Recommendations for Diet and Lifestyle:

The most important thing you can do to prevent atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease is to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, with the goal of reducing your weight, reducing your triglycerides, reducing inflammation and balancing blood sugar levels. It is very important to lose any excess body fat, especially visceral (abdominal) fat around the organs, it contributes to raised blood triglycerides and oxidised cholesterol.

Suggestions include:

  • Increase the amount and variety vegetables you have each day, especially leafy greens. Eat vegetables of all colours to ensure you are eating plenty of antioxidants. Antioxidants are essential to stop the LDL and HDL cholesterol from oxidising.
  • Avoid fruit juice completely. Eat small amounts of in season fruit, no more than one serving per day. Ideally only a couple of times a week.
  • Remove highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour) and all of the products made from them, bread, pasta, cakes, muffins, crackers, biscuits, crisps, chocolate, confectionery etc from your diet completely. If you do have grains at all, it is best to avoid gluten containing grains (wheat, rye, barley and oats). Have a small amount of rice or quinoa. In the western world our over consumption of grains as a whole is causing a huge amount of inflammation and disease and is a big contributor to diabetes and heart disease.
  • Choose grass fed/finished beef. Avoid grain fed meat, grain is fed to cows to fatten them up, it create fatty plaques (essentially to create heart disease – the same effect that eating grains has for us)! These fatty plaques make the meat soft and tasty but also very unhealthy to eat.
  • Limit poor quality deli meats that include lots of questionable ingredients, including sausages and salami, and choose meats like free range turkey, chicken, or meat carved off a whole roast such as ham off the bone or roast lamb, roast pork where you know exactly what you are eating.
  • Have fresh fish at least twice a week, eat the skin and the fat under it – these are good fats.
    Use real butter (unsalted block butter). You can also use coconut oil. avocado and cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. Avoid margarine or other soft butter mixes.

Go back to part 1

Go back to part 2

Go to part 4 for more diet and lifestyle tips

For more information or personalised advice on a healthy diet contact Informed Health on (02) 4573 2415 or


References and further reading:

Dreon DM, Fernstrom HA, et al. Low-density lipoprotein subclass patterns and lipoprotein response to a reduced fat diet in men. FASEB Journal, 1994. Available at URL:

Dreon DM, Fernstrom HA, et al. Change in dietary saturated fat intake is correlated with change in mass of large low-density-lipoprotein particles in men, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1998. Available at URL:

Eddey Stephen. Cardiovascular Disease: The best treatment options, 2011. Health Schools Australia, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.

Mensink RP, Katan MB. Effect of dietary fatty acids on serum lipids ad lipoproteins. A meta analysis of 27 trials. Arteriosclerosis and Thrombosis, 1992. Available at URL:

Mensink RP, Zock PL, et al. Effects of dietary fatty acids and carbohydrates on the ratio of serum total to HDL cholesterol and on serum lipids and apolipoproteins: a meta-analysis of 60 controlled trials, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2003. Available at URL:

Mente, de Koning et al. A systematic review of the evidence supporting a causal link between dietary factors and coronary heart disease.  Archives of Internal Medicine, 2009. Available at URL:

Ravnskov U. The questionable role of saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in cardiovascular disease, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 1998. Available at URL:

Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q et al. Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010.  Available at URL:
Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q et al. Saturated fat, carbohydrate, and cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010. Available at URL:

Other references and studies are available here:

Big Fat Lies (a brief video history of the failed fat/lipid hypothesis approx. 2 ½ minutes):

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