More recommendations for Diet and Lifestyle:

  • Include foods in your diet that are rich in soluble fibre, such as low starch salad type vegetables (eg raw beetroot, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini), raw unsalted nuts and seeds (eg walnuts, almonds, pecans, pepitas, sunflower seeds). Note: always increase water consumption with increased fibre.
  • Cease alcohol consumption or reduce your alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day, ensuring you have 2 or 3 alcohol free days each week. Avoid binge drinking.
  • Don’t smoke, it increases inflammation and artery damage causing more cholesterol to be produced by the body to act as a “band aid”.
  • Regular movement is essential (for example, at least 30 minutes of brisk walking daily – you must get puffed)! If you don’t know what exercise you should be doing talk to a qualified Personal Trainer to get the right advice for you. If you can only move for 5 minutes a day, do it!
  • Avoid fried foods, especially deep fried foods, battered food, pies, sausage rolls, hot dogs, spring rolls  etc.
  • Avoid sugar (confectionery, lollies, cakes, muffins, pastries, chocolate, sweets, sweet drinks, juices etc).
  • Avoid consumption trans-fatty acids/hydrogenated oils (including margarine and other processed foods) and confectionery (sometimes listed as hydrogenated oil/fat on the label).
  • Reduce salt/sodium from packaged foods. Foods are considered to be low in sodium if they contain 120mg or less per 100g. Foods with more than 500mg per 100g of sodium are considered to be high in salt.
  • Reduce caffeinated and sugary drinks: coffee, tea, soft drinks, milk drinks and energy drinks.
  • Drink dandelion coffee/tea (it is liver friendly) and other herbal teas such as chamomile.
  • Drink green tea or rooibos tea, both antioxidants (no milk or sugar) in moderation.
  • Eat a serving of berries each day 1/3 to 1/2 cup depending on the size of the berry (bilberry, blueberries, cranberry, strawberries etc) – high in bioflavonoids and antioxidants. Antioxidants are extremely important because they help prevent cholesterol from become oxidised and therefore damaging to your body.
  • Add fresh garlic to meals.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Relax: relaxation has been shown to reduce cardiovascular risk factors.
  • Any food allergies/sensitivities or other gut problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome must be identified and managed properly. These issues cause nutrient deficiencies and inflammation and over stimulate the immune system which will ultimately lead toward chronic diseases like heart disease. It is best to enlist the support of health professionals who specialise in this area (this is one of our specialties at Informed Health).

Go back to part 1

Go back to part 2

Go back to part 3

Go to part 5

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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