Text by Lorraine Koh @ Makansutra
Pork belly is relatively low in cholesterol but high in saturated fat.
While looking though a health pamphlet on cholesterol by the Health Promotion Board (HPB), I was surprised to learn that roast pork belly was in the low cholesterol range (90mg/90g) while a braised egg (240mg/50g) was in the high cholesterol range.
Firstly, here is the lowdown on cholesterol. It is a waxy substance produced by the liver for producing hormones, protecting nerves, building new cells and other important bodily functions. The amount of cholesterol in your blood comes from what is made by your liver and from the food you eat. If your cholesterol level is too high, it may cause heart disease.
Gladis Lin, Dietitian, Centre of Excellence (Nutrition), Adult Health Division at HPB says, “Pork belly has lower cholesterol content compared to braised egg, as the egg yolk is very high in cholesterol. However roast pork belly has higher saturated fat level than egg.” So although relatively lower in cholesterol, the pork’s saturated fat may cause other problems to your system.
Here are some ways to manage your cholesterol.
- When cooking, use monosaturated fats, like olive oil instead of saturated fat (butter, ghee).
- Go easy on offal, shellfish and eggs which are all rich in cholesterol.
- Pile up on fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. These include sardines, terubok (longtail shad), tenggiri papan (Spanish mackerel)