HEALTH BULLETIN: Eating street food increases cholesterol levels

Eating street food increases cholesterol levels

Street food plays a big role in a nation’s culture and urban life. These mostly colorful, often unusual and always tasty sidewalk fares keep the vibrancy in public spaces where people – from all walks of life – gather to pass the time, mingle and eat cheap meals.

Every country has its own distinct street food. Here in the Philippines, we sure love all kinds of skewered meats and fried goods being peddled in the neighborhood. And our love affair with street food is in many ways due to their interesting taste and affordability. But before you spend your spare change for a stick of grilled meat, medical experts warn that those who frequently snack on these fares are at an increased risk of having high cholesterol levels. The major culprit? Chicken liver.

While chicken liver provides nutrients beneficial for anemic individuals (this cut is rich in protein, iron, vitamin B12 and folate), overconsumption of this food could threaten a person’s health. According to the American Heart Association, a healthy person needs only 300 milligrams of cholesterol everyday, less than 200 for those who are already dealing with high cholesterol levels. However, a three-ounce serving or two to three skewered chicken livers contains 479 milligrams of cholesterol.

High cholesterol could lead to cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack or stroke, according to Pharex Health Corp. medical director Amado Nazal. “Satisfying your cravings for street food is natural; it’s part of the Filipino culture. However, it’s more important for you to prioritize taking care of yourself to enjoy life’s other flavors,” he says.

With this, Pharex Health Corp. highlights the importance of taking the prescribed medication and making lifestyle modifications to lower a person’s cholesterol levels.


Compassionate care for cancer patients

Dealing with cancer is one of the most difficult things a person can go through. The disease does not only affect the health and wellbeing of patients, but also impacts those people around them. The stress comes from the physical and emotional pains and financial woes, among other things, the reason why support for the patient and their relatives is an important factor in cancer care and management.

The Asian Hospital and Medical Center understands this need as it recently inaugurated the Asian Cancer Institute that is focused on integrative, supportive and palliative care services. The Chrys Two Center provides a wide range of services from preventive care to pain management.

The center allows individuals who have a history of cancer in their family to go through individual and genetic counseling. Based on this cancer risk assessment, genetic testing may be recommended by ACI’s team of experts.

 Aside from medical procedures, the Chrys Two Center has an Integrative Medicine Clinic that offers complementary and integrative medicine, plus various workshops on certain topics. Cancer support groups are also present in the facility to aid the patients and their families as they go through this ordeal.

 The center also caters to patients with very specific and special dietary needs through its Nutrition Clinic. The Medical Social & Psycho-Oncology Clinic meanwhile is for individuals who need social and psychological counseling. The Rehabilitation Oncology Clinic offers massage, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other services. Under the center’s Pain and Supportive Care Unit, patients are highest quality comprehensive care for pain and palliative care.


Our country needs more blood donations

As Metro Manila prepares for the dreaded 7.6-magnitude earthquake or “The Big One,” medical practitioners highlight the importance of seeking more blood donations as natural disasters increase the need for blood for injured people.

“We need to be prepared,” says Healthway Medical vice president for sales and marketing Carmie de Leon. “While keeping a disaster preparedness kit will make us ready, there’s also a need to bank blood to prepare for the worst.”

One donor could actually help save the lives of three people who need to receive blood transfusion, according to the American Red Cross. But before you start rolling up your sleeves, it is important to understand the processes and preparations for blood donation. “Filipinos should take a personal assessment of themselves, putting into consideration their age, weight and health conditions,” reiterates De Leon.

A person’s age and weight is generally considered prior to being allowed to donate blood. Other factors include body temperature, history of hepatitis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, low and high blood pressure, and other blood related conditions. The next step is to identify the donor’s blood type and the Rh factor.

Healthway Medical offers laboratory blood tests for adults to help them identify if they are eligible for transfusion.

If you want to donate blood, e-mail Red Cross Philippines at [email protected] or call (02) 790-2329. To check your blood type in preparation for your transfusion, visit any Healthway Medical clinics at the Alabang Town Center, Shangri-la Plaza, Market! Market!, Festival Mall, Healthway Manila, SM The Block and Greenbelt 5.


Breastfeeding at work

The debate on breastfeeding in public remains hot until this day. Decency vis-à-vis the urgency and rights of the mother to feed her infant in public spaces are being considered and reconsidered by those affected and concerned. For the working mom, the challenge to breastfeed her child becomes even greater.

As part of its commitment to help mothers breastfeed longer, Philips AVENT launched Comfortable Anywhere: Breastfeeding at Work, an advocacy that encourages offices across the country to make it easier and more comfortable for moms to breastfeed in the workplace by setting up breastfeeding rooms.

RJ Buenaventura, general manager for Philips Consumer Lifestyle, shares, “At Philips AVENT we’re committed to supporting parents and their babies, giving them the best start in life to set the stage for healthy futures.  We know that most new moms want to breastfeed their baby because they believe it’s healthier for them. “

For working moms, expressing milk at work is often difficult, especially if the workplace does not have good facilities where they could pump freely.

“We believe that breastfeeding moms should feel comfortable wherever they choose to breastfeed, whether at home or at work,” says Pia Umayam, business development manager for Philips AVENT. “A breastfeeding room at the workplace should offer moms not only a hygienic, private and comfortable place to breastfeed but go the extra mile to make a real difference during a very precious time in their lives. Through this advocacy, we want to help corporate offices set up these breastfeeding rooms and support breastfeeding moms.”


To be part of the advocacy, email Lester Hernandez at [email protected] For more information on Philips AVENT, log on to

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