Nutrition Related Diseases
What does it mean to have high cholesterol/hyperlipidaemia?
Cholesterol is a waxy fat carried through the bloodstream via lipoproteins.
There three main different lipoproteins that are tested to diagnose high cholesterol or dyslipidaemia.
- Low-density lipoproteins (LDL): When LDL levels are high, it results in plaque formation against the wall of the arteries / forms clots. The heart works harder to pump blood through the body. When the heart is under stress or cannot receive a healthy amount of blood flow due to clots or stiffened arteries the risk for a heart attack or stroke increases. LDL is considered the ‘bad cholesterol’, aim to decrease LDL levels.
- High-density lipoproteins: This is considered the good cholesterol and acts like a car picking up the bad cholesterol and driving it out of the blood. Aim to increase HDL levels.
- Triglycerides: This is the fat your body creates from extra calories, dietary sugar, fat and alcohol. Aim to decrease triglycerides.
Arteriosclerosis: A build-up of bad fats in the arteries narrow the arteries and decrease efficient blood flow through the body.
Coronary heart diseases: Increased risk due to impaired blood flow and oxygen delivery.
Angina: Chest pain due to poor blood circulation/overworked heart
Stroke: When fat deposits form a clot/clots and block the arteries, this interrupts blood flow to the brain and result in a stroke.
Various lifestyle changes can be made, use these few tips as part of your diet or meal plan to lower your cholesterol.
- Stop smoking
- If overweight, lose weight
- Increase your healthy fat intake (Avocado, unsalted nuts and seeds, sugar and salt-free nut butters, olive oil) Remember: Fats are high in energy if you need to lose weight keep the portions to thumb size.
- Have fish that is high in omega 3 - WITHOUT BATTER & NOT DEEP-FRIED (tinned in water/ grilled/ make on fire/ poached) Examples of fish that's high in healthy fat: salmon, herring, sardines, trout, Mackerel, black cod, Anchovies, Oysters, mussels, halibut
- 35 % Fat from total energy is recommended (Consisting mostly of Mono- and Polyunsaturated fats).
- Do not use any refined white starches, swop them for whole grain or brown starches
- Limit alcohol intake
- Be cautious when choosing juices/ drinks they can be high in sugar
- Limit sweets and desserts to 2 X per week
- Do not overeat
- Increase fiber:
- Have fruit and vegetables with the skin where possible
- Have oats often
- Add Flaxseeds to breakfast daily
- Choose brown or whole wheat grains
- Have vegetables with lunch AND supper
- Have 2 fruits a day
- Enjoy Chia seeds, they are high in fiber
LDL: less than 2.6 mmol/L
HDL: more than 1mmol/L
Triglycerides: Less than 1.7
Supplementation recommendation to lower cholesterol in accordance with your Doctor:
- Long-chain omega-3 fatty acid supplementation. 3 g per day. The supplement should contain EPA and DHA.
- Plant sterols
20-50g flaxseeds per day.