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Lowering cholesterol and triglycerides with diet
Apr 30, 2002

I have been on Viracept, Combivir and Sustiva for 4 years. In the last year my cholesterol and triglycerides have risen to the point where my doctor has prescribed Lipitor, more exercise and a low fat diet.

At 5'9" 180 lbs (large frame) how many grams of fat should I consume daily to help with the lipids? How much fat does a person need to stay healthy? Instructions for Viracept say to take with foods containing fat. How do I get around this?

Also, I've heard that olive oil, canola oil and safflower oil contain "good" fats. Is this true?

Thanks.

Response from Ms. Fields-Gardner

From the information you have provided, I am going to guess that you could take in under 80 grams of fat a day as a part of a diet that is 30% fat or less. According to the "rules of the road" for lowering blood fats with diet, you should try to get a third or less of the dietary fat from saturated fats (meat, dairy, and some plant sources). The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats include the ones you have listed. In addition, fish or flaxseed fats may be even more beneficial. In the case of fish or flax see oils, you should have your doctor or dietitian evaluate you for any contraindications before starting a routine that includes fish or flax seed.

As for nelfinavir (Viracept), the recommendation is to take it with meals. Meals that were tested included as little as 17 grams of fat, which should easily fit into your fat restriction.

Overall, fat restrictions seem to work best in people with high cholesterol. If your cholesterol is pretty borderline to begin with (before using lipid-lowering medications), I would not expect fantastic results. Even so, a lower fat diet may be a generally healthy thing to do.

Best wishes!


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