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Cholesterol is produced by our bodies and is also found in many of the foods we eat. It is a normal constituent of blood but when we eat more fat than we need (in particular saturated fat), excess cholesterol and other fats may be deposited in the arteries.

The higher the blood cholesterol, the greater the risk of developing coronary heart disease.

While in hospital you may be seen by a dietitian and given information on a 'low fat' diet.

It is up to your doctor to decide if a 'low fat' diet is necessary after you go home. Your doctor may also start you on tablets prior to your discharge from hospital which will help lower your cholesterol..


Cholesterol and triglycerides together are known as lipids. These are commonly measured with a blood test.

If your blood triglyceride level is high you may need to reduce your alcohol and sugar intake. Remember that the narrowing of your coronary artery developed slowly over many years and will not suddenly become worse because you occasionally stray from your diet.

Australians would he much healthier if they consumed fewer foods that are high in animal fat (see the dietary advice on pages 55-9 for more information).

There are many 'low fat' diet books available at newsagents, bookshops and the National Heart Foundation of Australia.