Heart to Heart by lindash


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									Heart to Heart

A simple guide to lower
cholesterol through diet
     and lifestyle.
    3	 The	heart	of	the	matter
    4	 The	importance		
       of	cholesterol
    5	 Lowering	cholesterol		
       in	Australia
    6	 How	to	lower		
       your	cholesterol
    9	 Diet	checklist	for		
       heart	health
    10	 Healthy	meal	suggestions		
        for	everyone
    11	 Lose	a	little	weight
    11	 Let’s	get	physical
    12	 Answers	to	your	questions
    14	 Other	risks	to	heart	health
    15	 Are	you	at	risk?

The heart
of the matter
Nothing	is	more	important	         Risk	factors	you	can	change:
than	your	heart.	This	ball	of	
                                   •   High	blood	cholesterol
muscle	beats	approximately	
100,000	times	every	day,	          •   High	blood	pressure
pumping	blood	through	your	        •   High	blood	sugar
body.	Every	muscle	and	every	      •   Weight	
organ	in	the	body	depends	
                                   •   Smoking	
on	the	regular	supply	of	life-
giving	oxygen	that	is	carried	     •   Physical	inactivity
in	the	blood	through	a	maze	       •   Stress
of	blood	vessels	–	the	arteries	
and	veins.
Our	arteries	can	gradually	
become	blocked	with	
cholesterol	(a	process	called	
atherosclerosis).	If	the	
arteries	become	blocked	
completely,	a	heart	attack		
or	stroke	can	occur,	and	the	
heart	may	stop	altogether.	
Today	many	risk factors	for	
heart	disease	are	well	known.	
Some	of	them	can’t	be	
changed,	such	as	your		
age,	gender	and	ethnicity.	
However,	some	risk	factors,	
such	as	smoking,	high	blood	
pressure	and	high	blood	
cholesterol	are	linked	to		
diet	and	lifestyle,	which		
we	can	influence	greatly.

The importance
of cholesterol
Recent calculations show             The	National Cholesterol
that a high cholesterol level        Education Program of
in the blood is responsible          Australia	aims	to	help	
for almost 12% of all deaths         Australians	lower	their	
in Australia.1                       cholesterol	levels	through	
The	good	news	is	that	               easy,	effective	and	
cholesterol	can	be	greatly	          sustainable	dietary	and	
influenced	by	diet	and	lifestyle.	   lifestyle	changes.		
If	we	all	lowered	our	‘bad’	LDL	     The	information	in	this	
cholesterol	by	10%	through	          brochure	is	designed	to	help	
dietary	changes,	health		            you	take	the	first	step	towards	
experts	estimate	thousands		         a	lower	cholesterol	level	and	
of	Australian	lives	could	be		       a	healthier	heart.	
saved	every	year.
                                     Every	year,	health	experts	
                                     estimate	thousands		
                                     of	Australian	lives	could		
                                     be	saved.

Lowering cholesterol
in Australia
Cholesterol is a fatty               Why	is	our		
substance found in our               cholesterol	high?	
blood. It’s essential and has
many good uses – it’s needed         A	major	contributor	to	high	
to make hormones and                 cholesterol	in	Australia	is		
vitamin D in the body.               a	poor	diet.	Saturated	fats		
But we only need a small             are	known	to	raise	blood	
amount. Too much cholesterol         cholesterol	levels	and	many	
in the blood can increase the        foods,	such	as	fatty	meats,		
risk of heart disease.               full	cream	dairy	products,	
                                     biscuits,	cakes,	pastries,	fried	
The	average	level	of	total	          takeaways	and	some	snack	
blood	cholesterol	in	                foods	are	high	in	saturated	
Australian	adults	is	about		         fats.	However,	there	are	many	
.mmol/L,	which	is	one		            tasty	foods	that	have	no	effect	
of	the	highest	levels	in	the	        on	blood	cholesterol	and	
world.	1%	of	Australian	           some	that	actually	lower	blood	
adults	have	cholesterol	levels	      cholesterol.	
higher	than	recommended	
and	most	of	us	would	benefit	        Simple changes in diet can
from	lower	cholesterol	levels.       lower your cholesterol.

The	Good	and	the	Bad	                Simple	cholesterol	checks	
Cholesterol	in	the	blood	comes	      estimate	your	‘total’	
in	two	main	forms	–	which	are	       cholesterol	whereas	more	
often	called	‘good’	and	‘bad’	       complete	tests	provide	
cholesterol.	                        additional	information	
                                     about	total,	LDL	and	HDL	
•	 	Good’	HDL	cholesterol	
                                     cholesterol.	Your	doctor	can	
   clears	the	arteries	helping		
                                     organise	these	tests,	check	
   to	reduce	the	risk	of		
                                     for	other	risk	factors	and	
   heart	disease.
                                     give	you	detailed	advice.	An	
•	 	Bad’	LDL	cholesterol	can	        Accredited	Practising	Dietitian	
   block	the	arteries,	increasing	   can	provide	you	with	tailored	
   the	risk	of	heart	disease.	       dietary	advice	to	improve	and	
People	with	high	cholesterol	        manage	your	cholesterol.
usually	have	high	levels	of	‘bad’	
LDL	cholesterol	in	their	blood.

How to lower
your cholesterol
For a healthier heart, and        Unhealthy	fats:		
a lower cholesterol level,        saturated	and	trans
make these three important
                                  Saturated	fats	significantly	
changes to your diet.
                                  increase	cholesterol	and	
1.	More	‘healthy’	fats		          limiting	them	is	crucial	to	
–	less	‘unhealthy’	fats           lowering	blood	cholesterol.	
Some	fats	push	cholesterol	       Saturated	fats	are	found	
up	–	these	are	saturated	and	     in	a	wide	variety	of	foods,	
trans	fats,	the	‘unhealthy’	      especially	fatty	foods	of	
fats.	Other	fats	either	have	     animal	origin,	such	as	butter,	
no	effect	or	are	cholesterol-     cream,	cheese	and	other	
lowering	and	are	the	             full-fat	dairy	products,	fatty	
‘healthy’	fats,	poly-	and	        meats	and	meat	products.	
monounsaturated.	Replacing	       Many	commercial	cakes,	
some	unhealthy	fats	in	your	      biscuits	and	pastries	are	also	
diet	with	healthy	fats	has	       high	in	saturated	fats,	as	are	
been	shown	to	lower	your	         many	deep-fried	takeaways	
cholesterol		and,	as	a	bonus,	   and	snack	foods.	Limiting	
provide	more	of	the	essential	    saturated	fat	intake	will	also	
nutrients	found	in	fats.          help	lower	your	overall	fat	
Healthy	fats:	                  Trans	fats	also	increase	blood	
polyunsaturated	and	            cholesterol	but	fortunately	are	
monounsaturated                only	present	in	small	amounts	
Poly-	and	monounsaturated	      in	the	Australian	diet.7	Dietary	
fats	are	found	in	abundance	    cholesterol	(cholesterol	from	
in	many	vegetable	oils,	such	   food)	may	also	increase	blood	
as	sunflower,	canola	and	olive	 cholesterol	but	the	effect	
oils,	margarine	spreads,	some	 is	likely	to	be	small	in	most	
salad	dressings,	nuts,	seeds	   people.	Saturated	fats	are	the	
and	avocados.	Including	        important	‘bad’	fats	to	focus	on.	
moderate	amounts	of	these	
foods	in	your	daily	diet		
is	recommended.

Changing	fats	in	the	diet	–	less	saturated	fats	and	more	
unsaturated	fats	–	will	lower	cholesterol	by	an	average		
of	about	10%.7,8

Reading	nutrition	information	
panels	on	packaged	foods	             Choose	healthy	fats
will	help	you	to	identify	foods	
high	in	saturated	fat.	Looking	    • Use	sunflower	oil,	canola	
out	for	foods	with	the	Heart	        oil	or	olive	oil	in	cooking,	
Foundation	Tick	is	an	easy	          and	in	salad	dressings
way	of	identifying	foods	          • Use	margarine	spreads		
that	contain	less	bad	fat.	          on	bread	and	in	cooking
Comparing	the	saturated	fat	
in	a	Tick	approved	product	        • Have	fish	twice	a	week
versus	the	product	you	            • Choose	unsalted	nuts	as		
usually	buy	will	give	you	an	        a	healthy	snack
indication	of	whether	it	is	
suitable	for	you.                     Limit	unhealthy	fats

                                   • Limit	butter,	cream,		
                                     cheese	and	other	full-fat	
                                     dairy	products.	Choose	
                                     low	or	reduced	fat	
                                     milk,	yoghurt	or	‘added	
                                     calcium’	soy	alternatives
                                   • Trim	fat	from	meats;		
                                     limit	fatty	processed		
                                     meats	such	as	salami		
                                     and	sausages
                                   • Limit	biscuits,	cakes		
                                     and	pastries
                                   • Limit	deep-fried	
                                     takeaways,	potato	crisps	
                                     and	other	fatty	snack	

2.	Include	plant	sterol-            sterol-enriched	foods	every	
enriched	foods                      day,	LDL	cholesterol	can	fall	
                                    by	0%.10,11
Including	plant	sterol-
enriched	foods	in	your	diet		       Including	plant	sterols	daily		
is	a	highly	effective	way	of	       in	your	diet	has	been	shown	
lowering	cholesterol.9		            to	lower	LDL	cholesterol	by		
                                    10%	on	average.9,11
How	do	they	work?
Plant	sterols	occur	naturally	
in	small	amounts	in	common	         How	can	I	incorporate	
plant	foods,	such	as	               plant	sterols	in	my		
vegetable	oils,	nuts,	seeds	        daily	diet?	i
and	vegetables.	When	eaten		
                                    Plant	sterol-enriched	foods	
in	high	enough	amounts,	
                                    need	to	be	eaten	daily	and		
plant	sterols	partially	block	
                                    in	sufficient	amounts	to	have	
the	absorption	of	cholesterol	
                                    maximum	effect.
from	the	gut	into	the	body,	
which	in	turn	leads	to	a	fall		     A	plant	sterol-enriched	
in	blood	cholesterol.	              margarine	may	be	used	as	a	
                                    spread	on	bread	and	also	in	
Many	studies	have	now	
                                    cooking	and	baking.ii	About	
shown	that	consuming	g		
                                    g	of	spread	(one	rounded	
of	plant	sterols	a	day	can	
                                    tablespoon)	contains	g	of	
lower	‘bad’	LDL	cholesterol		
                                    plant	sterols	that	provides	
by	-1%9	when	consumed	
                                    close	to	the	maximum	
as	part	of	a	healthy	diet.	Plant	
                                    cholesterol-lowering	effect.
sterol-enriched	margarines	
have	been	studied	more	than	        If	you	prefer	yoghurt	or	other	
any	other	plant	sterol	food	        foods	enriched	with	plant	
and	the	typical	fall	in	LDL	        sterols,	take	note	of	the	
cholesterol	is	about	10%,9	         manufacturer’s	advice.		
approximately	equal	to	the	
                                    i People with the rare genetic condition sitosterolaemia
effect	of	replacing	unhealthy	      should limit plant sterols in their diet. When consuming
                                    plant sterol-enriched products, consume them as part
fats	with	healthy	fats.	And	the	    of a healthy diet. Plant sterol enriched products may not
effects	add	together.	If	you	       be suitable for children under the age of five years and
                                    pregnant or lactating women. Plant sterols do not provide
replace	unhealthy	fats	with	        additional benefits when consumed in excess of 3g per day.
healthy	fats	and	include	plant	     ii Reduced fat or ‘light’ plant sterol spreads are not
                                    recommended for cooking or baking, use regular
                                    plant sterol spreads instead.

                                                           Diet checklist
                                                           for heart health
Two	serves	each	day	may		
be	required	to	achieve	the	
recommended	intake	of	g		
of	plant	sterols	each	day.
                                                           ✓     Choose	healthy		
                                                                 fats	and	oils	

                                                                 Choose	low	and	
3.	Soluble	fibre	and		                                           reduced-fat	milk		
soy	protein                                                      and	yoghurt
Soluble	fibre	can	also		

help	to	lower	cholesterol		                                      Choose	lean	meats	
                                                                 and	chicken		
(by	about	%)1	and	is	found		                                   without	skin
in	foods	such	as	oats	and	
legumes	(lentils,	soya	beans,	

                                                                 Include	plant		
red	kidney	beans,	chick	                                         sterol-enriched	
peas).	Soy	protein	has	a	small	                                  foods
cholesterol-lowering	effect	

(%).1	Foods	rich	in	soy	
                                                                 Eat	fish	twice		
protein	include	tofu,	soya	                                      a	week
beans	and	soy-based	
beverages.	These	foods	are	                                      Aim	for	2	serves	of	
generally	low	in	saturated		
fat	and	it	is	recommended	
they	be	included	regularly		
in	your	diet.	Cereal	fibre		
                                                           ✓     fruit	and	5	serves	
                                                                 of	vegetables	every	

                                                                 Include	wholegrain	
and	wholegrains	will	not	                                        breads	or	cereals	
affect	your	blood	cholesterol	                                   each	day
level	but	instead	have		

other	benefits	such	as	
digestive	health.                                                portion	sizes

                                                           ✓     Limit	sugary	and	
                                                                 alcoholic	drinks

iii Visit www.gofor2&5.com.au for more information about
serves of fruit and vegetables.
                                                           ✓     Use	salt	sparingly

Healthy meal suggestions
for everyone
         Breakfast               Lunch              Dinner               Snack

                             Wholemeal	wrap	
        High	fibre	cereal	   with	cottage	       Grilled	beef,		

                                                                     Fresh	seasonal	
        with	low	fat	milk	   cheese,	grated	     noodles	and	
                                                                     fruit,	rice	crackers
        and	fruit,	tea       carrots	and	nuts	   broccoli,	salad
                             eg	walnuts

                                                                   Banana	or	apple,	
                             Garden	salad	                         low	fat	yoghurt,	
        Porridge	with	                           Lamb	chops	with	

                             with	ham,	                            wholemeal	
        sliced	apple,	                           rice	and	steamed	
                             wholemeal		                           cracker	with	
        orange	juice                             mixed	vegetables
                             bread	roll                            reduced	fat	

        Wholegrain	toast	    Bowl	of	vegetable	
                                                Barramundi	(or	

        with	margarine	      soup	with	                              Handful	of	dried	
                                                other	fish)	with	
        spread	and	jam,	     wholemeal	                              fruit	and	nuts
                                                mashed	potatoes	
        low	fat	yoghurt      crackers	and	fruit
                                                and	green	beans


        Fruit	salad	with	                        Stir	fry	with	
                             Tuna	sandwich	                          apple,	wholemeal	
        low	fat	yoghurt,	                        veggies	and	
                             with	salad                              crackers	with	
        muesli,	tea                              chicken
                                                                     peanut	butter

                                                 Grilled	salmon	(or	
        Wholemeal	toast	     Chick	pea	(or	
                                                 other	fish),	roast	
        with	margarine	      three	bean	                             Pineapple	or	
                                                 potatoes	and	

        spread,	banana	      mix)	salad	with	                        banana,	low	fat	
                                                 asparagus	(or	
        and	honey,	mixed	    paprika	and	                            yoghurt
                                                 seasonal	Asian	
        juice                cucumber

        High	fibre	          Wholemeal	wrap	
                                                 Veal	with	
        cereal	with	low	     with	tomato,	
                                                 mushrooms,	         Passionfruit,	pear,	

        fat	yoghurt	and	     mozzarella	and	
                                                 noodles		           rice	crackers	
        diced	seasonal	      rocket	(or	other	
                                                 and	salad
        fruit,	tea           salad	leaves)

        Wholegrain	toast	
        with	margarine	                                              Fresh	seasonal	
                             Chicken	salad	

        spread	and	                              Spaghetti	          fruit,	handful	
                             with	wholegrain	
        reduced	fat	                             Bolognese,	salad    unsalted	nuts		
                             bread	roll
        cheese,	glass	of	                                            eg	cashews
        low	fat	milk

Lose a                              Let’s get
little weight                       physical
If	you	are	overweight,	even	        Being	physically	active		
losing	a	few	kilos	will	help	to	    has	a	small	beneficial	effect	
lower	your	blood	cholesterol.1	    on	cholesterol	and	many	
In	fact,	the	‘bad’	LDL-             other	heart	health	benefits,	
cholesterol	goes	down	and	          including	improved	blood		
the	good	HDL-cholesterol	           flow	and	weight	reduction.	
goes	up1	–	a	double	benefit.	      The	good	news	is	activity	
Blood	pressure	may	also	            doesn’t	have	to	be	vigorous.	
drop	a	little,	so	trimming	off	     Moderate	activity,	such	as	
a	little	excess	weight	is	a	        brisk	walking,	is	great	for		
heart-healthy	step	for	many	        your	health.	
reasons.	Major	improvements	        Most	people	should	aim	for	
are	often	seen	with	quite	          about	0	minutes	of	moderate	
small	falls	in	body	weight	of	      activity	a	day,	most	days	of	
between		and	10%	(or	-10	         the	week.	Why	not	try	brisk	
kilos	if	you	weigh	100kg).1        walking,	swimming,	cycling		
Some	people	tend	to	carry	          or	a	game	of	tennis	or	squash?	
excess	weight	around	their	         Older	people	and	those	with	a	
bottom	and	thighs	while	            history	of	heart	disease	should	
others	put	on	fat	around	the	       consult	their	local	doctor	about	
waist,	which	is	more	of	a	          a	suitable	activity	plan.
problem	–	it	has	worse	effects	
on	cholesterol,	other	blood	        National Physical
fats,	blood	pressure	and	blood	     Activity Guidelines:17
glucose	(sugar)	levels.	Your	       • Think	of	movement	as	
waist	circumference	is	a	good	         an	opportunity,	not	an	
guide	to	this	‘central’	body	fat	      inconvenience.
and	can	be	simply	measured	         • Be	active	every	day	in	as	
with	a	tape	measure	at	the	            many	ways	as	you	can.
narrowest	part	of	your	waist	       • Put	together	at	least		
(or	in	line	with	your	belly	           0	minutes	of	moderate	
button).	Experts	recommend	            intensity	physical	activity	
a	waist	circumference	of	less	         on	most,	preferably		
than	88cm	for	women	and	               all,	days.
less	than	10cm	for	men		           • If	you	can,	also	enjoy		
to	reduce	risk.1	So	aim		             some	regular,	vigorous	
to	lose	a	few	centimetres		            activity	for	extra	health		
as	well	as	a	few	kilos.                and	fitness.

Answers to your questions
1.	If	I	change	to	a	healthier,	       4.	Can	I	drink	alcohol?	
cholesterol-lowering	diet,	           Alcohol	has	little	effect	on	
will	I	be	able	to	give	up	my	         cholesterol.	Including	one	
cholesterol	medication?               standard	drink	per	day	for	
No.	A	heart	healthy	diet	             women	and	two	a	day	for	
works	together	with	                  men	is	usually	OK,	unless	
cholesterol-lowering	                 you	have	been	advised	not	
medication.	Your	doctor	is		          to	drink	alcohol.	If	in	doubt,	
the	best	person	to	advise	you	        check	with	your	doctor.
on	your	need	for	medication.
                                      5.	Will	this	diet	help	me		
2.	Is	it	okay	to	eat	fried	foods?		   lose	weight?
At	home,	lightly	frying	foods	
                                      If	you	are	overweight	and	
in	a	little	sunflower,	canola	or	
                                      want	to	reduce	your	weight,	
olive	oil	is	a	tasty	and	healthy	
                                      the	advice	in	this	booklet	
way	to	prepare	foods.	These	
                                      will	be	an	excellent	start.	
vegetable	oils	are	healthy	fats	
                                      However,	for	a	personalised	
and	can	be	used	regularly.	
                                      plan	it’s	best	to	see	an	
However,	the	fats	used	in	
                                      Accredited	Practising	
commercial	frying	may	be	
                                      Dietitian	who	can	work	out		
saturated	(unhealthy)	fats	so	
                                      an	eating	plan	that	suits	you.
many	deep-fried	takeaways	
are	not	recommended,	so	              Losing	some	weight	may	help	
check	the	nutrition	label	or	         lower	your	cholesterol	and	
ask	what	fats	are	used.               blood	pressure	though	it	can	
                                      take	some	time.	The	key	is	to	
3.	What	about	salt?                   make	a	few	healthy	changes	
Eating	salt	does	not	affect	          to	what	you	eat	and	stick		
your	blood	cholesterol	level,	        with	them.
but	it	can	increase	your	blood	
pressure	–	another	important	         6.	What	snacks	can	I	eat?	
risk	factor	for	heart	disease.	       This	is	one	of	the	more	difficult	
Eating	a	little	less	salt	is	a	       aspects	of	a	diet	to	lower	blood	
healthy	step	for	everybody.	          cholesterol.	Some	popular	
Avoid	adding	salt	at	the	table	       snack	foods	such	as	biscuits,	
or	during	cooking	and	watch	          cakes	and	pastries,	are	very	
out	for	packaged	foods	high	
in	sodium.
high	in	saturated	(bad)	fat		       9.	What	are	the	benefits		
so	it’s	best	to	limit	them.	        of	wholemeal	bread		
But	what	to	eat	instead?	           and	wholegrain	breads		
                                    and	cereals?			
If	you	are	watching	your	
weight,	limiting	snacking	          Wholegrain	cereal	foods	have	
often	helps.	Otherwise,	some	       been	shown	to	promote	heart	
fresh	fruit	and/or	nuts	are	        health	for	reasons	that	are	
ideal	snacks.	Biscuits	and	         not	yet	well	understood.	They	
cakes	baked	at	home	with	           are	also	rich	in	dietary	fibre,	
margarine	spread	or	plant	          which	is	good	for	the	health	
sterol	spread	may	also	be	          of	the	bowel	and	keeping	
included	occasionally.              you	‘regular’.	Refined	cereals	
                                    and	white	bread	generally	
7.	What	about	eggs?			              contain	less	fibre	so	choose	
                                    wholegrain	options	more	often.
Eggs	are	not	high	in	saturated	
fat	but	they	are	rich	in	           10.	Where	can	I	find	more	
cholesterol,	which	has	led	to	      information	on	healthy	eating	
considerable	debate	about	          for	my	heart?							
their	role	in	a	healthy	diet.		
For	some,	cholesterol	in	foods	     National Cholesterol
can	actually	raise	their	blood	     Education Program
cholesterol,	while	others	have	     of Australia	    	
no	reaction	at	all.	However,	if	   www.ncepa.com.au
your	cholesterol	is	high,	take	     Dietitians Association
a	cautious	approach	and	limit	      of Australia
yourself	to	-	eggs	a	week.18	     www.daa.asn.au	
                                    ‘Find an Accredited
8.	Can	I	eat	starchy	foods		        Practising Dietitian’
like	potato,	pasta	and	rice?			     www.daa.asn.au
Yes,	these	are	low	in	saturated	    Phone	1800 812 942
fat	and	are	recommended.	           National Heart Foundation
They	can	be	simply	steamed	         of Australia
or	boiled,	or	prepared		            www.heartfoundation.org.au		
with	a	little	vegetable	oil		       Phone	1300 36 27 87
or	margarine	spread.

Other risks to heart health
Apart	from	high	cholesterol	       is	stored	around	the	stomach,	
there	are	other	risk	factors	      carries	a	higher	risk	than	a	
to	heart	health	that	you	can	      “pear”	body	shape,	where	
influence:	                        weight	is	carried	around	the	
                                   hips	and	thighs.	Your	waistline	
Diabetes                           should	be	below	88cm	
If	you	have	type	1	or	type		      (women)	or	below	10cm	
diabetes,	the	sugar	(glucose)	     (men)	for	optimal	health.1
levels	in	your	blood	are	higher	
than	normal,	and	your	risk	for	    Smoking
heart	disease	is	increased.	       If	you	are	a	smoker,	the	single	
This	can	damage	your	blood	        most	important	thing	you	can	
vessels,	including	the	arteries	   do	for	your	health	is	to	quit	
that	supply	blood	to	your	brain	   smoking.	After	three	days	you	
and	heart.		                       will	be	able	to	breathe	easier	
                                   and	after	a	year	your	heart	
High	blood	pressure                disease	risk	due	to	smoking	
The	heart	transports	-8	litres	   will	be	reduced	by	half.19	One	
of	blood	through	the	body	each	    of	the	first	steps	in	the	quitting	
minute.	If	your	blood	pressure	    process	is	to	decide	that	you	
is	elevated,	the	walls	of	your	    want	to	quit,	then	set	a	quit	
arteries	can	be	damaged	and	       date	and	plan	towards	it.		
become	less	flexible,	and	your	    For	more	information	visit		
heart	needs	to	push	harder	for	    www.quitnow.info.au
blood	to	flow	through.	Being	
overweight,	drinking	too	much	     Stress
alcohol,	eating	too	much	salt	     Stress	is	a	part	of	life,	and		
and	other	aspects	of	diet	can	     is	not	harmful	to	your	health	
raise	blood	pressure.              if	it	happens	occasionally.	
                                   However,	if	you	are	stressed	
Overweight                         most	of	the	time,	it	is	time	
Watching	your	weight	will	help	    to	take	action	and	see	your	
your	heart.	An	increase	in	body	   doctor.	Know	your	limits	
weight	usually	increases	blood	    –	everyone	has	them	–	and	
cholesterol,	blood	pressure	       take	your	time	to	prioritise	
and	generally	the	risk	of	heart	   –	life	should	not	be	a	race	
disease.	Your	body	shape	is	       against	time.	Sleep	enough,	eat	
also	important:	an	“apple”	        healthily	and	exercise	regularly.
body	shape,	where	excess	fat	
Are you at risk?
Cholesterol is only one risk factor for heart health. By filling
out the questionnaire below, you will help the nurse give you
better advice when discussing your cholesterol result.

                                                                                                        No              Yes
           I	have	had	a	heart	attack	or	stroke		
           in	the	past

           I	have	type		diabetes	

           My	father	(before	he	was		years	old)	or	
           my	mother	(before	she	was		years	old)	
           had	a	heart	attack	or	stroke

           My	blood	pressure	is	often	too	high	
           (≥10/90mmHg)	OR	I	take	blood	
           pressure	lowering	medication

           I	am	overweight
           I	smoke	every	day

           My	cholesterol	level	is	     .  ,iv	
           This	is	above	the	recommended	level		
           for	the	general	public	of	.mmol/Lv
           OR	I	take	cholesterol	lowering	medication

If	you	have	ticked	‘yes’	for	1	or	more	 	OR		or	more	 		
then	please	make	a	time	to	see	your	general	practitioner.		
A	general	practitioner	can	do	a	detailed	overall	heart	health	
risk	assessment	and	give	you	more	information.
If	you	have	any	concerns	in	regards	to	your	health,	please	ask	
your	general	practitioner	for	more	information.	For	expert	nutrition	
and	dietary	advice,	visit	an	Accredited	Practising	Dietitian.	
iv This is the result of a basic finger-prick cholesterol check. See your doctor for a more complete test including total, LDL and
HDL cholesterol levels. Any information provided is not to be used in replacement of medication or advice from your healthcare
professional. v Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2006. Australia’s Health 2006. AIHW cat. No. AUS73. Canberra:AIHW.

The	National	Cholesterol	Education	Program	of	Australia	was	initiated	to	
educate	the	Australian	public	and	health	care	professionals	about	dietary	
and	lifestyle	measures	to	lower	cholesterol.	The	program	is	proudly	
funded	by	Unilever	Australasia.	For	more	information	on	the	National	
Cholesterol	Education	Program	of	Australia	visit:	www.ncepa.com.au	
Information	in	this	brochure	has	been	independently	reviewed	by	the	
Dietitians’	Association	of	Australia,	Royal	Australian	College	of	General	
Practitioners,	Australian	Atherosclerosis	Society	and	CSIRO	Human	
Nutrition.	Unilever	is	a	DAA	Corporate	Partner.	

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   effectiveness, University of Queensland School of Population Health). The burden of cardiovascular disease in
   Australia for the year 2003. 2006.
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   General. Rockville, Maryland: Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, Center for Chronic Disease
    Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 1990.

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