Cholesterol is a waxy substance. Cholesterol comes from two sources. Your liver and the food you take. Cholesterol from foods is derived from animals, also known as saturated fats.
Saturated fats and trans fats cause your liver to make more cholesterol than it would. For some people, it will cause their body to go from a normal cholesterol level to unhealthy.
Some tropical oils – such as palm oil, palm kernel oil and coconut oil – can also trigger your liver to make more cholesterol. These oils are often found in baked goods.
Daily recommended intake for cholesterol should not exceed 300mg daily. According to the National Health Survey, the mean cholesterol intake for adult Singapore residents was 341mg per day. More than half of adult Singapore residents (54.9%) met or exceeded their recommended intake for cholesterol. Males had a significantly higher cholesterol intake than females (382mg vs 300mg).
What is high cholesterol?
High cholesterol is a condition where there is an excessive level of fatty substances in the bloodstream. This increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke. Around 1 in 6 Singaporeans have high cholesterol.
The readings your doctor might be looking out for would be values above 5.2mmol/L (200mg/dL) for total cholesterol or any other targets previously set for you.
High cholesterol generally does not cause any symptoms. Symptoms are usually related to the complications caused by this condition, such as heart attacks, angina pain, peripheral vascular diseases and stroke.
Common risk factors include:
Screening and guided lifestyle modification by a certified health specialist for high cholesterol is important to ensure anti-lipid treatment is given and the target healthy level of cholesterol in the body is achieved.
Look out for our next post on Fibres and its link to lowering cholesterol!