I would like to add to the fantastic responses above that yes both diet and exercise can help to manage high cholesterol and I have seen clients that have been able to weane off medication by making suitable changes. HOWEVER like Angela has posted, always consult your General Practitioner before ceasing any medication.
High cholesterol has a number of risk factors not just diet and (lack of) physical activity. You also have to factor in family genetics, smoking, alcohol and stress.
In terms of Dietary Advice for lowering Cholesterol I will try and keep it simple.
Your overall goals should be to aim for a healthy weight (for most adults that is a BMI of <25) and reduce your waist measurement. In addition by exercising for at least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity on most days of the week, would be a good point to start for (I find pedometers great for tracking steps - aim for >10,000 a day!)
1. Reduce Saturated Fats - any visible fat on meat, skin on poultry, full fat dairy products, pastry and T/A items, processed meats (eg sausages), coconut oil and palm oil.
2. Include 2-3 serves of oily fish a week (150g is sufficient which is hand size). Australian and Atlantic salmon (fresh or canned), blue-eye trevalla, gemfish and canned sardines or salmon are the best choices. If you dislike fish, I would recommend taking 3-6 grams of fish oil capsules per day.
3. Try to include Legumes and pulses in at least two meals a week - excellent source of protein and soluble fibre.
4. Aim for the 2 Fruit / 5 Veg a day. (1 serve = approx 1/2 cup ;)
5. Add some nuts to your diet. 30-50 grams of raw, unroasted, unsalted nuts everyday is a great snack idea. Almonds are my personal fav!
6. Try to limit sugary, fatty and salty snack foods. You can still enjoy these in moderation however it is best to limit them.
7. Include sources of soluble fibre such as chia seeds, apple, oats, barley, psyllium husks and rice bran. All proven to help reduce total blood cholesterol. You should aim for around 30 grams of fibre a day.
8. If you choose to drink, limit to one-two standard drink(s) a day with a couple of alcohol free days during the week.
9. Choose foods and drinks with added plant sterols in them (check the product label to see if they are added). Plant sterols help to lower your total cholesterol. The Heart Foundation recommends 2-3 grams of plant sterols each day. They are added to certain margarines such as Logicol, ProActiv and a milk & yoghurt called Pura Heart-Active.
10. Choose low salt foods and avoid adding salt to foods instead use herbs and spices.
It takes at least six weeks to see some change in your Cholesterol levels so request a new blood test around this time. Best of luck!
Accredited Practising Dietitian
Report this post
You must be a HealthShare member to report this post.
to your account or
now (it's free).