Questions about Flora pro-activ low fat spread
How does Flora pro-activ differ from other Flora products?
Only Flora pro-activ contains plant sterols to help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. It is designed for people who are looking for help lowering their cholesterol.
How does Flora pro-activ reduce cholesterol?
Flora pro-activ contains plant sterols that work by partly blocking absorption of cholesterol from the gut. Eating 1.5g to 2.4g of plant sterols daily can lower LDL cholesterol by 7-10% in just 2-3 weeks. This can increase to 15% when combined with a move to a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Who can eat Flora pro-activ low fat spread?
Flora pro-activ foods are suitable for both lowering and managing your cholesterol level. You can add them as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, or if you’re using cholesterol-lowering medication, like statins. You should always ask your GP for advice on your cholesterol-lowering treatment, and if you are on medication, whether Flora pro-activ is suitable for you. Flora pro-activ may not be nutritionally appropriate for pregnant or breastfeeding women, or children under five.
How often should I eat Flora pro-activ?
For best results, Flora pro-activ should be eaten every day. Twenty-five grams or 1 tenth of a 250g Flora pro-activ tub will provide you with the daily optimum intake of plant sterols. Consuming more than the recommended amount provides little further benefit.
What happens if I forget to use my Flora pro-activ?
Flora pro-activ works in an ongoing way to filter cholesterol out of your blood, so missing out on Flora pro-activ foods for a day or two won’t matter too much. However, if you stop using Flora pro-activ, your cholesterol level will go back up. Therefore, if your cholesterol is at a new lower level and you want to keep it that way, you should eat Flora pro-activ regularly as part of a varied, balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
Can I just eat Flora pro-activ and not make any other changes to my diet?
To achieve optimal cholesterol lowering, Flora pro-activ should be eaten as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. This means we should aim to:
- Eat at least 5 servings of fruit or vegetables every day
- Eat oily fish rich in omega 3 (such as salmon, mackerel, sardines) once or twice a week
- Choose whole grains more often
- Grill, stir-fry, or microwave foods rather than frying or roasting
- Choose a diet that is low in fat (especially saturated fat and trans fat)
- Add less salt to your foods and choose sodium-reduced and lower sodium foods more often
Questions about Cholesterol
What is ‘high’ cholesterol?
There are two main types of cholesterol. LDL, known as bad cholesterol, which increases your risk of heart disease, and HDL which is good cholesterol that helps protect you. A raised level is normally a total cholesterol count higher than 5 millimoles/litre. But if your good cholesterol is high, your total count may be higher without increasing your risk of heart disease.
How can you increase your ‘good’ level of cholesterol?
Good (HDL) cholesterol can be increased by doing more physical activity, consuming ‘good’ unsaturated fats in place of ‘bad’ saturated fats, and possibly through lowering your alcohol intake and eating more fruit and vegetables.
Can my cholesterol level go down too much?
Flora pro-activ lowers LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol but does not affect the level of HDL ‘good’ cholesterol. Studies show that for most people there is a clear heart-health benefit of lowering bad cholesterol levels, and there is no lower limit advised by doctors. You should always discuss your cholesterol goals with your doctor.
Questions about Plant Sterols
How much plant sterols do I need to eat to lower my cholesterol?
Many experts agree that eating 2g* of plant sterols daily as part of a healthy diet is recommended to help lower cholesterol.
The cholesterol-lowering benefit of the plant sterols in Flora pro-activ is maintained with regular use. For best results, consume 25g Flora pro-activ, which provides at least 2g plant sterols, daily and move to a healthy lifestyle.
Using Flora pro-activ is just one component of a heart-healthy diet and lifestyle, and it can easily be incorporated into your daily routine. Enjoy it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For example:
- On your whole grain toast at breakfast
- On whole grain bread when making a sandwich for lunch
- On your steamed veggies at dinner
* 1.5-2.4 g plant sterols lower cholesterol by 7-10% in just 2-3 weeks
Can I find plant sterols in other foods?
Yes. Fruits, vegetables, vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and grains all contain plant sterols, but in small amounts. To get 2 grams of plant sterols, you would need to eat 425 tomatoes, 210 carrots, 150 apples or 83 oranges.
Is eating food that contains plant sterols enough to lower my cholesterol?
No. You need to have a healthy diet that cuts down saturated fats, includes lots of fruit and vegetables (at least five servings a day), oily fish at least once a week, lean meat and low fat dairy. Adding foods containing plant sterols or stanols will help, but you also need to have a healthy lifestyle, stay active and avoid smoking.
Questions about Food
Is shellfish bad for cholesterol?
Shellfish can contain a lot of dietary cholesterol – like egg yolks, liver and fish roe – but it does have a minimum effect on blood cholesterol. However, these foods can also be associated with high saturated fats, which are not good for you. But so long as you enjoy shellfish as part of a healthy, balanced diet, they’re not a problem.
Would cutting out dairy help to lower my cholesterol?
Full fat dairy products are often high in saturated fat, which raises your cholesterol. Low fat dairy products such as low fat spreads, skimmed milk, and low fat yoghurts are healthier for your heart because they contain less saturated fat. They also provide calcium, which is essential for healthy bones.
What about foods that contain ‘no cholesterol’
Most of the cholesterol in our body is made in the liver, and only a small amount comes from your diet. The amount of fat you eat has a greater effect on your blood cholesterol than the amount of dietary cholesterol you eat. Eating too much saturated fat and trans fat can increase your blood cholesterol. For heart-healthy eating, limit these fats and replace them with unsaturated fats.
Is it enough to stop eating bad fats?
No. While eating less saturated and trans fats is an important heart-healthy habit, there are other important dietary and lifestyle habits that are part of an overall heart healthy lifestyle, such as:
- Eating a small amount of unsaturated fat each day, (2 to 3 tablespoons)
- Increasing the amount of fibre in your diet, especially soluble fibre
- Giving up smoking
- Managing stress
- Being active every day
- Aiming to be a healthy weight and shape
Would becoming a vegetarian help to lower my cholesterol?
You don’t need to become a vegetarian to lower your cholesterol. Instead, focus on replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat and eating lean cuts of meat, lots of fruit and vegetables, wholegrain and low fat dairy products.
Are there any healthy alternatives to traditional snacks?
Yes, here are a few suggestions:
- Vegetables with a low fat dip or hummus
- Olives, cherry tomatoes or unsalted nuts
- Low fat yoghurts
- Fruit – fresh, frozen, tinned or dried
- Low fat scones, buns, muffins or a slice of seed loaf
- Crackers and low fat cottage cheese
For more information, contact our care line on 086 010 0896