Thursday, September 23, 2004


I would like to make a good write-up about cholesterol and I was not able to put them all together tonight so I hope you guys will come back in a day. Thanks.


When we hear of cholesterol, we often think of it as a bad thing. Let me say that before we think of it as deadly, let us first understand what this is made out of and what is its role in our body.

First, our body’s cells are produced in varying degrees by cholesterol. Cholesterol is responsible in the production of our hormones such as the estrogen and the testosterone. It is also responsible in the building and repairing of our cells. It produces bile acid to help in the digestion of fat in our body. It is only when our cholesterol level go up that it becomes dangerous.

How is cholesterol produced in our body? It is produced when we eat saturated foods made from animal-based foods such as dairy meat. Cholesterol cannot be dissolved in the blood. They have to be carried by molecules we call lipoproteins to our cells.

There are 2 types of lipoproteins, the LDL and the HDL.

The LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) carries the fat to the different parts of the body. This is what we call the bad cholesterol or as my dietitian calls it the “lonely” cholesterol.

The HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) carries the fat from the different parts of the body back to our liver either for reuse or converted to acids for disposal. This is otherwise what we call the good cholesterol or the “happy” cholesterol as my dietician calls it.

There is also a third cholesterol that works with the HDL and the LDL called the triglyceride. This is also a form of fat mainly from non animal fats.

Our goal should have a high HDL count and low LDL and Triglyceride.

You can only identify that you have a high cholesterol from a blood test. You could hardly tell the symptoms unless you have your blood tested that is why we often call it a traitor. The most common results of high cholesterol are coronary disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.

Being thin does not mean that you do not have a high cholesterol. You could be a candidate if you come from a family that has a history of coronary disease that is why it is important to note the causes of death of your ascendants and descendants.

My dietician said that it is difficult to give the ideal number of total cholesterol count. Reading the LDL should be read together with the triglyceride. However, you should aim to have a high HDL and a low LDL and Triglyceride. It is best that you should bring the readings to your General Practitioner to find out whether there are other underlying causes as to why you came up with such readings or numbers.

You can raise your HDL by eating good cholesterol foods such as oranges, beans, fish, olive oil, oat bran, onions, soy products and soluble fiber. Changing also your lifestyle by having at least 30 minutes of exercise everyday, avoiding trans fatty acids such as French fries, cookies, cakes and fried food will raise your HDL. Filipinos beware. You are also advised to minimize but not completely eliminate carbohydrates in your diet. I am sure you will find this funny but the deadliest source of food rich in cholesterol are egg yolks, liver, kidney, and brains. Ouch, aren’t our best delicacies made out of these? Leche flan, Dinuguan, Sisig, dinakdakan, Igado.

Lower your LDL by eating cholesterol lowering foods such as avocadoes, almonds, soy beans, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, chili peppers, oat bran, beans and onions. Changing your lifestyle by of course exercising and stopping your smoking habit.

Lower your tryglycerides by reducing the intake of sweets and avoiding fruit juices, candies, cookies and sweet desserts. Also, minimize the consumption of alcohol or totally eliminating it. Maintain a desirable body weight and control the intake of carbohydrates such as pasta and rice.

I am not sending you the message to completely eliminate rice and sweets. Everything should be within reason. The key always is that you don’t feel deprived when you eat. Instead, you can control what and how much to eat that counts.


Blogger Tin said...

i'll definitely wait for this one. i like your very informative blog. :)

1:36 PM  
Blogger bayibhyap said...

I think this posting on cholestrol is already very informative. Much as I like to think that I know about cholestrol, reading your posts always lets me know something that I previously didn't. And I like it. Thanks for all the research done on our behalf and for putting it in simple language for all of us.

1:57 AM  
Blogger bayibhyap said...

So, no lechon or we'll have higher LDL? :-)

1:59 AM  
Blogger ting-aling said...

Tin, thanks for finding this blog informative.

Bayi, thank you. I am glad I kept my notes. I was meaning to pass them on to a friend who is also a "borderliner". Now he can read them on line instead. He is the type who won't speak out in the open regarding this disease.

10:47 AM  
Blogger ting-aling said...

Bayi, funny, I completely forgot to mention about the lechon. It's one of the worst source of cholesterol..but here you go. Thanks for reminding me. Before you bite the lechon, think..the lechon might bite you control..

10:49 AM  
Blogger santi said...

Which do you think is better? Eating less as in quantity or eating less often as in once a month with regard to these foods with bad cholesterol? Curious lang ako kung may lusot pa, kasi ang hirap pag ganyan, ang sasasarap pa naman nung binangit mong mga bawal.

6:17 AM  
Blogger ting-aling said...

Santi, as for the lechon, Dinuguan, Sisig, and Igado, I try to avoid them as much as I can. I don't cook them at home. Occasional lang when we go to a party and a piece here and there just to taste. Mahirap na eto ang everyday food mo kahit paunti-unti lang. That is of course my personal opinion. I still cook dishes with meat everyday because I need protein. Also, my kids need them as they are still growing up. However, the meat I choose when I can are the lean ones. Pag hindi naman, I try to set the fat aside when eating.

When I host a party, I try to be reasonable. I cook some of these delicacies but I make sure that I also serve something for those who are watching their diet. Of course not everyone is watching their diet and some people actually go to parties because they are looking forward to these deliccies, di ba?

Bottomline is, it is still up to you keeping in mind the guide to a balance diet.

9:47 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Very informative talaga, ting aling. Question, I love adobong pusit and spicy foods na may gata. Can you tell me if eating them is good or bad?

10:25 PM  
Blogger ting-aling said...

Tito Rolly, baka pagalitan ako ni Dr. Emer ha. In my opinion lang, gata is bad already but you should not allow yourself to be limited by this thought. I myself cook curry made out of coconut milk. Kinakain ko, why not? I have the idea of how much to eat di ba, so yun lang ang kakainin ko kahit pusit na may gata pa ang ulam ko. Pero huwag mong gawing araw-araw. Gawin mong treat..little by little matututo kang magcontrol basta you keep your mind set to how much you should eat per meal. Meron pa rin akong withdrawal symptoms sa food sometimes pero medyo I get the hang of it now. Harapan pa ako ng cheesecake..naku naman ha.

11:20 PM  
Blogger Dr. Emer said...

Paano kita papagalitan, eh ang galing nga ng ginagawa mo, Ting-Aling. Great post! Thanks for shredding the technicalities and making everything about cholesterol sound simple.

Tito Rolly, tama si Ting-Aling. Walang masama sa spicy pusit na merong gata. Lahat, pati lechon ok din. What is bad is if your lipid (cholesterol, TG values) are so high that you SHOULD NOT add anymore through diet. A next good topic suggestion for Ting-Aling is serving size. I think na-discuss na dati pero mukhang kelangan ma-reinforce ulit.

For hyperlipedimics like Tito Rolly and me, moderation is the answer to loneliness.


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