Wednesday, 2 September 2015

High Cholesterol

High Cholesterol
1.      What is high cholesterol?
People have high cholesterol when they have a fasting blood test which shows a high level of cholesterol parameter.  There are two types of cholesterol: good and bad cholesterols.  The good cholesterol is HDL and the bad cholesterols are cholesterol, LDL and triglyceride. Please see your doctor for results of your cholesterol after you have a blood test. Your doctor can explain to you in details about your cholesterol profile.
2.      What problems can high cholesterol cause?
High cholesterol can cause clogging up of your blood vessels, from a high content of fat circulating in your blood.  High level of bad cholesterols often cause that problem. When your blood vessels are blocked up, it can cause heart attack or stroke.
3.      What are the symptoms of high cholesterol?
The majority of the cases, high cholesterol has no symptoms. When people have a heart attack or stroke, your doctor often test your blood and find that they have high cholesterol.  That is why you should see your doctor regularly and have regular check-ups and blood test for your high cholesterol and diabetes.  High cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
4.      How to treat high cholesterol?
High cholesterol can be treated by diet control and regular exercise via sensible general life style. There are also many medications available in Australia that are used to treat high cholesterol.
a.      Sensible general life style measures:
1.    Diet control:  a low fat diet will help bring down your high cholesterol.  Please see the table below for some common foods that have high cholesterol and you should avoid and some suitable foods.
2.     Regular exercise:  regular exercise with moderation not only helps reduce your bad cholesterols but also helps to increase your good cholesterol.  Regular exercise with moderation is good for your heart and your mind and your sleep.  It also helps to lose weight.
3.    Other healthy life style options:
·       Keep to your ideal weight.
·       Take high fibre diet.
·       Have more fruits and vegetables.
·       Eat fish at least twice a week.
·       Beware of fast food and avoid deep fried foods.
·       Always trim fat off meat.
·       Avoid biscuits between meals.
·       Drink more water.
·       Do not smoke.
·       Moderation in alcohol intake (1-2 standard alcohol drinks a day).
·       Healthy rest and sleep and keeping your everyday stress level under control.

b.      Medications:
There are many medications available to treat high cholesterol.  Your doctor should be able to advise and prescribe you appropriate medications for it. Once you are on cholesterol medications, make sure that you take your medication regularly and do not stop unless advised by your doctor.  You should also have regular blood tests to monitor your cholesterol profile until it is under control as recommended by your doctor. Once your cholesterol profile is within a healthy level, you can have regular cholesterol check-ups once or twice a year as advised by your doctor accordingly.
5.      The low cholesterol diet
Foods to avoid
Suitable foods
Whole eggs, egg yolks
Egg whites
Whole milk and its products – butter, cream, cheese, ice cream, yoghurt, condensed milk
Low fat milk, skim milk and its products – cottage and ricotta cheese, butter milk, non-fat yoghurt
Organ meats
Brain, liver, pate, liverwurst, kidney, sweet bread
Prawn, squid, calamari, fish roe, caviar, fish fingers, canned fish in oils such as sardines
Fresh fish, scallops, oysters, canned fish in water, lobster, crabs (small amount)
Fatty meat – bacon, ham, sausages, salami, canned meats, pressed meats, meat pastes, hamburger mince
Rabbit, veal without fat, lean cut beef, lamb and pork in moderation
Duck, goose, skin chicken and turkey, pressed chicken
Chicken, lean turkey without skin, preferably free range
Bakery food
Pies, pasties, pastries, cakes, doughnuts, biscuits
Bread, crumpets, crisp breads, water biscuits, home-made pies with proper ingredients
Fast food
Fried chicken, chips, fish, dim sims, spring rolls, hot dogs, pizza, fried rice
Cashew, macadamia, coconut, roasted nuts, brazil nuts, peanuts, peanut butter
Pecan nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, seeds in moderation
Fruits & vegetables
All types of fruits and vegetables
Oils and fats
Saturated fats – lard, dripping, suet, copha, hard cooking, margarine, coconut and palm oils, mayonnaise
Poly-unsaturated fats – margarines, salad dressings, vegetable oils – olive, walnut, corn, soya bean, sun flower, safflower, cottonseed all in moderation
Gravies, potato crisps, caramel, chocolate, butterscotch, futch, coffee whitener, cream substitutes, toasted breakfast cereal especially with coconut
Rice, pasta, cereals, jelly, herbs, spices, canned spaghetti, vegemite, tea, coffee, honey, jam, alcohol in moderation
Cooking methods
Frying, roasting in fat
Vegetable oils, baking, boiling, grilling, stewing

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