Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tips to prevent common cold

There are several ways you can keep yourself from getting a cold or passing one on to others.

* Because cold germs on your hands can easily enter through your eyes and nose, keep your hands away from those areas of your body
* If possible, avoid being close to people who have colds
* If you have a cold, avoid being close to people
* If you sneeze or cough, cover your nose or mouth, and sneeze or cough into your elbow rather than your hand.


Handwashing with soap and water is the simplest and one of the most effective ways to keep from getting colds or giving them to others. During cold season, you should wash your hands often and teach your children to do the same. When water isn’t available, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) recommends using alcohol-based products made for disinfecting your hands.


Rhinoviruses can live up to 3 hours on your skin. They also can survive up to 3 hours on objects such as telephones and stair railings. Cleaning environmental surfaces with a virus-killing disinfectant might help prevent spread of infection.


Because so many different viruses can cause the common cold, the outlook for developing a vaccine that will prevent transmission of all of them is dim. Scientists, however, continue to search for a solution to this problem.

Unproven prevention methods


Echinacea is a dietary herbal supplement that some people use to treat their colds. Researchers, however, have found that while the herb may help treat your colds if taken in the early stages, it will not help prevent them.

One research study funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a part of the National Institutes of Health, found that echinacea is not effective at all in treating children aged 2 to 11.

Vitamin C

Many people are convinced that taking large quantities of vitamin C will prevent colds or relieve symptoms. To test this theory, several large-scale, controlled studies involving children and adults have been conducted. To date, no conclusive data has shown that large doses of vitamin C prevent colds. The vitamin may reduce the severity or duration of symptoms, but there is no clear evidence of this effect.

Taking vitamin C over long periods of time in large amounts may be harmful. Too much vitamin C can cause severe diarrhea, a particular danger for elderly people and small children.


Honey has been considered to be a treatment for coughs and to soothe a sore throat. A recent study conducted at the Penn State College of Medicine compared the effectiveness of a little bit of buckwheat honey before bedtime versus either no treatment or dextromethorphan (DM), the cough suppressant found in many over-the-counter cold medicines. The results of this study suggest that honey may be useful to relieve coughing, but researchers need to do additional studies.

You should never give honey to children under the age of one because of the risk of infantile botulism, a serious disease.


Zinc lozenges and zinc lollipops are available over the counter as a treatment for the common cold; however, results from studies designed to test the efficacy of zinc are inconclusive. Although several studies have shown zinc to be effective for reducing the symptoms of the common cold, an equal number of studies have shown zinc is not effective. This may be due to flaws in the way these studies were conducted, or the particular form of zinc used in each case. Therefore, additional studies are needed.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Antioxidants in Preventing Cancer

1. What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are substances that may protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. Free radical damage may lead to cancer. Antioxidants interact with and stabilize free radicals and may prevent some of the damage free radicals might otherwise cause. Examples of antioxidants include beta-carotene, lycopene, vitamins C, E, and A, and other substances.

2. Can antioxidants prevent cancer?
Considerable laboratory evidence from chemical, cell culture, and animal studies indicates that antioxidants may slow or possibly prevent the development of cancer. However, information from recent clinical trials is less clear. In recent years, large-scale, randomized clinical trials reached inconsistent conclusions.

3. What was shown in previously published large-scale clinical trials?
Five large-scale clinical trials published in the 1990s reached differing conclusions about the effect of antioxidants on cancer. The studies examined the effect of beta-carotene and other antioxidants on cancer in different patient groups. However, beta-carotene appeared to have different effects depending upon the patient population. The conclusions of each study are summarized below.

* The first large randomized trial on antioxidants and cancer risk was the Chinese Cancer Prevention Study, published in 1993. This trial investigated the effect of a combination of beta-carotene, vitamin E, and selenium on cancer in healthy Chinese men and women at high risk for gastric cancer. The study showed a combination of beta-carotene, vitamin E, and selenium significantly reduced incidence of both gastric cancer and cancer overall (1).

* A 1994 cancer prevention study entitled the Alpha-Tocopherol (vitamin E)/ Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study (ATBC) demonstrated that lung cancer rates of Finnish male smokers increased significantly with beta-carotene and were not affected by vitamin E (2).

* Another 1994 study, the Beta-Carotene and Retinol (vitamin A) Efficacy Trial (CARET), also demonstrated a possible increase in lung cancer associated with antioxidants (3).

* The 1996 Physicians’ Health Study I (PHS) found no change in cancer rates associated with beta-carotene and aspirin taken by U.S. male physicians (4).

* The 1999 Women's Health Study (WHS) tested effects of vitamin E and beta-carotene in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease among women age 45 years or older. Among apparently healthy women, there was no benefit or harm from beta-carotene supplementation. Investigation of the effect of vitamin E is ongoing (5).

4. Are antioxidants under investigation in current large-scale clinical trials?

Three large-scale clinical trials continue to investigate the effect of antioxidants on cancer. The objective of each of these studies is described below. More information about clinical trials can be obtained using http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials, http://www.clinicaltrials.gov, or the CRISP database at http://crisp.cit.nih.gov/ on the Internet.

* The Women’s Health Study (WHS) is currently evaluating the effect of vitamin E in the primary prevention of cancer among U.S. female health professionals age 45 and older. The WHS is expected to conclude in August 2004.

* The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) is taking place in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada. SELECT is trying to find out if taking selenium and/or vitamin E supplements can prevent prostate cancer in men age 50 or older. The SELECT trial is expected to stop recruiting patients in May 2006.

* The Physicians' Health Study II (PHS II) is a follow up to the earlier clinical trial by the same name. The study is investigating the effects of vitamin E, C, and multivitamins on prostate cancer and total cancer incidence. The PHS II is expected to conclude in August 2007.

5. Will the National Cancer Institute (NCI) continue to investigate the effect of beta-carotene on cancer?

Given the unexpected results of ATBC and CARET, and the finding of no effect of beta-carotene in the PHS and WHS, NCI will follow the people who participated in these studies and will examine the long-term health effects of beta-carotene supplements. Post-trial follow-up has already been funded by NCI for CARET, ATBC, the Chinese Cancer Prevention Study, and the two smaller trials of skin cancer and colon polyps. Post-trial follow-up results have been published for ATBC, and as of July 2004 are in press for CARET and are in progress for the Chinese Cancer Prevention Study.

6. How might antioxidants prevent cancer?

Antioxidants neutralize free radicals as the natural by-product of normal cell processes. Free radicals are molecules with incomplete electron shells which make them more chemically reactive than those with complete electron shells. Exposure to various environmental factors, including tobacco smoke and radiation, can also lead to free radical formation. In humans, the most common form of free radicals is oxygen. When an oxygen molecule (O2) becomes electrically charged or “radicalized” it tries to steal electrons from other molecules, causing damage to the DNA and other molecules. Over time, such damage may become irreversible and lead to disease including cancer. Antioxidants are often described as “mopping up” free radicals, meaning they neutralize the electrical charge and prevent the free radical from taking electrons from other molecules.

7. Which foods are rich in antioxidants?

Antioxidants are abundant in fruits and vegetables, as well as in other foods including nuts, grains, and some meats, poultry, and fish. The list below describes food sources of common antioxidants.
* Beta-carotene is found in many foods that are orange in color, including sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, squash, apricots, pumpkin, and mangos. Some green, leafy vegetables, including collard greens, spinach, and kale, are also rich in beta-carotene.

* Lutein, best known for its association with healthy eyes, is abundant in green, leafy vegetables such as collard greens, spinach, and kale.

* Lycopene is a potent antioxidant found in tomatoes, watermelon, guava, papaya, apricots, pink grapefruit, blood oranges, and other foods. Estimates suggest 85 percent of American dietary intake of lycopene comes from tomatoes and tomato products.

* Selenium is a mineral, not an antioxidant nutrient. However, it is a component of antioxidant enzymes. Plant foods like rice and wheat are the major dietary sources of selenium in most countries. The amount of selenium in soil, which varies by region, determines the amount of selenium in the foods grown in that soil. Animals that eat grains or plants grown in selenium-rich soil have higher levels of selenium in their muscle. In the United States, meats and bread are common sources of dietary selenium. Brazil nuts also contain large quantities of selenium.

* Vitamin A is found in three main forms: retinol (Vitamin A1), 3,4-didehydroretinol (Vitamin A2), and 3-hydroxy-retinol (Vitamin A3). Foods rich in vitamin A include liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, milk, egg yolks, and mozzarella cheese.

* Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid, and can be found in high abundance in many fruits and vegetables and is also found in cereals, beef, poultry, and fish.

* Vitamin E, also known as alpha-tocopherol, is found in almonds, in many oils including wheat germ, safflower, corn, and soybean oils, and is also found in mangos, nuts, broccoli, and other foods.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The common diabetes foot problems

Anyone can have corns, blisters, and other foot problems. If you have diabetes and your blood glucose stays high, these foot problems can lead to infections.

Drawing of a foot with arrows pointing to a corn and a callus. Corns and calluses are thick layers of skin caused by too much rubbing or pressure on the same spot. Corns and calluses can become infected.

Drawing of a foot with an arrow pointing to a blister.Blisters can form if shoes always rub the same spot. Wearing shoes that do not fit or wearing shoes without socks can cause blisters.Blisters can become infected.

Foot with an ingrown toenail. Ingrown toenails happen when an edge of the nail grows into the skin. The skin can get red and infected. Ingrown toenails can happen if you cut into the corners of your toenails when you trim them. You can also get an ingrown toenail if your shoes are too tight. If toenail edges are sharp, smooth them with an emery board.

Drawing of a foot with an arrow pointing to a bunion. A bunion forms when your big toe slants toward the small toes and the place between the bones near the base of your big toe grows big. This spot can get red, sore, and infected. Bunions can form on one or both feet. Pointed shoes may cause bunions. Bunions often run in the family. Surgery can remove bunions.

Drawing of the bottom of a foot with an arrow pointing to plantar warts. Plantar warts are caused by a virus. The warts usually form on the bottoms of the feet.

Drawing of a foot with an arrow pointing to a hammertoe. Hammertoes form when a foot muscle gets weak. Diabetic nerve damage may cause the weakness. The weakened muscle makes the tendons in the foot shorter and makes the toes curl under the feet. You may get sores on the bottoms of your feet and on the tops of your toes. The feet can change their shape. Hammertoes can cause problems with walking and finding shoes that fit well. Hammertoes can run in the family. Wearing shoes that are too short can also cause hammertoes.

Drawing of the bottom of a foot with an arrow pointing to dry and cracked skin. Dry and cracked skin can happen because the nerves in your legs and feet do not get the message to keep your skin soft and moist. Dry skin can become cracked. Cracks allow germs to enter and cause infection. If your blood glucose is high, it feeds the germs and makes the infection worse.

Drawing of the bottom of a foot with an arrow pointing to athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot is a fungus that causes itchiness, redness, and cracking of the skin. The cracks between the toes allow germs to get under the skin and cause infection. If your blood glucose is high, it feeds the germs and makes the infection worse. The infection can spread to the toenails and make them thick, yellow, and hard to cut.

Tell your doctor about any foot problem as soon as you see it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tips to keep your fingernails healthy and strong

No nail care product alone can give you healthy nails. But following these simple guidelines can help you keep your nails looking their best:

* Don't abuse your nails. To prevent nail damage, don't use your fingernails as tools to pick, poke or pry things.
* Don't bite your nails or pick at your cuticles. These habits can damage the nail bed. Even a minor cut alongside your nail can allow bacteria or fungi to enter and cause an infection (paronychia). Because your nails grow slowly, an injured nail retains signs of an injury for several months.
* Protect your nails. Wear cotton-lined rubber gloves when using soap and water for prolonged periods or when using harsh chemicals.
* Perform routine nail maintenance. Trim fingernails and clean under the nails regularly. Use a sharp manicure scissors or clippers and an emery board to smooth nail edges. Never pull off hangnails — doing so almost always results in ripping living tissue. Instead clip hangnails off, leaving a slight angle outward.
* Moisturize your nails frequently. Nails need moisture just like your skin does. Rub lotion into your nails when moisturizing your hands. Be sure to apply a moisturizer after removing fingernail polish.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Why do black hair turn gray?

Parents often cite having teenagers as the cause of gray hair. This is a good theory, but scientists continue to investigate why hair turns gray. In time, everyone’s hair turns gray. Your chance of going gray increases 10-20% every decade after 30 years.

Initially, hair is white. It gets its natural color from a type of pigment called melanin. The formation of melanin begins before birth. The natural color of our hair depends upon the distribution, type and amount of melanin in the middle layer of the hair shaft or cortex.

Hair has only two types of pigments: dark (eumelanin) and light (phaeomelanin). They blend together to make up the wide range of hair colors.

Melanin is made up of specialized pigment cells called melanocytes. They position themselves at the openings on the skin’s surface through which hair grows (follicles). Each hair grows from a single follicle.

The process of hair growth has three phases:

* Anagen: This is the active growth stage of the hair fiber and can last from 2- 7 years. At any given moment 80-85% of our hair is in the anagen phase.

* Catagen: Sometimes referred to as the transitional phase, which is when hair growth begins to “shut down” and stop activity. It generally lasts 10- 20 days.

* Telogen: This occurs when hair growth is completely at rest and the hair fiber falls out. At any given time, 10-15 % of our hair is in the telogen phase, which generally lasts 100 days for scalp hair. After the telogen phase, the hair growth process starts over again to the anagen phase.

As the hair is being formed, melanocytes inject pigment (melanin) into cells containing keratin. Keratin is the protein that makes up our hair, skin, and nails. Throughout the years, melanocyctes continue to inject pigment into the hair’s keratin, giving it a colorful hue.

With age comes a reduction of melanin. The hair turns gray and eventually white.

So why does our hair turn gray or white?

Dr. Desmond Tobin, professor of cell biology from the University of Bradford in England, suggests that the hair follicle has a “melanogentic clock” which slows down or stops melanocyte activity, thus decreasing the pigment our hair receives. This occurs just before the hair is preparing to fall out or shed, so the roots always look pale.

Moreover, Dr. Tobin suggests that hair turns gray because of age and genetics, in that genes regulate the exhaustion of the pigmentary potential of each individual hair follicle. This occurs at different rates in different hair follicles. For some people it occurs rapidly, while in others it occurs slowly over several decades.

In a February 2005 Science article (Nishimura, et al.) Harvard scientists proposed that a failure of melanocyte stem cells (MSC) to maintain the production of melanocytes could cause the graying of hair. This failure of MSC maintenance may result in the breakdown of signals that produce hair color.

There are other factors that can change the pigmentation of hair, making it lighter or darker. Scientists have divided them by intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external) factors:

Intrinsic factors:

* Genetic defects
* Hormones
* Body distribution
* Age

Extrinsic factors:

* Climate
* Pollutants
* Toxins
* Chemical exposure

Hair-raising facts:

* An average scalp has 100,000-150,000 hairs.

* Hair is so strong that each hair can withstand the strain of 100 grams (3.5 ounces). An average head of hair could hold 10-15 tons if only the scalp was strong enough!

* Human hair grows autonomously, that is each hair is on its own individual cycle. If all our hair were on the same cycle, we would molt!

* Hair has the highest rate of mitosis (cell division). An average hair grows 0.3 mm a day and 1 cm per month.

Monday, March 8, 2010

How much sleep does one needs?

How much sleep is enough?
Sleep requirements differ from one person to the next depending on age, physical activity levels, general health and other individual factors. In general:

* Primary school children – need about nine to 10 hours. Studies show that increasing your child’s sleep by as little as half an hour can dramatically improve school performance.
* Teenagers – need about nine to 10 hours too. Teenagers have an increased sleep requirement at the time when social engagements and peer pressure cause a reduction in sleep time. Lifestyle factors such as early school start times deprive them of the required sleep-in. There is evidence that around the time of becoming a teenager, there is a shift in the sleep–wake cycle to being sleepy later in the evening with a preference for waking later.
* Adults – need about eight hours, depending on individual factors. We tend to need less sleep as we age, but be guided by your own state of alertness – if you feel tired during the day, aim to get more sleep.

Sleep suggestions
Suggestions on how to get more sleep include:

* Purposefully go to bed earlier each night.
* Don’t smoke or drink alcoholic or caffeinated beverages in the hours before bedtime.
* Improve your sleeping environment in any way you can – for example, keep it dark and sound-proof, turn off lights and wear earplugs if you have noisy neighbours.
* Don’t have any distractions in the bedroom such as TV or a computer.
* Use relaxation techniques to help you fall asleep quickly.
* Seek professional assistance for sleep disorders such as snoring.
* Browse through the Better Health Channel fact sheets on sleep to find ways to improve sleeping habits for you and your baby or child.

Where to get help

* Your doctor
* Sleep disorder clinic

Things to remember

* Not enough sleep or disruptions to the sleep–wake cycle (such as those that may occur with shift work or travelling to a different time zone) cause the physiological state known as fatigue.
* Staying awake for 24 hours leads to a reduced hand-to-eye coordination that is similar to having a blood alcohol content of 0.1.
* Sleep deprivation affects children in different ways to adults – sleepy children tend to ‘rev up’ rather than slow down.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

6 Best Tips for safe summer

At home, you can keep cool and reduce the risk of heat exhaustion by:

• stocking up on supplies like medicines, food and non-alcoholic drinks, so you won’t have to go out in the heat

• organising your day to avoid being outside during the hottest time (11.00 am to 3.00 pm), if possible

• doing strenuous outdoor activities, like DIY or gardening, during cooler parts of the day, like early morning

• wearing a hat and light, loose-fitting clothing, taking plenty of water with you and keeping to the shade, if you have to go out

• taking cold showers or baths and splashing yourself often with cold water

• drinking plenty of fluids, like juice or water – avoid coffee and alcohol

Older people and children are particularly at risk from heat exhaustion and heatstroke and will need extra attention.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Fats and oils

Fat is important for many body processes. You need to eat some fat in your diet. Fat protects your organs, keeps you warm and helps your body absorb and move nutrients around. It also helps hormone production. However, some fats are better than others and having too much of any type is not a good idea.

Dietary fats are classified by their structure. Different types of fats react differently inside the body. Saturated fats (found mostly in animal products) increase blood cholesterol, which is a risk factor in coronary heart disease. Mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats tend to lower blood cholesterol.

Dietary fats and blood cholesterol
There are two types of blood cholesterol: low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. LDL is considered the ‘bad’ cholesterol because it contributes to the narrowing and silting up of the arteries, which can lead to heart disease and stroke. HDL cholesterol is considered to be the ‘good’ cholesterol because it actually carries cholesterol from the blood back to the liver, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Groups of fats
Each group of fats behaves differently inside the body. Dietary fat can be classified into four groups:
  • Saturated
  • Mono-unsaturated
  • Polyunsaturated
  • Trans fats.
Saturated, mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats
Saturated fats contribute to the risk of heart disease by raising blood cholesterol levels. These fats are commonly found in many takeaway (‘fast’) foods, in commercial products such as biscuits and pastries, and in dairy products.

Mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats both tend to lower blood cholesterol when they replace saturated fats in the diet. Polyunsaturated fatty acids have a slightly greater impact than mono-unsaturated fatty acids.

Replace saturated fats in your diet with either mono-unsaturated or polyunsaturated fats whenever possible. For example, replace butter in some cooked dishes with olive or canola oil.

Trans fatty acids
Trans fatty acids are rare in nature. They are only created in the rumen of cows and sheep, and are naturally found in small amounts in milk, cheese, beef and lamb. Trans fatty acids are also created during the manufacture of some table margarines and in solid spreads used in the food industry to make baked products such as pies, pastries, cakes, biscuits and buns.

Trans fatty acids are considered to behave like saturated fats in the body; they raise LDL levels and increase the risk of heart disease. Unlike saturated fats, they tend to lower HDL cholesterol, so are potentially even more damaging. It is the trans fats that are produced during food manufacturing that you should be most concerned about, not the trans fats present naturally in certain foods. Look for margarines that have less than one per cent trans fats on the label or choose foods with the Heart Foundation Tick. Limit how much takeaway food and packaged snack foods you eat.

Common fat-containing foods
Different foods contain different ratios of fatty acids:
  • Saturated fats – sources include fatty cuts of meat, full fat milk, cheese, butter, cream, most commercially baked products such as biscuits and pastries, most deep-fried fast foods, coconut and palm oil.
  • Mono-unsaturated fats – sources include margarine spreads such as canola or olive oil based choices, oils such as olive, canola and peanut oils, avocado, and nuts such as peanuts, hazelnuts, cashews and almonds.
  • Polyunsaturated fats – sources include fish, seafood, polyunsaturated margarines, vegetable oils such as safflower, sunflower, corn or soy oils, nuts such as walnuts and brazil nuts, and seeds.
Sources of omega-6 and omega-3 fats
Polyunsaturated fats can be divided into two categories:
  • Omega-3 fats are found in both plant and marine foods, although it is the omega-3 fats from marine sources that have the strongest evidence for health benefits (including reducing the risk of heart disease). Plant food sources include canola and soy oils and canola-based margarines. Marine sources include fish, especially oily fish such as Atlantic salmon, mackerel, Southern blue fin tuna, trevally and sardines.
  • Omega-6 fats are found primarily in nuts, seeds and plant oils such as corn, soy and safflower.
Benefits of omega-3 fats
Research is ongoing, but the benefits of omega-3 fats in the diet seem to include that they:
  • Lower triglyceride levels, which are important risk factors in coronary heart disease
  • Improve blood vessel elasticity
  • Keep the heart rhythm beating normally
  • Thin the blood, which makes it less sticky and less likely to clot
  • Reduce inflammation and support the immune system
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • May play a role in preventing and treating depression
  • Contribute to the normal development of the foetal brain.
Plant sterols
Plant sterols are present in all plants. Intakes of 2–3 grams of plant sterols per day have been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels by an average of 10 per cent. This is because they block the body’s ability to absorb cholesterol, which leads to a reduced level of cholesterol in the blood.

It is hard to eat 2–3 grams of plant sterols from natural sources so there are now plant sterol enriched margarines and dairy products on the market. Eating 1 to 1½ tablespoons of sterol enriched margarine each day can help to lower blood cholesterol levels.

Energy density
Dietary fat has more than double the amount of kilojoules per gram (37kJ/g) than carbohydrate or protein (17kJ/g), making it very ‘energy dense’. Foods high in fat are usually high in kilojoules. Some research suggests that saturated fats are more likely to contribute to weight gain (especially around the middle) than polyunsaturated fat and mono-unsaturated fats, even though they have the same kilojoule content.

Carrying too much body fat is a risk factor in many diseases, including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and many cancers.

Cholesterol in food
People with high blood cholesterol or who are at risk of heart disease should also try to limit their intake of cholesterol-rich foods. However, while cholesterol in food can raise blood cholesterol levels, the effect is small compared to the effects of saturated fat.

Dietary cholesterol is only found in animal products such as:
  • Full fat dairy products
  • Fatty meats
  • Egg yolks
  • Shellfish
  • Offal – for example liver, kidney and brains.
The Mediterranean diet
Researchers are investigating the possibility that a diet rich in mono-unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, may be protective against the development of coronary heart disease. People who have a high consumption of mono-unsaturated fats from olive oil (for example, in Greece and Italy) tend to have low rates of coronary heart disease, regardless of their body weight.

We must remember, though, that the Mediterranean diet contains much more than olive oil. It’s possible that the low rate of coronary heart disease in these countries relates to a high intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits and cereals, which are rich in antioxidants. The evidence so far is inconclusive.

Current recommendations
Nutritionists recommend that we limit the amount of fats in the daily diet, particularly saturated and trans fats. Simple suggestions include:
  • Use margarine spreads instead of butter or dairy blends.
  • Use salad dressings and mayonnaise made from oils such as canola, sunflower, soy and olive oils.
  • Use low or reduced fat milk and yoghurt or ‘added calcium’ soy drinks.
  • Try to limit cheese and icecream to twice a week.
  • Have fish (any type of fresh or canned) at least twice a week.
  • Select lean meat (meat trimmed of fat and chicken without skin). Try to limit fatty meats including sausages and delicatessen meats such as salami.
  • Snack on plain, unsalted nuts and fresh fruit.
  • Incorporate dried peas (for example split peas), beans (for example haricot beans, kidney beans, three bean mix) or lentils into two meals a week.
  • Make vegetables and grain-based foods such as breakfast cereals, bread, pasta, noodles and rice the major part of each meal.
  • Try to limit takeaway to once a week or less.
  • Try to limit snack foods such as potato crisps and corn crisps to once a week or less.
  • Try to limit cakes, pastries and chocolate or creamy biscuits to once a week or less.
  • Try to limit cholesterol-rich foods such as egg yolks and offal like liver, kidney and brains.
Where to get help Things to remember
  • Dietary fat contains more than double the amount of kilojoules per gram than carbohydrate or protein.
  • Animal products and some processed foods, especially fried fast food, are generally high in saturated fats, which have been linked to increased blood cholesterol levels.
  • Replacing saturated fats with mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats tends to improve blood cholesterol levels.
source: betterhealth.vic.gov.au