Today is: 
10 December 2018 
 

Dyslipidaemia (Blood lipids)

 

issue 25 - Jan/Feb 2015

The story of fat is one of the strange ones. We are all bombarded with names of different types of fats, but the average person does not necessarily know which ones are good and necessary and which ones should be avoided. The packaging labels are not helping either. For many of us these labels make good reading, but for most of us they do not explain what we should be doing. But is there any easier way to explain the difference between these fats? In reality if you are happy with the level of fat intake in your diet, and you do not have any specific health issues, then you can forget all about the minutiae, eat good food, get good exercise and you should be alright. But if your fat level is already high, and you need to monitor your fat intake, then you need to follow the following guidelines: Blood lipid Blood lipids are formed from our fat intake, and are necessary to produce the energy our bodies need to function. Small amounts of fat in daily diet may be essential, but an excess of it could clog the heart and brain vessels causing heart attack and strokes. In general only 35% of the daily calorie intake should come from fat, but when it comes to the heart we need other healthier fats.Cholesterol This waxy substance is needed to form vitamin D, cell membranes and hormones. Our liver is in charge of producing this substance. The liver takes saturated fat (from naturally fatty food) breaks it down and turns it into cholesterol. So far so good, but the problem starts when we get more cholesterol from the food than our body needs. Just like any other oil which cannot mix with water, cholesterol also cannot flow in the blood alone and it is carried by certain proteins called Lipoproteins (the technical term for transporting lipids in the blood). The total level of cholesterol in blood is carried by two types of lipoproteins called: Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and High Density Lipoprotein (HDL). LDL carries cholesterol through the bloodstream, dropping it off where it is needed for cell building and leaving any unused residue of cholesterol as plaque on the walls of the arteries. LDL is therefore usually called bad cholesterol. HDL picks up cholesterol that has been deposited in the arteries and brings it back to the liver for reprocessing or removal. HDL is called good cholesterol. Today more and more people are suffering from the side effects of that extra cholesterol. High levels of blood lipids (fat), are usually found in overweight or obese adults (40-75). However nowadays high levels of blood lipids are being seen in young people and kids. In the UK alone two out of three adults have total cholesterol levels higher than the average recommended level of five. Triglyceride Another type of fat circulated in blood is Triglyceride which is an important energy source. This type of fat is carried throughout the body; from intestines to liver, from liver to other cells and back to the liver. Triglycerides mainly come from food but the liver can also convert excess calories from sugar drinks, or fatty food, into triglycerides. When triglycerides levels go up, total cholesterol levels also go up, and when they are lower, cholesterol levels are lower too. In order to help our livers to process only the fat it needs and not the fat it will get rid of and reprocess, we need to consume fats which are more likely to raise the amount of good cholesterol and avoid those which raise the levels of bad cholesterol. Here is a list of different types of fat, which can help you to choose healthy food when shopping.
Bad Fats
Saturated fats are usually from animal sources. They naturally become solid at room temperature. They include butter, meat, chicken, ice cream, cheese and among vegetable oils palm oil and coconut oil also contain high levels of saturated fats.
Hydrogenated fats are processed fats, liquid fats which through a chemical process (hydrogenation) turn into solid or semi-solid fats at room temperatures, such as most solid vegetable oils.
Trans-fats are a very unhealthy kind of fat. These types are uncommon in nature but can be created artificially (hydrogenation or frying) and are key ingredients in packaged, processed, foods, fried foods and snacks, puddings and commercially baked goods.

Good fats
Polyunsaturated fats are fats which are liquid at room temperature. Consumption of these fats lowers the level of both bad and good cholesterol but may also change good cholesterol to bad cholesterol. Corn, soybean, cottonseed, and sunflower oils are all rich sources of polyunsaturated fats.
Monounsaturated fats are also liquid at room temperature. These fats can help lower bad cholesterol without lowering good cholesterol and are among the best fats that should be consumed as part of a healthy daily diet. Some nuts, olive oil, peanut oil, avocados and canola oil are good sources.
Omega 3 fatty acids help protect against blood pressure, coronary heart disease and stroke. They do this by lowering fat circulated in the body while raising good cholesterol. Fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring, sea bass, and halibut are good sources of Omega 3 fatty acid. Vegetarian sources include canola oil, avocado, tofu, soy milk, walnuts, and their respective oils.

The recommended daily intake fat in a healthy adult is 65 grams. For example 1 cup of low fat milk contains 3g fat but 1 oz of cheddar cheese contains 9g. The modern lifestyle has drastically reduced family time to prepare quality healthy food, leaving the majority of us to resort to processed food. Healthy traditional food has given way to fast food, sugary drinks and sugary snacks.

With less time for preparing healthy vegetable dishes Dyslipidemia or high levels of blood lipids accumulated by the body, has become a leading cause of death. The World Health Organisation estimates that Dyslipidemia is associated with more than half of global cases of ischemic heart diseases and more than four million deaths per year. ... read more