Many Patients Can Reach LDL Cholesterol Goal Through Dietary Changes Alone

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

Patients worried about their cholesterol may want to visit a registered dietitian (RD) to get some sound advice about how to shape up eating habits, according to a new national study led by University of Michigan Health System researchers. The new results, published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, are based on data from 377 patients with high cholesterol who were counseled by 52 RDs at 24 sites in 11 states.

  • In the group of 175 patients who started the study with triglycerides less than 400 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL), and who had their cholesterol measured before they changed or added medication, 44.6 percent either reduced their levels of “bad” cholesterol by at least 15 percent, or reached their cholesterol goal.
  • A significant number of patients reduced the fat in their diets to less than 30 percent of calories, as recommended for heart health. Many participants also lost weight and/or increased the number of days each week on which they exercised for 30 minutes or more.

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