Posted by: M | 2007/06/18

Heart attack

Hi Dietdoc

I would like your help.
My husband is 29 years old and he is very worried about his heart. Reason being: Every morning he's got heart pains, not unbearable, but definitely not normal.

He is a smoker and loves red meat. He also do have a family history of heart attacks. And he's got a stressfull job.

Would you please be so kind as to lead me in the right direction to give him a proper diet, so that he doesn't worry too much. He is a bit afraid, seeing that his grandfather died at the age of 49 with a hear attack.

Your help would be highly appreciated.

Kindest regards,

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear M
Please persuade your husband to firstly have a thorough medical checkup to see if the symptoms he is having are due to heart problems or not and also to check what his cholesterol levels, etc look like. This is the essential first step. He then needs to stop smoking and to consult a clinical psychologist to help him to control his stress more effectively. From a dietary point of view if your hubby's family suffers from high cholesterol, then he would need to lower his intakes of total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. To lower his cholesterol levels basically he will have to eat a diet that is low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, and high in dietary fibre and protective nutrients - this entails eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, low-fat milk and dairy products, very lean meat, fish, only 4 eggs per week and only mono- or polyunsaturated margarine or oil (this is where you can use olive oil in normal quantities). Click on 'Diet' and 'Weight loss' and 'Slimming Diet' for a copy of a low-fat, high-fibre diet - if he does not need to lose any weight he can use larger portions of the permitted foods, but should otherwise stick to the portion sizes. You need to check the foods you buy in the supermarket - compare the total fat content of say standard Vienna sausages and that of Low-fat or Lean Viennas - if the latter still contain more than 5g of fat per 100g, then it is better to avoid them. Rather use less processed food, e.g. cook chicken without skin and without added fat (grill or boil in a stew), to have greater control of the fat content than when you eat processed foods. He can also use omega-3 fatty acids (Salmon oil capsules - buy at chemist) to reduce blood cholesterol and try Flora pro-activ which contains plant sterols to lower blood cholesterol (most supermarkets sell this type of margarine). For additional articles, click on 'Diet' and 'You are what you eat' and read the 'Healthy Heart' section. If he requires a specific diet to be worked out for him, then I would recommend that he should consult a clinical dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area). Regular physical exercise (running, jogging, skipping, cycling, swimming, join a gym or Walk for Life) for 30 or more minutes per day will also lower cholesterol, improve heart health and lower stress levels, but he should only exercise IF his doctor gives permission.
Best regards

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: M | 2007/06/19

Thanks so much Dietdoc, it's highly appreciated.

Will defnitely get to work on all your tips straight away.

Have a lovely day !!!

Kind regards,

Reply to M

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