Eat To Lower Your Cholesterol
Cholesterol isnt all bad news. Follow these tips to lower your cholesterol, the natural way.
Chances are, youve heard a thing or two about cholesterol. Having high blood cholesterol is a risk factor for developing heart disease.
But did you know that you can reduce your cholesterol level by making smart food choices? Its true!
Before we get to the details, lets be clear on what were talking about. For years, cholesterol has had a bad rep that it doesnt really deserve. The truth is, we need cholesterol to function. Your body makes most of the cholesterol it needs. The rest comes from foods you eat.
Heres the important thing: Dietary cholesterol found in meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products has less impact on increasing your blood cholesterol level. Foods that contain lots of saturated fat are the true culprits.
Now heres how to make nutritious choices to lower your blood cholesterol.
Keep eating simple
In the last 20 years, the rules on healthy eating have shifted. Super restrictive diets arent sustainable or the healthiest choice. Rather than zeroing in on a single nutrient, nutrition research shows the quality of your diet matters more. A diet filled with the right portions of whole, unprocessed foods can help decrease heart disease and stroke. What does that look like? For a healthy, balanced eating plan:
Cook at home
Choose more fibre
Each of these options will provide you with two grams:
- ½ ripe avocado
Lower Your Cholesterol Whether You’re Eating Breakfast Lunch Dinner Dessert Or Even A Snack
Did you know cholesterol in food only plays a small part in increasing our bodies cholesterol levels? But what we eat has a big role to play in managing our cholesterol and heart health.Consistently poor eating habits, combined with a lack of physical activity can lead to unhealthy weight gain, which can also raise levels of unhealthy cholesterol levels and lower levels of HDL cholesterol which can negatively affect your heart health.
High-density lipoprotein is often called the good cholesterol because it helps to remove other forms of cholesterol from your bloodstream and helps to keep cholesterol from building up in the arteries. Low-density lipoprotein is often called the bad cholesterol because it is the main source of cholesterol build-up and blockage in the arteries.
Time and time again we hear that balance is the key to health. There are some foods that can improve LDL cholesterol levels and eating these foods in moderate amounts can help keep us fighting fit. Foods containing healthier fats or soluble fibre are great examples of this. So with this in mind, here are some delicious ideas that can help you eat your way to a healthier heart.
How Is High Cholesterol Treated
If your child has an LDL cholesterol level of 130 mg/dL or higher, your doctor will talk to you about lifestyle changes or refer you to a dietitian. The goals are to:
- reduce fat and cholesterol in the diet
- increase exercise
- lose weight, if needed
Your doctor will probably do a cholesterol check again after 36 months of lifestyle changes.
Medicine might be considered for kids 10 and older whose LDL cholesterol is 190 mg/dL or higher if changes in diet and exercise haven’t worked. Kids with risk factors, such as diabetes or high blood pressure or a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, may need treatment at lower LDL levels.
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How Is High Cholesterol Prevented In Children
Below are some tips that you could follow for healthy cholesterol levels in children aged two and older .
High Cholesterol In Children: Causes Treatment And More
People often view high cholesterol as a condition that only affects adults. However, high cholesterol levels can also cause problems in children, including heart disease and even stroke.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that comes from a persons liver. It is also present in certain food products. The body uses cholesterol in the production of cells, vitamins, and hormones.
However, high levels of cholesterol can cause issues for people of all ages.
There are two main forms of cholesterol. The first, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol which doctors refer to as bad cholesterol, can build up on artery walls, which may cause blockages.
The other primary type, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which is called good cholesterol, helps carry LDL cholesterol away from the arteries.
It is important that all individuals ensure they have healthy cholesterol levels. This article explores what leads to high cholesterol in children, its symptoms, and the treatment options.
- a family history of early heart disease, which is 55 years or younger for males and 65 years or younger for females
- having a parent with high cholesterol
There are various reasons why a child may have high cholesterol levels, such as diet or certain health conditions.
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Low Cholesterol Diet In Children
The American Academy of Pediatrics-recommended diet for the high-risk group is similar to that recommended for the population but restricts saturated fat to 7% of total calories and dietary cholesterol to 200 mg/day. Research in children as young as 7 months of age have demonstrated that these dietary recommendations are safe and do not interfere with normal growth, development, and sexual maturation
The success of this diet depends on a number of factors, including the saturated-fat intake before changes are implemented. Because dyslipidemia is often a familial problem, some children will already be on a diet relatively low in saturated fat. For these children with a genetic cause of dyslipidemia and LDL concentration of 190 mg/dL, it is unlikely that diet alone will achieve appropriate concentrations of LDL. Nevertheless, it is important to implement dietary changes that are associated with reduction of LDL concentrations, which may allow for use of lower doses of pharmacologic agents when they are started. Dietary changes are still an important part of any long-term intervention.
Dietitians can also help children and their families navigate the food environment outside the house, which has become increasingly important because more children do more eating outside the home environment.
Why Is High Cholesterol In Children Considered A Problem
Adults are not the only people affected by high cholesterol. Children also might have high levels of cholesterol, which can result in health concerns when the child gets older. Too much cholesterol leads to a build-up of a material, called plaque, on the walls of the arteries that supply blood to the heart and other organs. Plaque can narrow the arteries and block the blood flow to the heart, causing heart problems. Cholesterol also is related to other health problems including stroke.
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Thin But With Risk Factors For Heart Disease
Sure, obesity contributes to these cardiovascular-related woes, but if we focus only on obesity, were missing the millions of thin children who are also at risk.
Since 2002, the Pritikin Family Health Camp at the Pritikin health resort in Florida has paid as much attention to childrens hearts as to their waistlines. Its summer 2015 program begins June 21.
At Pritikin, kids start out by getting all the major risk factors for heart disease evaluated, including LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose levels, and blood pressure.
Cholesterol And Your Child
Most parents probably dont think about what cholesterol means for their kids. But high levels of cholesterol are a major factor contributing to heart disease and stroke, and medical research shows that cardiovascular disease has its roots in childhood. And with the dramatic increase in childhood obesity, more and more kids are at risk.
Problems associated with high cholesterol generally dont show up for years, so making the connection between kids health and cholesterol can be difficult. But its important to know your childs cholesterol levels, especially if theres a family history of high cholesterol or premature heart disease.
Identifying high cholesterol now will let you and your doctor work together to make changes that will lower your childs risk of developing heart disease later.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Should I have my childs cholesterol level tested?
- If my childs cholesterol level is high now, will it always be high?
- How often should my childs cholesterol level be tested?
- Does my child need to see a specialist?
- Do you recommend any other diagnostic tests?
- What are our options for cholesterol treatment?
- What are the benefits, risks, or side effects of these treatments?
High Cholesterol In Children Who Should Be Screened
It is not recommended that every child be screened for high cholesterol levels. However, if a child or adolescent has a family history of heart related risk factors, he or she should be screened.
A child or teenager should be screened if:
– He or she has a parent or grandparent who was diagnosed with atherosclerosis by the age of 55.
– He or she has a parent or grandparent who was diagnosed with artery disease or experienced a heart attack by the age of 55.
– He or she has a parent with a blood cholesterol level that exceeds 240.
It is estimated that half of the children who qualify for screening would need some type of treatment to lower their cholesterol level. This treatment could include dietary changes or in some cases medication .
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Action Plan For Children With High Cholesterol
Lifestyle changes are the first course of action if cholesterol levels are unhealthy in a child or teen.
“I give them a six-month trial of diet and lifestyle changes,” Mahgerefteh says. The focus is on losing weight if needed, getting physical activity daily, and eating a healthier diet to lower cholesterol.
Stephanie Quirantes, RDN, a community nutrition dietitian at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, also helps children with high cholesterol get it under control. Instead of making many changes all at once, she suggests phasing in a healthier lifestyle.
Her suggestions for diet changes for children:
- Stop eating fast food. Those foods frequently contain excessive amounts of saturated fat.
- Eat more salads, fruits, and vegetables.
- Focus on good fats from plant sources. “If you are cooking with butter, switch to olive oil.”
- Make swaps that help you reduce fat. If you usually buy chocolate cream-filled cookies, switch to vanilla wafer cookies without the cream.
- Switch to a fish or vegetarian meal instead of meat two or three times a week.
Physical activity is another important area for change, Mahgerefteh and Quirantes agree. According to the CDC, children and teens need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day, including aerobic activity , muscular strengthening , and bone strengthening .
To make physical activity for kids more appealing, Quirantes suggests:
High Cholesterol In Children
High cholesterol in children has become a growing problem, which has lead to new cholesterol guidelines for children. High cholesterol levels detected in young children and teenagers may lead to the development of adult atherosclerosis, a condition that causes a buildup of plaque in the arteries.
Fortunately, lifestyle changes adapted early in life can reverse this trend.
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Here Are Some Ways To Make Healthier Sandwiches:
Use low-fat or fat-free lunch meats. They are good in sandwiches or cut into strips on top of a salad.
Put leftover chicken or turkey strips in a tortilla to make a cold fajita . Use fat-free sour cream as a dressing.
Stuff a pita-bread pocket with vegetables, fat-free cheese and bits of leftover grilled chicken.
Cut up vegetables such as onion, carrot, celery and green peppers to add to tuna salad. Mix vegetables and water-packed tuna with fat-free mayonnaise or, for a different taste, mix with a fat-free salad dressing.
Chunky bits of leftover chicken mixed with fat-free mayonnaise, raisins, shredded carrots and sliced almonds is a great chicken salad. Serve it in a pita-bread pocket. Top it with salsa for a Southwestern flavor.
Mix cranberry sauce and fat-free mayonnaise to add to a turkey sandwich.
Put natural peanut butter together with an all-fruit jelly for an old favorite.
Sliced ham and low-fat or fat-free cheese with honey mustard is great on rye bread.
Low-fat cheese makes a good sandwich with tomato slices and mustard or fat-free mayonnaise on a roll.
Slice leftover pork tenderloin and top with barbecue sauce for a hot or cold sandwich.
Make grilled-cheese sandwiches with low-fat or fat-free cheese and serve them with raw carrot and celery sticks.
Why Age Is A Factor
The recommended ranges for your cholesterol will vary based on age and gender. As people get older, cholesterol levels rise naturally. For example, people who have gone through menopause may have higher LDL and lower HDL cholesterol levels.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children’s cholesterol levels be checked between ages 9 and 11.
However, children with certain risk factors, such as those whose parents or grandparents have had heart attacks or been diagnosed with blocked arteries at age 55 or earlier in males or 65 or earlier in females, should be tested for cholesterol between ages 2 and 10.
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How Many Kids Really Need Statins
For the current study, Ford and colleagues reviewed information from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999 to 2006. The review included records from nearly 10,000 children aged 6 to 17 who had a total cholesterol value assessed, including nearly 2,800 adolescents aged 12 to 17 who had a fastingblood test to measure their LDL level.
The analysis showed that the children’s average LDL and total cholesterol levels were both among acceptable levels.
However, 5.2% to 6.6% of the adolescents had high LDL cholesterol, 9.6% to 10.7% had high total cholesterol, and 0.8% qualified for statin treatment based upon the AAP guidelines. Given that there are about 25 million adolescents in the U.S, these data suggest that 200,000 individuals between ages 12 and 17 need statins to keep their cholesterol levels in check.
âIt is a matter of opinion whether one thinks 0.8% is a small or large percentage,â Ford says. âWhat I think is most important here is that given the rise in childhood obesity and risk factors such as smoking and lack of exercise that adolescents are exposed to, we need to continually assess and monitor the lipid status of children and adolescents.â
The study also shows:
How To Lower Cholesterol Naturally In 28 Simple Steps
There are tons of natural remedies out there for how to lower cholesterol levels, often promising quick results with next to no effort required on your part. But while its true that there are tons of options to keep cholesterol levels in check, it can actually be as simple as swapping out a few foods in your diet for healthier options, switching up your workout routine or adding a supplement or two into the mix.
Ready to get started? Lets take a look at 28 simple methods for how to lower cholesterol and how it can impact your health.
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How Is High Cholesterol Addressed In Children
The relevant resolution of high cholesterol depends on your childs age, lipid screening report, and overall health condition. Below are the likely options to normalize high cholesterol in children .