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Here’s what we think: Humpty Dumpty didn’t have a great fall. The creator of the rhyme, not knowing any better, was probably describing any of these major catastrophic events:

  • myocardial infarction (heart attack),
  • transient ischemic attack (mini stroke).
  • hypertension (high blood pressure), which can result in the above
  • osteoporosis; morbid obesity – also called medically dangerous obesity - can also result in fragile bones

And all the King’s horses and all the King’s men, we presume, must refer to the 17th century version of the ambulance brigade, who, being 17th century medical experts, couldn’t quite put Humpty back into good health again.
But it isn’t just egg-shaped people who are prone to health complications arising from high cholesterol levels. You may have a normal Body Mass Index, but your deceptively thin physique might be harbouring high cholesterol levels just the same.
After all, the Ministry of Health’s National Health Survey in 2004 found that 1 in 2 Singaporean adults have borderline to high blood cholesterol.
High blood cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease – particularly LDL, which is ‘bad’ cholesterol.

Thin outside, fat inside

Even if you don’t have anywhere near a Humpty Dumpty-esque figure, the first thing your doctor will tell you to do for optimal heart health is to reduce your weight. This is accomplished through watching your diet, and exercise. And a key part of watching your diet is reducing bad cholesterol intake.
Cholesterol is a soft, fat-like, waxy substance found in the bloodstream and in all your body’s cells. It is an important part of a healthy body as it is used to produce cell membranes and some hormones and serves other needed bodily functions.
However, too much cholesterol in blood is a major risk for coronary heart diseases and for stroke.
The total cholesterol level in our bodies contains both ‘good cholesterol’ (HDL-high density lipoprotein) and ‘bad cholesterol’ (LDL-low density lipoprotein).
A healthcare professional can measure your ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol levels through a blood test and tell you what the normal levels are.

Bad

A high level of cholesterol and saturated fats in your diet increases the amount of cholesterol and fat in your blood.
But you should note that not all fats are bad for you. It is particularly saturated fats that are bad, and are found mostly in animal products, like meat, lard, poultry skin, whole milk or full-fat dairy products like butter.
Hydrogenated fats (also called trans-fats) also raise your cholesterol levels, and are found in many manufactured snacks foods such as potato chips. So check the label.

Good

If you need to lower your LDL ‘bad cholesterol’, embark on a healthy diet low in saturated fat, trans-fats and cholesterol together with an exercise plan.
Monounsaturated fats can actually help lower total blood cholesterol levels as well as LDL. Foods high in monounsaturated fats include olive and canola oil, nuts, seeds and avocados.
Choosing products enriched with plant sterols can help lower bad blood cholesterol as well.
Plant sterols occur naturally as part of our diet in very small amounts in foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits and vegetables. They can be extracted from edible vegetable oils such as soybean and sunflower.
They are clinically proven to help lower blood cholesterol. In terms of their chemical structure, plant sterols look very much like cholesterol. Yet, unlike cholesterol, plant sterols are minimally absorbed by the body.
Plant sterols work by interfering with the absorption of cholesterol from the diet and from biliary (liver) production, by ‘tricking’ the body into attempting to carry the plant sterols instead of cholesterol into the blood stream. This results in less cholesterol being absorbed into the blood stream, as more cholesterol will be excreted together with the plant sterols, reducing your risk of high cholesterol - and great falls. LW

All stretched out? |  Quench your skin |  Humpty Dumpty |  Where's my hair? |  The perfect face

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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