Expert advice

Dr Caroline West: GP

Dr Caroline West combines her role in a busy inner-city general medical practice with presenting, producing and writing for a number of Australian television shows and magazines. ASK ME A QUESTION

Prawns and cholesterol

Thursday, May 31, 2001
Although it's true that prawns and shellfish contain some cholesterol, they are also very low in saturated fats unless of course you are eating them battered, crumbed or fried

Question:
I have been told that I need to watch my cholesterol levels. I've heard that prawns and shellfish and very high in cholesterol. I really love eating prawns a couple of times a month. Does my cholesterol problem mean that I should cut them out altogether?

Answer:
You might be pleased to know that most experts now agree that eating fish, prawns and shellfish can be good for you. Although it's true that prawns and shellfish contain some cholesterol, they are also very low in saturated fats unless of course you are eating them battered, crumbed or fried. And it's saturated fats that are really the villains to be eaten sparingly. Prawns and shellfish are also worth including in your diet because like fish, they are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which are thought to promote a healthy heart. So if have cut shellfish out of your diet to reduce your cholesterol intake, you might want to think again. If you are interested in healthy eating and maintaining a good cholesterol level you might like to get a copy of Simply Healthy, the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute Cookbook (Ken Fin Books RRP $29.95). Funnily enough, it has a picture of delicious prawn dish on the front! Inside it has lots of low-fat, healthy recipes that are quick and easy to make. For further tips on keeping your cholesterol levels with in a healthy range, chat to your GP.


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