Effective treatment of high blood cholesterol should focus not only on cholesterol levels – but also the prevention of heart disease.
Dietary treatment should take into account the following major factors that will impact on the risk of an individual to develop heart disease cholesterol:
- Fat content of the diet and type of fat with specific reference to not only the types of fat (saturated, mono-unsaturated or poly-unsaturated fats) but also essential fatty acids Omega 3 and 6.
- Fibre content of the diet and type of fibre.
- Blood glucose levels and foods that may influence this.
- Fruit and Vegetable intake and nutrients they provide other than vitamins and minerals e.g. phyto nutrients with protective qualities like sulforaphane (found in broccoli, cauliflower, kale and brussel sprouts) and allium found in onions and garlic.
- Vitamin and mineral content of the diet with specific reference to e.g. folic acid, B vitamins and magnesium.
- Other food factors e.g. co-enzyme Q 10, caffeine and soy protein.
Sadly, traditional low fat dietary advice does not take into account these important factors. A low fat diet is also not necessarily the correct therapeutic approach to an individuals dislipidaemia. Some individuals may respond to a low carb approach whereas other might require medication. Genetic testing and extensive blood lipid screening usually provides the clinical dietician with more information and the ideal approach to effectively address this condition on an individual basis.