There are three main types of blood lipid can be found in our bloodstream and they are triglyceride, LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol.
  Triglycerides are the most common type of fat in your body. They are made in the body from excessive intake of carbohydrate(e.g. refined sugary drinks and snacks), fat and alcohol. High level of triglyceride may increase the risk of heart disease.
  Cholesterol is not a type of fat. It has different functions in the body. Cholesterol is naturally produced in our body and it may also be obtained through diet.

  • LDL cholesterol is also known as BAD cholesterol because it can build up slowly in the inner wall of the arteries. This will narrow and harden the arteries and allow lesser blood to flow through in the arteries. Therefore, high intake of LDL cholesterol increases the risk of cardiovascular heart disease.
  • HDL cholesterol is also known as GOOD cholesterol because it removes excess cholesterol from arteries and help to prevent cholesterol build up in the blood vessels. Thus, it protects you against cardiovascular heart disease.

It is important to limit fats and cholesterol intake in diet because high triglyceride and LDL cholesterol may lead to cardiovascular disease, heart attack or stroke.

Your lipid profile in recent blood test:


  Lipid Profile Desirable level
Total cholesterol: mmol/L less than 5.2mmol/L or 200mg/dl
Triglycerides: mmol/L less than 1.7mmol/L or 150mg/dl
LDL (Bad) cholesterol: mmol/L less than 3.2mmol/L or 130mg/dl
HDL (Good) cholesterol: mmol/L more than 1.2mmol/L or 40mg/dl

You are advised to cut down high saturated, trans fat and cholesterol foods if you have high LDL level. Cut down high calorie foods if your triglyceride level is high.

Saturated fat

  • Fat on meats (pork/mutton/beef) and lard
  • Skin and fat of poultry
  • Canned or processed meats (sausage/salami/luncheon meat/burger patty.
  • Deep fried foods (fried chicken)
  • Full cream milk and dairy products
  • Coconut milk/oil and coconut products (coconut milk added kueh and dishes)
  • Butter, palm oil, palm kernel oil, cocoa butter, ghee

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Trans fat

  • Potato crisps
  • Pastries, cookies and cakes
  • Hard margarine and shortenings
  • Deep fried foods



  • Shellfish
  • Organ meats (liver/brain/kidney/intestine/heart/skin)
  • Egg yolk (limit to 4 per week)


Tips to manage your cholesterol levels


  •   Select lean cut of meats (pork/beef/mutton)
  •   Trim all visible fats and remove the skin of poultry and meats
  •   Have 2-3 serves of fatty fish every week (salmon, sardine, tuna, mackerel)
  •   Use less oil in cooking. Avoid re-using oils more than twice
  •   Adopt healthier low fat cooking methods (e.g. boiling, steaming, baking)
  •   Use soft margarine instead of butter and use it sparingly
  •   Aiming 2 serves of fruit and 2 serves of vegetable daily


  •   Replace fried noodles with soup noodles (avoid drinking soup)
  •   Limit deep-fried food to no more than twice a week
  •   Ask for less oil and less gravy
  •   Eat less high-fat bakery products (e.g. pastries, cookies and cakes)


  •   Read the ingredient list and avoid products containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats/oils/shortening
  •   Read Nutrition Information Panel and choose products with lower content of total fats, saturated fat and trans fat.
  •   Choose products with the Healthier Choice Symbol.


  •   Do physical activity for at least 150 minutes every week.
  •   Maintain body weight within healthy weight range (Ideal BMI: 18.5 to 22.9 kg/m2 )
  •   Do not smoke
  •   Limit to standard drink (Male: 2 standard drink; Female: 1 standard drink)


  •   Remember to take medication as prescribed.

For further information and enquiries, please consult your dietitian.

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