 

Healthy Tips from Doctor Regale:

We all know that dyslipidemia (aka high cholesterol) is not good for health based on the Framingham study, and it is a known risk factor which predisposes a person to ischemic heart disease leading to myocardial infarction/heart attack and some may end up having a major surgery such as coronary artery bypass graft.

In this day and age, anyone who is not wary and eats outside often will bound to get high cholesterol even if the food they consume may appear not tasty.

Dyslipidemia is such a common condition that more than half of the patients who visit primary healthcare have abnormal lipid level or are already started on some form of cholesterol lowering medication.

Physicians would recommend dietary and lifestyle control first before starting patients on medications like statin - which is a wonderful drug, but comes with side effects of impairment of liver function or rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown).

Thus the best way to control your lipid level is via lifestyle modification and it is important to start this healthy habit early.

For foodies like us, in order to be able to continue to regale, we have to resort to maintainance of a healthy diet normally, which will give us the reserve to enjoy real good food - which usually may not be very healthy, perhaps once a week. 

Remember, the longer you can maintain a healthy level of cholesterol, the more you can truly enjoy having good food since you would have more reserve to eat.

Furthermore, by having a healthy diet together with exercise (at least 30 minutes each time, 3 times a week) not only reduces the LDL - low density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) and increases the HDL - high density lipoprotein (good cholesterol), losing weight and unsightly adipose tissues (fats) is a great bonus that comes together with the effort!

Healthy food that I eat which helps to keep cholesterol at a healthy level so that I will be able to enjoy all the good food at a regular basis whilst maintaining good health.

image

Steamed cod fish with garlic (bottom left)

Red yeast chicken breast steamed with garlic (bottom)

Salmon sashimi (top)

Soba - buckwheat noodles (top right)

Steamed vegetable and fish soup (centre)

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and last but not least, oats - the staple food to maintain a healthy cholesterol level! (below)

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Here are my 2 cents worth of tips on choices of food to lower cholesterol. However, nothing is perfect, hence the top priority is to maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet with regular exercise and sleep.

1. Oats brans/wholemeal bread

Oats contain compounds called beta glucans, which give them their paste-like consistency. The beta  glucans form a thick gel inside the digestive tract  and bind to cholesterol in the gut, helping to prevent cholesterol from being absorbed by the body via competitive inhibition. The  gel and cholesterol are then excreted as waste. There are various large studies involving more than 1000 people which showed that adding beta glucans each day to your  diet via porridge, other oat-based cereals and oatcakes reduced cholesterol by up to five per cent within three months. Recommendation is three grams of beta glucans a day. This is equivalent  to a small bowl of porridge, three oatcakes and two slices of oat bread. This would also contribute about  5g of your daily fibre intake. Oats also contains fibre  which also binds to cholesterol so that it is removed through waste. High-fibre bread can be added to the diet to boost fibre intake further. A meta-analysis of 67 studies on dietary fibre and cholesterol levels revealed that consuming more fibre helped reduce LDL by a small but significant amount.

2. Saltwater fishes like salmon, tuna and cod

They contain omega3 fatty acids which can be your main source of essential fatty acids (fat intake). Evidence have shown that omega3 fatty acids reduces LDL. Hence, if you are not someone on immunosuppresants or chemotherapy, then fresh sashimi can be an option too. But also bearing in mind, too much of consumption of fishes can lead to mercury poisoning.

3. Cruciferous vegetables like brocoli and kai lan, legumes like beans

They also contain fibre which would compete with absorption of fats in the small intestines. They also help to provide bulk in peristalsis of the gut, at the same time contain anti-oxidants which can be useful in cancer prevention. Furthermore, food with high fibre contents can help control weight and protect arteries from heart disease. Recommended eighteen grams a day. Around 5g will come from oat-based products and you can get the rest from just a slice of high-fibre toast and two tablespoons of beans. But also bearing in mind that these vegetable can lead to gyanecomastia or subfertility in males due to the phyto-oestrogens.

4. Red yeast rice

Red yeast rice is a substance that’s extracted from rice that’s been fermented with a type of yeast called Monascus purpureus. It’s been used in China and other Asian countries for centuries as a traditional medicine. It’s also used as a food coloring, additive, and preservative. It contains several ingredients that control cholesterol levels including a number of monacolins, most importantly monacolin K which is the equivalent of lovastain - a well-known drug that reduces cholesterol. It also contains sterols, isoflavones, and monounsaturated fatty acids. Studies have shown that red yeast rice can significantly lower levels of total cholesterol and specifically LDL. One showed that taking 2.4 grams per day of red yeast rice reduced LDL levels by 22% and total cholesterol by 16% in 12 weeks. Another study showed that taking 1.2 grams per day lowered LDL levels by 26% in just eight weeks.

5. Garlic

Garlic not only gives flavour to food, there is also some evidence that it can reduce LDL for 6 months and at the same time contains anti-oxidants that prevents cancer in the long run. But patients with gout should not be taking it.

6. Red wine

Recent studies have shown that HDL is increased with alcohol consumption by
increasing the transport rate of apolipoproteins A-I and A-II.

Others:

Meat choice: White meat such as chicken breast, turkey meat

(breast meat contains lowest percentage of fats)

avoid red meat when you eat at home or on a regular bassis, so that you can eat them during your quest for great food

Consume skimmed milk/non-fat instead of full cream milk

Choose wholemeal/muti-grain bread instead of plain white bread

Version of cooking: steamed, to get more flavours use garlic (but remember to chop off the brown end which could be carcinogenic when consumed!)

Please refrain from snacking or eating supper. Best to maintain 2-3 meals a day with appropriate proportions of food on each levels of the food pyramid.

 image

adapted from http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/09/invented-food-pyramid/

Recommendation to have yearly check up on cholesterol levels and if you are below the age of 40, you can try my recommendation, but one has to have enough discipline to maintain this kind of diet.

Another great news is that even if you are diagnosed with dyslipidemia, you do not have to give up on good food anymore: that is if you comply to this diet regime that I have just recommended together with the medications prescribed by your physicians.

Best Dim Sum in London - Hakkasan

Hakkasan

Hakkasan is a high-class modern Chinese restaurant in the heart of Western London, at Hanway Place. The Wagamama Japanese restaurant chain and the newer Yauatcha restaurant, also in London, together with Hakkasan were all created by Syra Khan Alan Yau. Till now, Hakkasan has opened branches in Miami, New York City, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Mumbai. Many believe that other than Hong Kong, London is also a place to get one of the best Dim Sum in the world.

Hakkasan Hanway Place, opened in 2001, is the original restaurant. In 2003, the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star, which it has retained to this day, continuing to place Hakkasan at the forefront of modern Chinese cuisine.

The smell of chinese burning incense filled up the enclosed corridor just outside the restaurant in the basement. The restaurant may be making use of the smell of the incense to give the restaurnt a chinese identity, however as most people do not really fancy incense smell, it may be preferable to make do without it.


Christian Liaigre designed the interior of the restaurant with wooden screens and latticing made of dark English oak, giving the restaurant a very unique atomosphere.

Amongst the Dim Sum, their signature specialities include Pipa Duck, Monk Jump Over the Wall and the lunch set meal.

Four Seasons Oolong (£3.90) per pot - no tea leaves inside, cant just add water, unlike traditional Dim Sum restaurants where the tea is free-flow per person.

Pork and Prawn Siew Mai (£5.50)

Har Gau - Shrimp Dumplings (£4.90)

Char Siew Bun (£3.90)

Pan-fried Turnip Cake with Garlic and Chinese Chive (£5.50) resembles fried carrot cake in Singapore

Prawn and Gai Lan Cheung Fun (£4.90)

Sticky Rice Lotus Leaf (£4.50)

Fried Custard Bun (£4.20) 

Four-style Dim Sum Platter - the restaurant made an effort to make sure that the 4 dim sum were not repeats from what we ordered on a la carte

Pipa Duck - Hakkasan’s signature dish

Stir Fried Pak Choi

Spring Onion and Egg Fried Rice

Coconut Brûlée - with pineapple compote, pina colada sorbet and coconut rocher

Toilet

Why I recommend this place:

Definitely one of the best Dim Sum in London. The decoration, presentation and taste of food all fall into the high end, not to forget the price is also of extremely high end. This expensive restaurant gives one the feeling of being in a fusion of chinese and western world. On one hand, the food is very authentic chinese, however, on the other hand, the desserts and wine selection are very western. Whether or not the dish is chinese or western, Hakkasan is certainly worth a trip to patronise.

Food Rating: 8.1/10

Cost: £40-120

Opening Times:

Sun-Wed  12pm-11.30pm
Thu-Sat  12pm-12.30am

Address:

Hakkasan Hanway Place
8 Hanway Place
London
W1T 1HD

Tel: +44 (0) 207 927 7000

Transit: Berkeley Square (Stop X)

Email: reservation@hakkasan.com
General enquiries: mail@hakkasan.com

Website: www.hakkasan.com/

Hakkasan Mayfair

Hakkasan’s second restaurant in London. It was ranked 60th and 100th in S. Pellegrino’s World’s 100th Best Restaurants in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

Opening Times:

Sun-Wed  12pm-11.30pm
Thu-Sat  12pm-12.30am

Address:

Hakkasan Mayfair
17 Bruton Street
London
W1J 6QB

Tel: +44 (0) 207 907 1888
Email: mayfairreservation@hakkasan.com

For groups of eight or more guests,
please call: +44 (0)207 927 7003
or email: mayfairgroups@hakkasan.com

Four Seasons - BBQ and Roasted duck in London

Four Seasons Restaurant 文興酒家

This is a chain of restaurants with 3 outlets in London, one in Bangkok, Thailand. The most famous one being at Chinatown, 12 Gerrard Street. It is said that this place offers the best cantonese styled barbequed duck in the whole of London.

Menu

Three Combination Barbequed Meat (£9.50)

Special Roasted Duck Cantonese Style (Boneless or with Bone), Soya Chicken (Boneless or with Bone), , Barbequed Pork Charsiew, Crispy Belly Pork, Barbequed Spare Ribs

The waiter made a mistake in the order, and gave us the roasted duck instead of soya chicken when we already ordered another plate of roasted duck.

Half Barbequed Roasted Duck (£12)

Beef Fillet Steak Sizzling with black pepper sauce (£12.80)

Stir Fried Kailan (£7.50)

Singapore Style Fried Vermicelli (Hot and Spicy) (£6)

Steamed rice (Thai) (£2.20) - for chinese, steamed plain rice is best to accompany salty and oily dishes

Mints after the meal that looks like mothballs

The fruits and towels provided may render extra cost to the bill, hence you could tell them not to serve you.

Why I do not recommend this place:

Certainly overrated. It was really disappointing in view of the fact that review from various sources about this chain of restaurants is good. Not really the best roasted duck in London and definitely overpriced and service was bad as expected knowing that it is a cantonese restaurant. £1 for lousy tea per person, £7.50 for a stir fried vegetable dish, £6 for a plate of noodle! Coming from Singapore, the Singapore Style Fried Vermicelli was a disaster. The food in general was too salty, oily and unhealthy, yet lacking good flavours. The barbequed roasted duck which was to be their signature did not manage to pass the standard. When we asked for the duck to be boneless, they gave us parts that appears to have been leftovers from other customers such as the gluteus, rib areas (still bones on the dish) etc. Conclusion is that one should not order mixed platter or half duck, instead, one should order duck rice/noodle when the cuts of meat would be more decent. To make matters worse, the waiter also made a mistake and ordered wrongly for us. Perhaps, when a chinese stays in London for too long, there would be cravings for chinese food and good chinese food is not common here in London, however, there are surely better alternatives that one can find.

Food Rating 1.5/10

Cost: £20 per pax

Address:

12 Gerrard Street

London W1D 5PR

Areas: Chinatown, Soho

Tel: 020 7494 0870

Nearest Transit Station:

Leicester Square

Piccadilly Circus

Tottenham Court Road

Website: www.fs-restaurants.co.uk/

Best Breakfast and Afternoon Tea in London - The Wolseley

The Wolseley

The Wolseley is restaurant located at 160 Piccadilly, London, next to the Ritz Hotel. It was opened in November 2003. It was ranked 41st and 49th in S. Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2004 and 2005 respectively. Due to its proximity to the many hedge fund offices in St James, it has a reputation as a venue for corporate entertainment, being named as the “Best Restaurant for Business" in “Harden’s London Restaurants 2010”. Till now, it is still one of the best restaurant to have breakfast and afternoon tea in London.

The Wolseley English Breakfast (£3.75)

Hot chocolate - The Wolseley (£4.75) 

Hot chocolate Gourmand (£6) - The difference between Hot chocolate Gourmand and hot chocolate is that the former is served with in a very concentrated form such that you can add the milk to alter its concentration up to your own preference, whilst the latter is a more diluted form with a fixed concentration.

Mixed Basket (£7.5) -  a sellection of mini-crossiant, pain au  chocolat, danish, amandiner pain sucre au beurre normand, cannele bordelaiss

Eggs Benedict small (£7), large (£13.50)

Eggs Floreine small (£7.50), large (£14.50)

Eggs Arlington small (£8.50),  large (£16.50)

Eggs Florentine substitutes spinach for the ham
Eggs Arlington substitutes salmon for the ham

Toilet

Why I recommend this place:

Superb ambience, with luxurious classical British style decoration. Their selection of tea and their hot chocolate are truly fantastic.    Their mixed basket as well as the Eggs Benedict are certainly one of the best in the region. Would like to visit again for afternoon tea and try out their scones. 

Food Rating: 

Cost: £20-65 per pax

Opening Times:

Mon-Fri 7am-12am

Sat 8am-12am

Sun 8am-11pm

Breakfast:

Mon-Fri 7-11.30am

Sat-Sun 8-11.30am

Lunch:

Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm

Sat-Sun 12pm-3.30pm

Afternoon Tea:

Mon-Fri 3-6.30pm

Sat 3.30-5.30pm

Sun 3.30-6.30pm

Dinner:

Mon-Sat 5.30pm-12am

Sun 5.30-11pm

Address:

160 Piccadilly

London W1J 9EB

United Kingdom

Tel: 020 7499 6996

Email: info@thewolseley.com

Website: www.thewolseley.com/

Please make a reservation a week ahead if you would like to enjoy their famous afternoon tea or breakfast.

Puffs in London - West Cornwall Pasty

West Cornwall Pasty

Claiming to be UK’s largest specialist retailer of premium Cornish Pasties, West Cornwall Pasty Co. serves a whole range of different types of pastries for which their signature is their traditional pasty which comes in small, medium and large sizes.

Traditional Pasty - Traditional hand-crimped pasty made with flaky pastry and filled with tender beef skirt, potato, swede and onion, sprinkled with seasoning

Why I recommend this place:

The aroma of this pastry was alluring even about 5 metres away from the store. The pastry looks golden brown on the outside, and upon the first bite, it is mouth-melting hot. However, it does not taste as good as it looks or smell, nevertheless, I would still recommend it since it is a type of traditional food in London. 

Food Rating: 4.3/10 

Cost: £2-7

Many locations including the one I visited outside London Bridge Tube Station beside Krispy Kreme.

Email: info@westcornwallpasty.co.uk

Website: www.westcornwallpasty.co.uk/

Best Doughnuts in the World - Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme is an international chain of doughnut stores that was founded by Vernon Rudolph in 1937 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States.

Now, not just confined to the United States, there are many outlets spread across the world including countries like Canada, United Kingdom, Thailand, Phillipines and Japan. 

Krispy Kreme’s signature item is a glazed doughnut that is traditionally served warm. It also sells other forms of assorted doughnuts including strawberry, chocolate, custard cream etc.

There are several outlets all across the world. There used to a branch in the famous shopping centre, Harrods in London,  but it had moved to another location now.

Why I recommend this place:

Their speciality glazed doughnut can be considered as one of the best doughnuts in the world. The sweetness and texture is just right. If you happen to drop by a Krispy Kreme store, you must try it.

Food Rating: 8.5/10

Cost: £2 per doughnut

Website: www.krispykreme.com/home

Delicious Grilled Chicken - Nandos in London

Nandos

This South African casual dining restaurant group offering Portuguese/Mozambican cuisine was founded in 1987.
Currently, it operates in 30 countries across the world, including United Kingdom, Australia, India, Malaysia, Singapore and so on.

Here, their speciality is grilled chicken dishes with either lemon and herb, medium, hot, extra hot or extra extra hot Peri-Peri sauces (properly known as Galinha à Africana). Nando’s has other flavour options like mango and lime or Mediterranean in some countries.

Whole Chicken with 2 side dishes (Fries and Mashed Potato)

Various type of Sauces to complement the chicken

Why I recommend this place:

The succulent chicken is grilled almost to perfection, except for part of the skin that is charred which could be peeled away, together with a whole range of periperi sauces which augments the flavour of the chicken, makes a great combination. A good choice to go to if you simply want a quick and affordable meal.

Food Rating:4.9/10

Cost: £10-15 per pax

Opening Times:

Mon-Sat 8am-11.30pm
Sun 9am-11.30pm

Address:

Nandos opposite King’s Cross Station, London

12-16 York Way, Islington, London N1 9AA, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 20 7833 2809 
 
Website: www.nandos.co.uk/

Most Affordable Lunch and One of the Best British Food in London - Hereford Road

 Hereford Road

Situated at a location which was once a Victorian butcher’s shop along Hereford Road, this restaurant whih offers simple yet innovative British cooking, was established in October 2007.

Tom Pemberton, who was the previous head chef of St. John Bread and Wine has transformed a simple neighbourhood restaurant in the residential area of Nottinghill into a gourmet attraction that serves excellent local delights at reasonable price.

Quoted from chef and co-founder Tom Pemberton, “It seems to me the area lacks a strong neighbourhood restaurant. Our main priority is to provide genuinely high quality, interesting and affordable British food in a relaxed environment.”

  

Marinated Smoked Haddock

 

Cold Middlewhite Loin (Pork) , Dandeloin and Mustard

 

Grilled Mackerel

 

Onglet (Beef), Watercress and Fried Potato

Treacle Tart - classical British dessert

Passion Fruit Sorbet

Why I recommend this place:

You will be rather impressed by this neighbourhood restaurant if you are looking for modern British cooking. The food here is simple, yet delicious. The ever changing menu comprising of seasonal items, as well as the affordable prices (especially set lunch and the express set) based on London’s standard of cost, are the two main reasons why gourmets should visit this place. I enjoyed their passion fruit sorbet and the onglet beef. The service is good too. It is certainly worthwhile to make a specially make a trip there specially for their set lunch.

Food Rating: 8.0/10

Cost:

A la Carte - Starters £5-7.50, Main course £10-15

Set Lunch - £13 (2 courses), £15.50 (3 courses)

Express Lunch - main course, a glass of wine and coffee for just £9.50

(set meals only available on Mon-Fri)

Opening Times:

12pm-12am daily

Lunch from 12pm (last orders 3pm)

Dinner from 6pm (last orders Mon-Sat 10.30pm, Sunday 10pm)

Address:

3 Hereford Road  London W2 4AB, United Kingdom
Tel: 020 7727 1144
Transit: Bayswater

Website: www.herefordroad.org/

Garfunkel’s

Garfunkel’s

A famous chain of restaurants in Great Britain, since its founding in 1979. It has many outlets spread across whole of the United Kingdom. They offer a whole array of food including burgers, sandwiches, grills, fish and chips, steaks, pizzas and pastas.

Hot Chocolate

Pancake in Maple syrup

Garfunkel’s breakfast - inclusive of hashbrown, sausage, bacon, grilled tomato, mushroom and egg

Why I do not recommend this place:

Overpriced yet unremarkable. The mixed grilled which is over-charreded cost about £20 already about 10 years ago. When I re-visited Garfunkel’s this year (at the London Gatwick Airport) just for the breakfast, it is rather decent, however, it does not have anything special enough for me to look forward to revisiting it back again. Anyway there are not many great food in the airport, thus Garfunkel’s is already considered as an ok choice for a meal there, at least there are plenty of choices of food at the Garfunkel’s.

Food Rating: 1.0/10

Cost: £10-30 per pax

Website: www.garfunkels.co.uk/

One of the World’s Most Famous Bakery - Paul Boulangerie

Paul Boulangerie

In 1889, in the city of Croix, Paul, a french bakery, was established.
This marked the birth of a franchise.

As of now, Paul Bakery has over 400 cafe restaurants (over 300 in France alone) all over the world including France, United Kingdom, the United States, China, Japan, Taiwan and even Singapore.

London’s Paul at Brompton Road

Opening Times:
Mon-Sat 7.30am-7pm
Sun 8am-7pm

Address:

22 Brompton Road
London SW3 1JD

Tel: 0207 584 6117
Fax: 0207 581 6853
Email: paul411@paul-uk.com

Website: www.paul-uk.com/

They specialise in breads, crepes, sandwiches, macarons, soups, cakes, pastries, coffee, wine and beer.

One of the best food from Paul in my opinion, are their baugettes and wholemeal bread.

One of Paul’s outlet in Paris at Champs-Élysées.

Why I recommend this place:

Order a cup of coffee and a sandwich at Champs-Élysées while looking at the people on the street is one of the top 10 things to do in Paris. If you just want to have something light for a meal, Paul would be one of the place you can consider to visit. They also have huge macarons the size of a palm, similar to that of the huge macarons of Pierre Hermé, but of course the taste and flavour of Pierre Hermé is way superior.

Food Rating: 5.0/10 Rating for Macaron: 4.0/10

Cost: €3-8 per item

Website: www.paul.fr/

see post on Paul in Singapore, Taiwan