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Army August 30, 2012
AT SOME stage in life,
regardless of age or gender,
many of us will have to face
up to two scary words: high
According to the Heart
Foundation, 51 per cent of Australian
adults have high blood cholesterol.
High cholesterol levels increase
your risk of developing heart disease
or having a stroke.
There are two types of choles-
terol: low-density cholesterol known
as 'bad' cholesterol and high-density
cholesterol known as 'good' choles-
Too much bad cholesterol can
build up and clog your arteries, caus-
ing heart disease and stroke, while
good cholesterol helps remove excess
levels of bad cholesterol.
Dietician Tiffany Peddle, of
Du ntroon Health Centre, said mak-
ing some simple dietary changes
could lower bad cholesterol and keep
"Some of the causes of high cho-
lesterol are related to poor diet, there-
fore a healthy eating plan is impor-
tant to maintain blood cholesterol
within the healthy range," she said.
Start by avoiding foods contain-
ing trans-fats and saturated fats.
These bad fats are com monly
found in animal-based products such
as full-cream milk, cheese and other
full-fat dairy products, fatty cuts of
meat, chicken skin, butter, processed
meats and commercially processed
and packaged foods containing palm
"Palm oil is often listed in the
ingredients list as 'vegetable oil' so
check the nutrition infor mation panel
for total saturated fat content, which
ideally should be less than 2g in
every 100g," Mrs Peddle said.
Getting in the habit of check-
ing food labels while you are in the
super market will help you make an
infor med choice.
Replacing these saturated fats
with unsaturated fats (polyunsatu-
rated and monounsaturated) can help
reduce your risk of cardiovascular
Unsaturated fats naturally occur
in plant-based oils like olive, canola
and peanut oils, avocados and nuts.
Salmon, tuna and sardines are
rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fats,
which lower cholesterol and keep
your immune system healthy.
Mrs Peddle also recommended
eating plenty of foods high in soluble
fibre such as oats/oat bran, apples,
legumes and psyllium to reduce cho-
"Beta glucan, a type of solu-
ble fibre found in oats and barley,
is fou nd in many fortified breakfast
cereals formulated specifically to
reduce cholesterol," she said.
Plant sterols found in fruit, veg-
etables, nuts, grains and seeds also
reduce the absorption of cholester-
LS Paul Berry discovers some important facts about keeping your
cholesterol in check.
Eating away at cholesterol
Use vegetable or seed oils/mar-
garine for cooking and spreads.
Eat plenty of soluble fibre, fresh
fruit and vegetables.
Snack on nuts and seeds like
walnuts, almonds, cashews,
hazelnuts and sesame, sunflower
or pumpkin seeds.
Use low or no fat dairy products.
Eat whole grains -- bread, brown
rice, whole wheat pasta and
Eat fish a few times a week.
Choose lean cuts of meat and
trim off the visible fats.
ol and are also found in specially
formulated margarines, milks and
"These products can reduce
cholesterol by up to 10 to 15 per
cent; however, you need to check the
label to ensure you are consuming
adequate serves of these products
to optimise cholesterol lowering
effect," Mrs Peddle said.
Many factors lead to high choles-
terol including diet, exercise, weight,
gender, age, genetics, diabetes and
other medical conditions, so it is
important that you consult a doctor
for the best course of action.
Healthy heart: Making some simple changes to your diet can reduce your
risk of heart disease and stroke.
Photo by LS Paul Berry
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