NUTRITION AND HEART HEALTH
1 in 2 adults in Singapore has borderline high to high blood cholesterol – a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease. One way to lower cholesterol is to change your dietary pattern. For example, replace the intake of bad fats (saturated fat and trans fat) with good fats (monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat), and consume more whole-grains, fruit and vegetables to increase dietary fibre intake. In addition, research shows that consuming at least 2 grams of plant sterols every day can help lower blood cholesterol level.
Plant sterols are natural substances found in various foods such as whole-grains, vegetables, fruit and nuts. As its chemical structure is similar to cholesterol, it could reduce our blood cholesterol by decreasing the cholesterol absorption in our intestine. Although plant sterols are naturally found in foods like fruit and vegetables, the amount present is too low to provide its benefits. Some dairy products such as milk and spreads are fortified with plant sterols, which is a convenient way to keep your cholesterol in check.
Apart from eating a healthy balanced diet, staying active would also help to keep your cholesterol under control and improve your heart health.