Welcome to the Diet at the Heart online tutorial which aims to refresh your knowledge related to the dietary management of dyslipidemias, and to highlight how diet and lifestyle interventions can play an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). This tutorial was developed for general practitioners (GPs) and healthcare professionals (HCPs) in primary care practices to help leverage existing knowledge; the tool can also be a useful resource for medical students.

In recent years, dietary habits and their influence on cardiovascular risk have been extensively reviewed. The most recent European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS) guidelines on the management of dyslipidaemias1 and the ESC/EAS guidelines on CVD prevention in clinical practice2, clearly state that dietary modifications should form the basis for CVD prevention.

This tutorial specifically addresses the role of dietary and lifestyle modifications, in particular the role of dietary fats and fibres and the use of foods with added plant sterols/stanols to help lower (LDL-) cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of developing CVD. It will also provide you with the latest guidelines and practical advice for the management of dyslipidemia.


Prof Lale Tokgözoglu,
Hacettepe University,
Ankara, Turkey.
President of the European Atherosclerosis Society

“Cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causes of death worldwide and they are an economic burden on our health systems. The aim of this online tutorial is to provide you with evidence-based guidelines and practical advice so you can help your patients manage their dyslipidemia through simple dietary and lifestyle modifications. This tutorial builds on earlier work done by the European Atherosclerosis Society, addressing the important role of diet and lifestyle which form the basis for dyslipidaemia treatment and CVD prevention. I believe that by applying this knowledge in practice we can help people change their behaviour via healthier diet and lifestyle choices and this is important for the prevention of CVD”.

image Key areas covered:
  • Strategies for management of elevated cholesterol levels recommended by ESC and EAS, focus on the impact of dietary and lifestyle changes on heart health
  • The role of dietary fats, dietary fibres, and foods with added plant sterols/stanols in actively reducing cholesterol levels, and their place in the current nutritional guidelines for the prevention of CVD and the management of dyslipidaemias
  • Practical advice on motivating patients to make changes to their diet and lifestyle
imageLearning outcomes:
  • Understand the role of diet and lifestyle changes required to reduce cholesterol levels, and therefore prevent CVD and maintain a healthy heart
  • Identify patients at increased CVD risk due to elevated cholesterol levels, who will benefit from diet and lifestyle changes
  • Understand the role of dietary intervention including foods with added plant sterols and stanols in cholesterol lowering and identify those patients who will benefit from them
  • Know how to give dietary advice to help lower your patient's cholesterol levels and their risk of developing CVD

List of abbreviations used throughout the text

  • AHA: American Heart Association
  • ALA: Alpha Linolenic Acid
  • ASC: American Society of Cardiology
  • BMI: Body mass index
  • BP: Blood pressure
  • CHD: Coronary Heart Disease
  • CVD: Cardiovascular Disease
  • DALYs: Disability-adjusted life years
  • DASH: Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension
  • DHA: Docosahexaenoic acid
  • EAS: European Atherosclerosis Society
  • EPA: Eicosapentaenoic Acid
  • ESC: European Society of Cardiology
  • FH: Familial Hypercholesterolemia
  • GPs: General practitioners
  • HCPs: Healthcare professionals
  • JBS: Joint British Societies
  • LA: Linoleic Acid
  • MUFA: Monounsaturated fatty acids
  • PREDIMED: Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet
  • PUFA: Polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • RCTs: Randomized controlled trials
  • SAMS: Statin Associated Muscle Symptoms
  • SCORE: Systemic Coronary Risk Estimation
  • SFA: Saturated fatty acids
  • TC: Total cholesterol
  • TFA: Trans fatty acids
  • TG: Triglycerides
  • WHO: World Health Organization