Posted by: Mosey | 2009/02/25

High Cholesterol

Hi, Hope you can help. I am a 58 year old woman who is quite healthy and reasonably fit. Altho I have lost 7kg' s and eaten far healthier than I have ever eaten in the past year, e.g. chicken, fish and loads of veg and salad, I have been told that my cholesterol level is a bit high. Not high enough for medication ~ but a little high. I was wondering where I can find a diet to lower my cholesterol and to also see where I am going wrong with my diet. I do not cook with loads of creamy sauces and we have red maybe 1-2 times a week. Maybe there are some ' hidden'  fioodstuffs I am eating ignorantly! Many thanks

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Our expert says:
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Dear Mosey
Firstly congratulations on losing those 7 kgs! You are a star! This weightloss will already have helped to lower your cholesterol levels. If you still have moderately raised cholesterol levels, then you would need to lower your intakes of total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. To lower your cholesterol levels basically you 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 you don't need to lose any more weight you 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. You 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 you require a specific diet to be worked out for you, then I would recommend that you 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).
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: Mosey | 2009/02/26

Thank you to both of you!
I seem to be doing 80% of what you say ~ need to just see where I can improve on the other 20%.
By the way I take up to 3 Omega tabs a day.
Thnaks for your prompt reply

Reply to Mosey
Posted by: Angie | 2009/02/25

If your doctor has done a cholesterol test and it is high, it may not be that your bad cholesterol is high just that your overall cholesterol is slightly elevated. When you get a typical cholesterol test, you get one generalized LDL (Low density lipo-protein –  BAD Cholesterol) reading upon which to base your heart-disease risk.
From childhood onward, a high-fat diet and sedentary lifestyle increase the LDL in your bloodstream. These LDL are the ones that burrow into artery walls and cause lesions. And eventually break off and ride the bloodstream into your heart or wedges in a blood vessel, closing it off. HDL, on the other hand, is high-density lipo-protein (good cholesterol)
If you are healthy and fairly active this is probably the case, which means you should request a HDL/LDL ratio cholesterol blood test to determine which cholesterol is actually elevated. You may have high levels of good cholesterol which means you will probably live to 110!

Reply to Angie

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