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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How do I lower my bad cholesterol?

    I eat lots of nuts fresh fruit ,use olive oil and I still have a level of 6.5 …I need to lower it. How do I do this?/
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 7


    Rebecca Charlotte Reynolds, PhD (Dr Bec) Personable and ethical registered nutritionist (RNutr) and lecturer at UNSW Australia in lifestyle and health. Regular consultant to the … View Profile

    Hi there!

    Keep on eating your fruit and olive oil.

    Also consume omega 3 supplements/ oily fish, nuts, plant sterol products like Flora Proactiv margarine and soluble fibres like oats and psyllium (think Guardian cereal and porridge).

    Decrease your intake of saturated fats (e.g. high fat animal products) and trans-saturated fats (e.g. biscuits) and watch how much pre-formed cholesterol in food you eat (i.e. limit the number of whole eggs you eat per week to four).

    Reducing your weight if you are overweight and exercising are some other lifestyle changes that will also help decrease your cholesterol.

    All this information and more is explained in more detail below :)

  • 5


    Priya Iyer


    With over 16+ years experience in the field of nutrition & dietetics, Priya specialises in rehabilitation (covering neurology, burns, aged care & disability) and has … View Profile

    Low density lipoprotein (LDL) also referred to as the ‘bad’ cholesterol can be lowered by several ways – dietary & lifestyle strategies (used as the first line of treatment mostly dependent on the absolute risk) and/or pharmacotherapy (statins).
    Dietary strategies aim to reduce saturated fat intake whilst manipulating diet to get functional amounts of ‘good fats’ like polyunsaturated fats, omega-3s & plant sterols. Increasing soluble fibre intake is also beneficial in lowering cholesterol levels. An APD will be able to work with you in translating the above strategies into simple food & lifestyle tips to help action them easily.
    It is always wise to seek an expert consult to look at your diet & lifestyle practices, your lipid profile & other associated risk factors to receive individually tailored recommendations that are meaningful.
    Your GP will be able to discuss medical approach with you and an Accredited Practising Dietitian will assist you in reducing your CVD risk using dietary approaches. Good luck!

  • 4


    Karel Vine


    I help people manage mental and emotional health issues, behaviour change, past and present trauma, grief and relationship problems. The techniques I use include Cognitive … View Profile

    Sometimes it is really hard to know what are healthy options and what are not, as there is so much contradiction and misinformation in the health field. It's hard to know who to trust. We are all unique individuals and what is healthy for one person, sometimes causes health issues for another. For example some people have food intolerances and/or digestive difficulties. Also, your body operates as a whole and therefore, isolating and focussing on one part may create imbalances in another. There is so much confusion about cholesterol in general and and LDL in particular. It may be helpful to do some research for yourself or see a wholistic practitioner to review your whole diet and any symptomatology. For an alternative view of cholesterol: 'The Cholesterol Myths', Uffe Ravnskov MD 2000

  • 4


    Kate Marsh

    Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), Diabetes Educator, Dietitian

    Kate works with clients with type 1 and gestational diabetes, PCOS, and those following a plant-based (vegetarian or vegan) diet. As a diabetes educator, she … View Profile

    While there are some foods that are best to avoid (e.g. fatty meats, processed meats, fast foods and high fat processed snacks like chips, biscuits and pastries) there are also foods you should eat more of if you are aiming to lower cholesterol levels. Add a combination of these regularly for maximum benefit.

    • Legumes. Lentils, chickpeas and dried beans are great source soluble fibre which helps to lower LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol levels. You can add these to soups, casseroles and curries or toss some in a salad.
    • Nuts. Eating a handful of nuts per day has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of dying from heart disease by 20-50% so keep eating these regularly.
    • Oats and barley are rich in beta-glucan, a soluble fibre which can lower cholesterol levels. Start your day with a bowl of oats or natural muesli, and use barley in place of rice.
    • Soy foods - soy protein (found in soybeans, tofu and soymilk) can help to reduce cholesterol and prevent the cholesterol being oxidised and causing damage to your blood vessels.

    Also make sure there are plenty of vegetables and salads on your plate at mealtimes.

    As Priya has mentioned, an Accredited Practising Dietitian can give you more individualised advice on making these changes to your current eating plan. You can find a local dietitian here

  • 2


    Erin Miller

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Accredited Dietitian and Nutritionist Erin Miller is passionate about health and wellbeing. The Nutrition Network is her home and she opens her doors to assist … View Profile

    Weel done on trying to lowering your cholesterol naturally!

    Sounds like you are on the right track! Monitoring your intake and exercise can greatly assist with helping to lower your cholesterol.

    Following a low saturdated fat diet- which includes cutting back on animal products, full cream dairy, deli meats, take-aways, fried foods, confectionary can help.

    Include a variety of different foods each day to ensure you are getting a balance of mineral and vitamins.. and helps with crash dietiting. Following the Australia Guide to Healthy Eating will guide you with the number of serves per food group and helps with portion control.

    Aim to exercise often & limit the stress in your life as much as possible can also assist to lower your cholesterol!

    All the best with your health adventure!

    Erin Miller

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