The Philippines is known for its rich and wide range food staples. Many are available just around the corner. However, those who frequent sidewalk vendors for their street foods are at an increased risk of having high cholesterol levels—more particularly those who crave for chicken livers.
Chicken livers offer nutrients that are beneficial for anemic individuals: they are rich in protein, iron and vitamin B12, as well as folate which is important in promoting fertility and preventing birth defects.
Despite the essential nutrients present in chicken liver, Amado Nazal, medical director of Pharex Health Corp, noted that consuming more servings of chicken liver than what is ideal could threaten a person’s health, putting them at risk of high cholesterol and developing cardiovascular diseases.
According to the American Heart Association, a healthy person needs only 300 milligrams of cholesterol every day while less than 200 milligrams are required for those who already have high cholesterol levels. However, chicken liver already contains 479 milligrams of cholesterol in a three-ounce serving—that’s about two to three skewered chicken livers—not including your other sources of cholesterol within the day.
“Despite how delicious skewered chicken livers are, more particularly those that are grilled on the streets, it may not be a healthy option for people who are already at risk of heart diseases,” Nazal said. “Cholesterol should be ingested in limited amounts as it may cause life-threatening consequences in the long run, especially when left untreated.”
Healthcare providers are starting to fret that Filipinos who have high cholesterol levels will continue to indulge on street foods that are actually bad for them. The World Health Organization added that most people with this condition are not getting the treatment they need to lower their risks of having cardiovascular disease such as heart attack and stroke.
With this, Pharex HealthCorp.—the most prescribed unibranded generics—highlights the importance of taking the prescribed medication and making lifestyle modifications to lower a person’s cholesterol levels.
Nazal said, “For patients who are at risk of having the disease, adhering to their medication is important in reducing their risks of developing heart problems. If they cannot avoid eating grilled chicken livers, then it is important for them to keep their cravings at a minimum and continue their therapy as intended.”
Cholesterol-lowering medication is widely available for Filipinos. But Nazal exclaimed that if “patients will practice non-adherence to their therapy, the quality of their life will be greatly affected.”
He concluded, “Satisfying your cravings for street foods 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.”