Our expert says:
I am so glad to hear that your husband survived his heart attack. If he suffers from high cholesterol, then he needs to lower his intakes of total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. To lower his cholesterol levels, he will basically 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 (for example you can use olive oil in normal quantities in the diet). 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 3g 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 & Nutrition' 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 registered dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area).
If your children are aged 1 and 5 years, then they should have been introduced to eating vegetables already. If not, then it is a good idea to get started with this part of their diet education. The entire family will benefit from eating a low-fat diet that is rich in protective foods such as fruit, vegetables, high-fibre grains and starches, lean meat, fish and low-fat milk and dairy products. Starches that have not been refined (milled and sifted) with a high-fibre content like All-Bran, high-fibre cereals, unsifted maize meal, sorghum, wholewheat and brown bread, oats, brown rice and pasta made with wholewheat flour should form part of a heart patient's diet. Highly refined starches which are also rich in fat, such as cakes, pies, pastry, vetkoek, biscuits, etc should be avoided.
Holding thumbs that your entire family will eat a healthier diet and that your hubby will recover 100%.
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