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Extra Help With Diet Makes the Difference

Nutritional counseling helps people lower their cholesterol levels, study finds

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 18, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- People who receive nutrition counseling to help them lower their cholesterol levels are more satisfied with their quality of life and health care than people who try to lower their cholesterol in other ways.

So says a study in the December issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The six-month study included 90 people with high cholesterol. Half the group received special counseling from a registered dietitian or nutrition professional as part of the medical care for their high cholesterol.

The patients received personalized feedback on their diet changes, handwritten instructions and recipe suggestions, and educational brochures.

The other half of the group received the usual care for high cholesterol from their doctors. That consisted mostly of verbal advice and handouts on how to lower cholesterol levels.

The study found the people in the counseled group significantly lowered their cholesterol levels, improved dietary habits and activity levels, and lost more weight compared to the people who didn't receive counseling.

The counseled group also maintained or improved their quality of life, including their enjoyment of food and convenience of preparing a low-fat diet.

More information

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about healthy eating.

SOURCE: Center for the Advancement of Health, news release, December 2002
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