22 September 2018

Lose weight, lower cholesterol and avoid a heart attack with these tips

Lower cholesterol levels like Wattie van Rensburg with a smart, evidence-based diet, which he researched. Here are his five tips.


There’s nothing more sobering than a doctor saying you’ll be going to heaven soon. But that’s exactly what Wattie van Rensburg was told, and it tallied with his own area of expertise: He was now the “worst-case scenario” he would warn his students about.

The most shocking part of this story is that – unlike many other high-cholesterol sufferers – Wattie’s salvation didn’t happen through medicine; rather, his research skills and scientific method are what saved him.

Read more: This man went from the verge of a heart attack to losing 20kg

Wattie brought down his high cholesterol levels with a smart, evidence-based diet, which he researched (he even provided us with references). Here are his five tips:

1. Make smarter choices, and eat less junk food.

“It’s not always fun to skip the tasty, fatty comfort food, but it’s a whole lot more fun than a heart attack!”

Read more: Try this science-backed workout that can decrease your risk of having a heart attack, even if it runs in your family

2. Cut back on high-fat dairy and meat.

“I eat venison, ostrich, pork, fish or skinless chicken. I still occasionally eat steak and lamb, but I go for the lower-fat cuts, such as fillet, sirloin and leg of lamb.”

Read more: 3 ways to reduce your risk of heart disease

3. Eat healthy fats daily: Oats, avocado, olive oil and almonds.

“Healthy fat doesn’t have to be tasteless and bland. I added clinically proven cholesterol-lowering foods, such as 1/3 cup of raw oats, 30g of almonds, at least half an avo and extra-virgin olive oil. I also take a daily omega 3 supplement.”

4. Recruit some digital help to start counting your kilojoules.

“I always recommend that people start by downloading a kilojoule-counting app such as FatSecret. It shows you exactly where you must cut, and what your daily energy consumption is. Your body is a machine: If you put too much fuel in it, and then don’t burn that fuel, it will clog up the system and lead to a malfunction!”

Read more: 100 simple things you can do right now to protect your heart

5. Make smarter carb options.

“I eat carbs, but I try to replace highly refined carbs with more whole-wheat options.”

This article was originally published on

Image credit: iStock


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