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Real Life Diet Questions Answered

Angela Dowden

Posted 13 May 08

Advice on a low cholesterol diet?

1) Hi The doctor has told me to go on a standard cholesterol lowering diet. He has given me tablets 1 a day. Apart from porridge and veg and fruit, what else is low? Any advice well received with thanks.

Our expert says...


To lower cholesterol you need to eat a diet should that's low in saturated fats. These are largely animal-based fats (but also palm / coconut oil) found in biscuits, cakes, pastries, red and processed meats, hard cheese and butter. Always try to stick to the daily fat allowance you have been given by this site, and make sure a bigger proportion of the fats you do eat are the unsaturated (mono- and poly-unsaturated) types found in nuts, seed, vegetable oils and avocados.

Porridge, pulses and and fruits and vegetables supply soluble fibre, which is also thought to lower cholesterol.

It also pays to cut down on salt in soups, sauces, gravies, pizzas and ready meals. This won't affect your cholesterol level but will help lower your blood pressure (high blood pressure is another heart disease risk factor!)

Finally don?t drink more than one or two alcoholic drinks a day, and get moving! Lack of exercise can increase LDL ("bad") cholesterol and decrease HDL ("good") cholesterol which raises your risk of a heart attack.

If you?re interested in a way of eating that can significantly lower your cholesterol, often by as much as drugs, you may want to check out the portfolio diet which is detailed at www.heartuk.org.uk This is based on 2000 calories a day though so you?d have to adjust accordingly.

Good luck, and I hope you see those cholesterol figures coming down in due course!

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