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Sport, Health & Fitness


proteins. Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) carry it to body tissues but the unused parts can store and harden our arteries, which is why it is known as bad cholesterol. High Density Lipoproteins (HDL) are known as good cholesterol and carry it to the liver where it is removed from the bloodstream. Triglycerides are carried in the blood by LDL and the unused stored in the body as fat. It is safe to assume that Pavarotti would have had particularly high Triglycerides.


Many health problems can arise from high levels of fats and cholesterol, and a simple blood test from the doctor can measure your levels, and you do not just have to be overweight to suffer from it. A family history of


Learning From Fat-Tastic Television By Iain Byrne I


t is now the time of year when our TV screens are filled, liter- ally, with the contestants on the hit show ‘The Biggest Loser’. I say ‘hit’ because people watch it, not because it is anything other than the worst show since the late Kerry Packer pulled Doug Mul- ray’s home video show off about 10 minutes after it went to air. While those people trying to lose weight should be com- mended, I’m not sure if watching them sweat buckets while eating diet bread and low fat water is riveting viewing. The topic of this month’s article is something that all of them would be aware of, which is the effects of fats and cholesterol.


Our bodies need cholesterol and fats, but having too much can increase the chances of high blood pressure, heart


44 • the Beast


disease and stroke. Fats occur in food as saturated fats, usually from animal products such as meat or eggs; polyunsaturated fats in margarines, vegetable oils and nuts and; monounsaturated fats from plants. Fats in food are converted by the body into cholesterol and triglycerides, with saturated fats the most easily converted, so a diet high in animal products can lead to higher blood cholesterol. This is bad news for salad dodgers and carnivores everywhere, and for me, as I dislike eating anything green unless someone has dyed my steak.


Cholesterol is not all bad, as our bodies need it to make cell membranes and other body things that have long names, and it is carried in our bloodstream attached to things called lipo-


heart disease, diabetes or high cholesterol can put you in the risk category, as well as lifestyle issues such as smoking or eating high fat foods, even if you don’t pack on the kilos.


There are many ways to reduce your cholesterol, start- ing with lifestyle changes and including medication, so speak to your doctor or pharmacist about a plan of attack. While it is easy to make fun of shows like ‘The Biggest Loser’ (and is that a title you really want to have?), it is good to see it raising awareness of health issues that affect our community, especially hidden problems such as high cholesterol. Any questions? Drop in to Bronte Pharmacy at 134 Macpherson Street, Bronte or email me at brontepharmacy@hotmail.com.


www.thebeast.com.au


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