CONDITIONS WE MANAGE

Cardiovascular Disease

What is cardiovascular disease?

Cardiovascular disease is also known as heart disease. There is no single cause for developing a heart condition, but rather one or more risk factors that result in developing one. Certain lifestyle factors that increase your risk of heart disease include smoking, obesity, lack of physical exercise and excess alcohol consumption. Particular health conditions can also increase your risk e.g. high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. In contrast, other factors that can not be altered include a family history of heart disease, ethnic background and some female-specific risk factors (e.g. complications during pregnancy such as high blood pressure or gestational diabetes). 

Cholesterol and Cardiovascular Disease

It is important to keep cholesterol levels within a healthy range so that you can reduce your risk of heart disease and other related serious conditions. Each day, a total of 20 Australians die of a heart attack. It is important to keep cholesterol levels within a healthy range so that you can reduce your risk of heart disease and other related serious conditions. Cholesterol is produced naturally by your body and also derived from the food you eat.

The two most common types of cholesterol are LDL “bad” and HDL “good” cholesterol. In addition, triglycerides are the most common fat in the body. High triglyceride levels and either increased LDL cholesterol or decreased HDL cholesterol can increase fatty build-up in the arteries.

Symptoms of high cholesterol are generally absent. If left untreated, serious health conditions can thus arise. The importance of regular blood tests and health checks is therefore emphasised, especially if there is a family history of high cholesterol and/or high triglycerides.

how can I help?
I will firstly analyse dietary fats and their origin. To further this, emphasis will be placed on daily recommendations and food sources of omega-3 (both marine and plant based). Other factors such as fibre and plant sterols in a healthy diet will also be considered. This will involve substituting current foods with high fibre options. Furthermore, I will help you to choose the best food alternatives when cooking and dining out.

Clarification of common myths will also be given, including recommendations for eggs and red meat. Other lifestyle factors that benefit heart health such as limiting salt and excess caffeine intake will also be explained. 
FURTHER READING
- Heart Foundation
-
Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT HOW A DIETITIAN CAN HELP LOWER YOUR RISK OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE?

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