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Saturday, 3 September 2011

Cholesterol content of common foods

HEART DISEASE or STROKE?
If you have a choice, would you rather die from heart attack (myocardial infarct/MI or sakit jantung) or stroke (lumpuh)? If you eat high-cholesterol food, then it is more likely that you will die of heart attack. If you eat high-cholesterol & high-fat food, then it is more likely that you will get stroke first and for a few years, before you finally die of heart attack. Do you have a choice? Yes. 

CHOLESTEROL vs FAT
There is a big difference between cholesterol and fat. Both are lipids but they belong to different lipid classes and have different functions, with different outcomes. Both cholesterol and fat are essential (required in nutrition; kena makan). 

Cholesterol is a sterol, a special type of alcohol that is very stable in the body. Cholesterol is stable because it is a steroid, i.e., it contains the "steroid nucleus" - hexagonal rings A, B, C and D. We must eat cholesterol for hormone production and generation of new cells and tissues.

Fat can exist as solid (lemak) or as oil (minyak), depending on temperature (suhu). The scientific name for fat is triacylglycerols, but in medicine we call it triglycerides. Triglycerides contain fatty acids and glycerol. Some fatty acids are essential for life. Without the supply of essential fatty acids in the diet, babies die, children grow up with problems etc etc etc. 

WHERE IS CHOLESTEROL?
Cholesterol exists in all living cells. There is more cholesterol in animal cells, tissues and organs. Thus, animal products are said to be "high in cholesterol". On the other hand, products of plant origin are said to be "low in cholesterol". There is no such thing as "no cholesterol" if a product is made from living cells, tissues or organs. Sand, paper, cement, concrete, brick, glass, metal charcoal, activated charcoal, wood chips, BBQ blocks and water do not contain cholesterol but we can't eat these. 

HOW MUCH CHOLESTEROL IS IN FOOD?
Different food have different amount of cholesterol. Food can be grouped as "high-cholesterol", "medium-cholesterol" and "low-cholesterol". It is important to know the cholesterol content of the food we eat. This will help us know what to eat more and what to eat less. For better health, it is healthier to eat less of the dangerously high-cholesterol food and keep to the medium- and low-cholesterol food. If you are already eating lots of high-cholesterol food, then it is high time to make a switch and eat medium-cholesterol food. If you are already taking medium-cholesterol food and yet have health problems, then make a switch and eat low-cholesterol food. 

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF WE TRY TO AVOID CHOLESTEROL?
Having very low cholesterol will make us ugly (tak cantik, tak lawa, tak menawan, buruk macam kayu). We must continue to eat cholesterol for hormone production and generation of new cells and tissues, and to look pretty (cantik manis).

RISK OF GALLSTONES
If we avoid all sources of cholesterol (and fat) for a long time, then we get another problem - gallstones (batu karang hempedu). Gallstone is very painful (sakit sebelah kanan). Gallstones are detected by ultrasound scan (pergi hospital dan buat ultrasound). Anyway, most people past age 50, have gallstone problem (ada batu karang hempedu). This manifest as feeling of bloatedness after meals (rasa kembung lepas makan, rasa senak, tak sedap duduk).

Rule #1: Avoid eating excessively high-cholesterol food.

Rule #2: Eat less high-cholesterol food and eat more medium-/low-cholesterol food.

Rule #3: Eat less medium-cholesterol food and eat more low-cholesterol food.

Rule #4: Eat generous amounts of low-cholesterol food for health.


HIGH-CHOLESTEROL FOODS
Makanan yang mengandungi tinggi tahap kolesterol
fat red meat (daging, daging berlemak)
organ meat (organ dalaman)
hard cheese (keju keras)
whole milk (susu penuh krim)
whole yoghurt (yogurt penuh krim)
cream (krim)
eggs (telur)
shellfish (kerang)
crab (ketam)
prawns (udang)
lobster (udang galah)
squid (sotong)
chocolate (coklat)
butter (mentega)
lard (minyak babi)
coconut oil
hard margarine 

Red meat (daging warna merah) - "high cholesterol" 

Red meat with fat (daging merah berlemak) - "high cholesterol and high fat" 

Kuah kurma/kormah - "high cholesterol", and "high fat" if ghee (minyak sapi) is used. 

Kerutuk daging - "High cholesterol and high fat" 

Kerutuk daging - "High cholesterol and high fat" 

Kerutuk daging - "High cholesterol and high fat" 

Kerutuk daging - "High cholesterol and high fat" 

Fried beef (daging goreng) - "High cholesterol and high fat" 

Fried beef (daging goreng) - "High cholesterol and high fat" 

Fried beef with soy sauce (daging goreng kicap) - "High cholesterol, high fat and high salt" 

Squids/cuttlefish (sotong) - "High cholesterol" 

Sambal sotong dengan petai - "High cholesterol" 

Udang - "High cholesterol" 

Masak lemak udang - "High cholesterol and high fat" 

Sambal udang - "High cholesterol" 

Eggs (telur): Egg yolks (telur kuning) - "High cholesterol"
1 egg = 250 mg cholesterol.

Omelette (telur dadar) - "High cholesterol" 

Half-boiled eggs (telur masak separuh) - "High cholesterol" 

Half-boiled eggs (telur masak separuh) - "High cholesterol".
Roti sapu marjerin - "High fat" 

Telur puyuh - "High cholesterol" 


MODERATE-CHOLESTEROL FOODS
lean read meat
soft cheese
ice-cream
cakes
pastries
mayonnaise
egg noodles (Maggi mee)

LOW-CHOLESTEROL FOODS
lean white meat (rabbit, turkey)
cottage cheese
soy milk
skimmed milk
low-fat yoghurt
fish
nuts
fresh fruits
vegetables
rice and other cereals
bread
vegetable oil
olive oil
corn oil
soft margarine


Source:
Adapted from an old pamphlet, Know Your Cholesterol, by Boehringer-Mannheim, Germany
Note: This leaflet is published as a service to Family Medicine.

External links:
https://www.hindawi.com/journals/cholesterol/2012/367898/

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