Ask an expert

10 Apr 2006

Eating plan
Hi, I am 35 years old, 1.6m tall and weigh 70.5 kgs. I have been asked by my GP to see a dietician but my medical aid does not cover this. My cholesterol level is 5.4 which according to him is a little bit over. Could you please help, I am currently walking daily for about 45 - 60 minutes a day. I need to get this cholesterol level down to the normal rate.

Thank you.
Answer 372 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Cindy
I agree with your GP and would recommend that you do see a dietitian because you need an individual diet worked out for you which will lower your cholesterol and also help you lose weight. I can only give you general recommendations, so do try and see a dietitian - they are not expensive. Your present BMI = 27,3, which is above the normal level. If you could reduce your weight to 59 kg you would be nicely within the normal range, which would help for the cholesterol. To lower your cholesterol levels basically you will have to eat a diet that is low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, and high in dietary fibre and protective nutrients - this entails eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, low-fat milk and dairy products, very lean meat, fish, only 4 eggs per week and only mono- or polyunsaturated margarine or oil (this is where you can use olive oil in normal quantities). Click on 'Diet' and 'Weight loss' and 'Slimming Diet' for a copy of a low-fat, high-fibre diet - if you don't need to lose any weight you can use larger portions of the permitted foods, but should otherwise stick to the portion sizes. You need to check the foods you buy in the supermarket - compare the total fat content of say standard Vienna sausages and that of Low-fat or Lean Viennas - if the latter still contain more than 5g of fat per 100g, then it is better to avoid them. Rather use less processed food, e.g. cook chicken without skin and without added fat (grill or boil in a stew), to have greater control of the fat content than when you eat processed foods. You can also use omega-3 fatty acids (Salmon oil capsules - buy at chemist) to reduce blood cholesterol and try Flora pro-activ which contains plant sterols to lower blood cholesterol (most supermarkets sell this type of margarine). For additional articles, click on 'Diet' and 'You are what you eat' and read the 'Healthy Heart' section.
Keep up the walking as exercise on a daily basis not only helps with weight loss, but can also help for the raised cholesterol.
Best regards
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
33% - 9360 votes
67% - 19292 votes