Your Diet and Eating Habits
Lifestyle modification is the first step towards achieving your goal of being healthier. In most cases, high cholesterol and triglycerides can be managed by making healthy lifestyle changes aimed at eating well, exercising regularly and maintaining an appropriate weight. Building a healthy plate is a great way to start.
- Reduce your calorie intake, to help limit the amount of fat stored in the body
- Avoid foods high in sugar and carbohydrates. Instead, choose foods with a low glycaemic index, such as wholegrain and legumes
- Avoid foods that are concentrated sources of cholesterol, such as egg yolks, shellfish, and offal. Limit cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams or less per day
- Cut back on saturated fats, found in red meat
- Use healthier cooking oils, such as olive oil and canola oil
- Include soluble fibre (e.g. rolled oats, beans, fruit and vegetables)
- Eat more fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as mackerel and salmon
- Don’t eat trans-fat, found in fried foods, packaged cakes, biscuits and snack food products. Check the ingredients list for partially hydrogenated oil
- Reduce the amount of alcohol you drink; alcohol is high in calories and sugar
- Control diabetes and high blood pressure effectively
You may be referred by your doctor to an Accredited Practising Dietitian for more advice on healthy food, regular exercise and weight loss.
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Practical Daily Exercise Tips
You don’t have to train like an athelete to be fit!
- Lose excess weight with a combination of regular exercise and healthier eating. Losing just a few kilos can make a difference
- Exercise regularly – aim for 30 minutes of physical activity every day
- It is advisable to speak to your healthcare professional before undertaking an exercise routine
Remember the Two Rule! If you drink, watch your alcohol intake. Your goal is to drink no more than two standard drinks per day. Excessive alcohol can increase triglycerides in the blood, which can contribute to high blood pressure and increases your risk of having a stroke. Alcohol also provides lots of ‘empty’ kilojoules so it will hinder your attempts to lose weight. If you’re having problems reducing your alcohol intake, ask your doctor for advice.
Carry Wet Matches! Stop smoking if you’re a smoker. Tobacco smoking is the single most preventable cause of ill health and death in Australia today. It is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, cancer and a variety of other diseases and conditions. Your General Practitioner can assist you to quit in the following ways:
- Asking about and documenting your smoking habits
- Assessing your stage of readiness and nicotine dependence
- Advising you to quit and setting a date
- Assisting you with information about smoking cessation programs, nicotine replacement and other pharmacologic therapy
- Arranging follow-up
You could also call the Quitline on 137 848 or visit www.quitnow.gov.au for advice and support.