A study of a 30-day healthy lifestyle program shows minor lifestyle changes can produce a reduction in cholesterol levels.
More than 100 employees of a local firm participated in the program, which required them to eat 70 grams of oatmeal daily in addition to adopting a healthy lifestyle.
After 30 days, 70 percent of the participants had total cholesterol reductions of between 0.1 mmol/L and 3.5 mmol/L.
According to consultant dietician, this programwas designed to motivate participants to eat a fiber-rich diet low in saturated fat and sugar, and to increase their physical activity. For example, participants were encouraged to use the stairs instead of taking the lifts. Many were also advised to exercise with their children on a regular basis.
Although the program was simple it still posed appreciable challenges the eating habits from the dietician’s point of view are the biggest challenge because you are changing habits that people have been brought up on from day 1.
Therefore, it was important for dieticians to introduce realistic achievable goals that could be followed over a long term. For example, dieticians may advise people to eat pizza twice weekly instead of daily.
In contrast, many professionals try to put peopleon a very strict diet, which works for 2 to 3 weeks but will not work for the rest of their lives.
It was found that the physical activity component easier to administer. Most people did not realize there are simple activities they can incorporate in their daily living.
The intervention was coordinated by a team involving doctors, dieticians and an occupational nurse. A large medical group practice coordinated the testing and counseling, in addition to overseeing medical and health aspects of the program.
Commenting on the program, consultant cardiologist recommends a healthy lifestyle to patients to reduce their cholesterol levels.
Healthy lifestyle has been known to reduce cholesterol levels by seven to 15 percent. With every reduction of one percent in total cholesterol, cardiovascular mortality is also reduced by one percent.
However, he pointed out that adhering to healthy lifestyle interventions calls for motivation and patients should be followed up regularly to reduce the drop out rate.
Furthermore, healthy lifestyle alone is only recommended for patients with mildly elevated cholesterol levels while others may need to be treated with medication as well.