Infuse Issue 7 March 2019 | Page 22

For an adult with high cholesterol and a high risk of CVD, the Heart Foundation acknowledges the benefit of consuming naturally occurring plant sterol foods as well as including foods that have been enriched with plant sterols. By consuming an adequate amount of plant sterols daily, adults may lower their LDL-cholesterol levels by around 10 percent depending on the age of the person. The Heart Foundation recommends that adults with high cholesterol consume between 2 and 3 grams of plant sterol-enriched foods per day. To put this amount into perspective, the average Western diet contains between 160 and 400 mg/day of plant sterols. Even for a strict vegetarian, the amount eaten would only be between 600 and 800 mg/ day. Hence the benefit of including sterol-enriched foods in the diet. Importantly, the consumption of plant sterols is not a substitution for medication so someone on cholesterol-lowering medication should continue taking it as recommended by their doctor. Heart Health Tips for High Cholesterol • Eating generous amounts of fruits and vegetables. Fresh, frozen and canned are all good options. • Eat more wholegrains which are a good source of fibre and are linked to a reduced risk of CVD. • Eat foods rich in unsaturated fats such as nuts, seeds, and olive oil while also having less of foods high in saturated fat such as fatty meat, butter and coconut oil. • Include 2–3 grams of plant sterols per day from enriched foods like wholegrain breakfast biscuits, milk and spreads. • Eat more soy foods which contain high-quality protein that can help with lowering cholesterol. © Dietitian Connection 22 Supported by Infuse | March 2019