Cholesterol is a complex substance that is needed for the brain, integrity of cells and building of sex hormones, It is found mainly in animals. They can be classified as High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) and Low-Density Lipoprotein. LDL is bad as it brings fats to the tissues to be deposited.
HDL is good because it transports cholesterol back to the liver for excretion. However, the usual clinical test will involve tests for HDL, LDL and triglycerides.
Food high in fibre such as vegetables and fruit will help lower cholesterol.
Replacing saturated fats such as palm oil, coconut milk, butter, lard and fats of meat and skin with unsaturated fats will further reduce cholesterol.
Our healthy diet should include daily intake of fruit ,vegetables, cereals, oat bran, peas ,barley and beans if possible. Use poly-saturated and mono-saturated fats in moderation and do not recycle oil. Many hawkers are guilty of this. Eggs are good source of vitamin A. But if you have a history of high cholesterol please limit your intake. Egg yolks are high in dietary cholesterol but has less impact on blood cholesterol.
Olive oil has been suggested to lower bad cholesterol but exercise has been proven to produce good cholesterol. It is prudent to limit intake of no more than 300mg of cholesterol daily. Ikan bilis is known to have high cholesterol and salt. Soak it in water to remove salt. Coconut does not contain cholesterol but high in saturated fats.
Taking high fibre diet food has been shown to reduce blood cholesterol.Fibre is a nutrient and is vital for health. It adds bulk to the diet and make you full so we are less likely to snack on high calorie foods. Fibre binds with bile salts and is eliminated from the body. The more bile salts are eliminated the more cholesterol is lost.Having said that a low-fat diet follow by regular exercise is still important.
Recommended daily intake of two fruits plus two vegetables is required to maintain a healthy fibre balanced diet or an equivalent of 25gm of fibre each day. By including whole grains in our diet can boost our fibre intake.
Fibre can be soluble or insoluble. Soluble fibre are found in beans, peas, lentils, oats, barley and fruits. Insoluble include cereal products, vegetables and skins of fruits.
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