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NZ Registered Dietitian* offering personal one-to-one consultations in MERIVALE CHRISTCHURCH, or by telephone, fax, e-mail and/or Skype.

Your Lowest Heart Risk

Dietitians are the expert health professionals who develop heart-healthy eating patterns. Lowest heart risk means ‘the least chance of a having a heart attack or stroke’. There are many types of eating pattern that can lead to changes in your target risk indicators.

The following heart-risk indicators* are strongly influenced by what we eat:

  • LDL-cholesterol
  • blood pressure
  • blood sugar, prediabetes, or diabetes
  • body fat especially around the midriff especially when you also have a combination of other elevated risk indicators*, even if they are only slightly outside the ideal range**.

These include:

  • overweight
  • ‘insulin resistance’ or ‘polycystic ovaries’
  • high triglycerides
  • low HDL-cholesterol
  • smaller, dense LDL-cholesterol, or high cholesterol
  • slightly high blood pressure and/or blood sugar
  • high uric acid or gout
  • high liver enzymes or fatty liver
  • kidney or gall-stones, protein in urine test
  • tendency to excessive blood clotting

Other risk indicators that increase the importance of the benefits from dietary change:

  • family history of heart attacks, strokes, vascular disease or type 2 diabetes
  • smoking
  • physical inactivity

* Your doctor will diagnose the risks you have. The higher the number or level of risk indicators, the greater your chance of heart attack or stroke.

**A clustering of heart-risk indicators called cardiometabolic risk (or metabolic syndrome), is present when we have at least 3 of the main risk indicators. This clustering doubles both heart and diabetes risk. The first-line treatment for this clustering is lifestyle change.

How can I help you with your lowest heart risk?

Your doctor calculates your risk. I help you to match your risk profile with the research evidence and your preferred living and eating style.

You do the eating.

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10 reasons to have a dietitian check for your heart risk:

Dietitian consultations can help in the prevention, delay of progression, or treatment, of heart and blood vessel disease.

  1. At least 20 food or nutrient groups are linked with an increase or decrease of heart-risk
  2. Lowest LDL-cholesterol (for lowest heart-risk) is achieved when diet  is part of treatment
  3. At least 15 dietary components are linked with increase or decrease of LDL-cholesterol
  4. Eating poorly can increase risk indicators even when you are taking medications
  5. At least 10 dietary components are linked with increase or decrease of blood pressure
  6. Weight loss and exercise reduce diabetes, blood sugar, HDL-cholesterol & triglycerides
  7. Diet +/or exercise can improve HDL-cholesterol or triglycerides as much as medications
  8. Dietary change can reduce risk by improving blood flow and the health of blood vessels
  9. Heart-healthy eating can reduce the  need or dose of medications that treat heart-risk
  10. Research shows that heart-healthy foods, but not vitamin supplements, reduce heart-risk

10 reasons to personalise your dietary change

Dietitian consultations enable you to make changes for life. Heart risk indicators do not go away by themselves. Your needs are so unique that your changes need to consider:

  • Your heart risk and your future
  • Your body size and shape
  • Your food preferences
  • Your living style
  • Your working life
  • Your lifestyle habits
  • Your social life
  • Your food preparation skills
  • Your food know-how
  • Your physical activity

Go to the Heart Foundation’s ‘your heart forecast’

 

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Keys to success are:

1. making realistic targets for change
2. learning to manage eating challenges

When there is clustering of risk indicators, it is more important to have a dietitian personalise and tailor your dietary needs.