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  • Echocardiography

  • Heart and mind: prescription

  • Diet and heart disease

  • Risk factors for heart attack: what are your personal risk factors?

  • How to recognize angina and heart attack: what is angina pectoris ? angina’s causes and how to recognize

    The foods we eat can influence blood vessel condition by affecting the build up of fatty deposits. Check with your dietitian and doctor what food is appropriate for you.


    The risk factors for heart disease that are influenced by diet are:

    High blood cholesterol

    Excess weight

    High blood pressure.

    By changing to a 'healthy diet' you can reduce your risk of heart disease.


    Cholesterol is a substance carried in the bloodstream. Some of it is made by the body itself and some comes from the food we eat. Blood cholesterol is required for normal living; however, when this level rises too high there is a risk of blood vessel damage and heart disease.

    Your blood cholesterol level is affected much more by the amount of fat you eat than by the amount of cholesterol in your diet.

    A high dietary fibre intake also assists with lowering cholesterol levels when combined with a low fat diet.

    The recommended blood cholesterol level is less than 5.5 mmol/L.


    Reduce All Fat in Your Diet

    All fats and oils are equally high in energy (kilojoules). Use fats sparingly and be watchful of hidden fats in foods, especially if you need to lose weight.

    The type of fat you include in your diet is very important. As a general rule, saturated fats should be avoided completely and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats should be used sparingly.

    Saturated Fats

    Avoid saturated fats as they increase cholesterol.

    These are found in meat fat, poultry skin, full-fat dairy products, cream, butter, cakes, pastries, coconut cream and fried foods, etc.

    Monounsaturated Fats

    Use these sparingly.

    They are found in olive oil, canola oil, certain nuts and avocado.

    Polyunsaturated Fats

    Use these sparingly.

    They are found in fish, polyunsaturated margarine, certain nuts and vegetable oils, for example, sunflower and safflower oil.

    Both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat help lower cholesterol when eaten in small amounts.

    Cholesterol in Foods

    The amount of cholesterol in foods is less important than the fat content. Advertised 'low cholesterol' foods are not necessarily low fat, so read food labels carefully.

    Soluble Fibre

    Soluble fibre will assist in lowering cholesterol and is found in oats, rice and barley bran, legumes and pulses.

    Insoluble Fibre

    Insoluble fibre helps to fill you up and promote bowel regularity and is found in wholemeal breads and pastas, wholegrain breakfast cereals, wholewheat flour, brown rice, fruit and vegetables.


    Attain and maintain a 'healthy weight' by:

    including regular exercise in your daily routine

    reducing the total amount of high fat foods eaten in the diet

    cooking food in ways that do not require adding fats and oils, for example, steaming, microwaving, barbequing, stewing, grilling and marinading

    trimming all visible fat from meats and skin from chicken before cooking

    using low/reduced fat dairy products, that is, milk, cheese and yoghurt

    using ‘monounsaturated oils’ sparingly in cooking, for example, canola and olive oil

    increasing the amount of high fibre foods eaten in the diet by filling up on foods that are of plant origin, for example, wholegrain bread and cereals, fruit and vegetables, grains and pasta

    drinking alcohol in moderation (recommended no more than 2 glasses per day)

    decreasing the amount of salt used in cooking and added at the table, and by using reduced salt products where possible.


    Cardio & Blood


  • Electrocardiography: how is an ecg taken? what information does the doctor get from the ecg?

  • Heart and mind: the cost

  • After heart attack: exercising for future fitness

  • Risk factors for heart attack: psycho-social stress and risk personality

  • How to recognize angina and heart attack: myocardial infarction