Cholesterol doesn't discriminate

By admin
07 March 2014

Don’t think because you’re young and fit you can’t have high cholesterol – these Villiersdorp residents realised with a shock that no one is immune.


Heidi Flack tackled her high cholesterol levels. Heidi Flack tackled her high cholesterol levels.

IT’S called the silent killer because cholesterol can build up in your body without you noticing it. If you don’t have your cholesterol levels tested, like Sidney Ntantiso and Heidi Flack did, you might never know you have a problem – until it’s too late and you suffer a heart attack or stroke. Exercising and maintaining a healthy body weight aren’t enough to keep high cholesterol at bay. “I exercise regularly,” says Heidi (41), a slim mom of two.

“I’m not overweight and we eat relatively healthily at home – which is why I couldn’t believe it when I saw my levels were above the healthy limit.” The healthy limit is a total cholesterol level of 5,0 mmol/l. Heidi does boxing at a gym twice a week and cardio exercises such as running or cycling three times a week. She also has a home gym with weights, a trampoline and a treadmill. ‘Flora has taught me to make healthy foods more visible – now the almonds are at eye level and the biscuits way out of reach in the cupboard!’ Thanks to Flora’s cholesterol challenge she’s made a few changes to her family’s eating habits. “I now make a point of having breakfast whereas before I often skipped meals. I buy instant oats and everyone in the family now has a bowl of porridge in the morning.” And she now thinks twice before having chocolate. “Before I’d think nothing of eating one or two squares. Now I go for healthier options such as fruit.” She’s also started buying cottage cheese instead of hard cheese and she has a salad for lunch. “I was nervous about going back for a second cholesterol test because my first result showed levels slightly over the limit. But I was pleasantly surprised – the reading was down to to 4,5 mmol/l.” Her domestic worker, Annie Swarts (43), also started eating healthily along with Heidi’s family. Annie Swarts is now eating more healthily. Annie Swarts is now eating more healthily. Like Heidi she’s slightly built and you’d never guess her cholesterol was over the healthy limit, yet when she was tested her reading was 5,6 mmol/l. Annie says she now removes the skin from chicken and regularly eats Flora pro.activ. She walks to work part of the way in the morning and plays netball on weekends. As in Heidi’s case these small changes have made a huge difference – when she had her second test her cholesterol was down to 4,4 mmol/l.“It felt like something I could do nothing about, but then I started using Flora pro.activ and eating less fatty meat. I was delighted to see that also helped.”


Breakfast: Instant oats porridge

Lunch: Salad with butternut, boiled egg, feta cheese and seeds Supper: Pasta with pesto sauce Snacks: Almonds or fruit


lettuce cherry tomatoes cucumber

feta cheese handful pumpkin seeds boiled or steamed butternut, chilled one boiled egg per person, or smoked trout or chicken breasts

Toss together the first six ingredients then top with the egg, trout or chicken breasts. Heidi says the salad is delicious with a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar.


Fit policeman slugs it out with cholesterol

Sidney Ntantiso and his wife, Fezeka. Sidney keeps fit by coaching boxing in his spare time. Sidney Ntantiso and his wife, Fezeka. Sidney keeps fit by coaching boxing in his spare time.

SERGEANT Sidney Ntantiso (40) of the Villiersdorp police has always been fit – apart from being a policeman he’s also a boxing coach. “I think it was all the braaivleis over the December holidays that sent my cholesterol soaring,” he says, jokingly. “My wife usually checks that I don’t eat too much but she was with her family in the Eastern Cape.” When Sidney had his cholesterol levels checked early this year he was surprised to find he wasn’t as healthy as he’d thought. “I was shocked.

When he had his levels checked he was surprised to find he wasn’t as healthy as he’d thought.

I thought cholesterol was a family thing and we don’t have cholesterol in our family.” His wife, Fezeka (34), got a big shock. She wasn’t tested but when she heard how high Sydney’s cholesterol was she immediately introduced some changes at home. “We have three daughters and I want him to be healthy for their sake,” she says. She now removes the skin and fat from their chicken and they eat Flora pro.activ with everything, from bread and crackers to rice and vegetables. They now also eat more vegetables, avoid sugary drinks, drink more water and try to avoid red meat – which Sidney finds hard because it’s one of his favourite foods. Sidney has also adapted his exercise regime. “When I coach in the afternoons I no longer just show the boys what to do, I box with them.”After the training he goes for a 10-km run followed by a small supper with his family.


Breakfast: Cereal with low-fat milk (no sugar), two slices of brown bread spread with Flora pro.activ and a boiled egg Lunch: Chicken breasts with rice, vegetables and Flora pro.activ Supper: Fruit, a small portion of meat, maize-meal porridge and vegetables Snacks: Fruit and plenty of water


  • Make sure you get plenty of exercise
  • Eat Flora pro.activ
  • Avoid fatty foods
  • Eat more fruit and veggies
  • Drink more water
  • Eat a proper breakfast 

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