How Can I Help Lower My Child’s Cholesterol
The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends that children two years and older follow a healthy diet according to the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This should include low-fat dairy products. For children 12 months to two years of age who are overweight or obese, or who have a family history of obesity, high cholesterol, or cardiovascular disease, the use of reduced-fat milk is recommended.
You can help lower your child’s cholesterol levels by encouraging him or her to do the following:
Select a variety of foods so your child can get all the nutrients he or she needs. Children and adolescents at higher risk for cardiovascular disease with elevated LDL values above their target goals are advised to undergo nutritional counseling and take part in regular physical activity.
How Do I Know If My Child Or Teen Has High Cholesterol
There is a blood test to measure cholesterol levels. The test gives information about
- Total cholesterol – a measure of the total amount of cholesterol in your blood. It includes both low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
- LDL cholesterol – the main source of cholesterol buildup and blockage in the arteries
- HDL cholesterol – HDL helps remove cholesterol from your arteries
- Non-HDL – this number is your total cholesterol minus your HDL. Your non-HDL includes LDL and other types of cholesterol such as VLDL .
- Triglycerides – another form of fat in your blood that can raise your risk for heart disease
For anyone aged 19 or younger, the healthy levels of cholesterol are
|Type of Cholesterol|
|HDL||More than 45mg/dL|
When and how often your child or teen should get this test depends on his or her age, risk factors, and family history. The general recommendations are:
- The first test should be between ages 9 to 11
- Children should have the test again every 5 years
- Some children may have this test starting at age 2 if there is a family history of high blood cholesterol, heart attack, or stroke
What Levels Are Normal And When Are They Too High
Its normal for cholesterol levels to rise slightly as you get older and women tend to have higher HDL than men. In the UK, the average total cholesterol level is 5.7mmol/l.Dr Zenon Andreou
Its normal for cholesterol levels to rise slightly as you get older and women tend to have higher HDL than men. In the UK, the average total cholesterol level is 5.7mmol/l.
There are two main types of lipoprotein:
- High-density good lipoprotein this type carries cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver to be broken down or passed away as a waste product.
- Low-density bad lipoprotein takes cholesterol to the cells where its needed. If there is more LDL than needed, it can build up in the artery walls.
Don’t Miss: Effects Of Low Good Cholesterol
What Complications Are Possible If You Dont Treat High Cholesterol Levels In Your Blood
The main reason to treat high cholesterol is to prevent or treat coronary heart disease , also called coronary artery disease or CAD. CHD happens when heart is not able to get enough oxygen-rich blood to function well and kills more people in the U.S. than any other cause of death. CHD usually refers to the large arteries, but there is also a condition called coronary microvascular disease that affects the small vessels and causes damage.
Cholesterol Changes In Women
Women, before menopause, have a better HDL cholesterol level than men and better total and LDL cholesterol levels than men because of the protective action of the estrogen hormone during the premenopausal age. Estrogen is believed to help clear the LDL particles from the blood circulation.
After menopause, LDL levels tend to rise. HDL levels usually tend to fall or they might remain the same.
Women who pass through menopause before the age of 45 are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, while those who go through menopause at a later age have a lower risk. Research shows that cholesterol levels for women increase at menopause along with other risk factors for heart disease.
Again, metabolic syndrome is quite prevalent in menopausal women. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of health conditions, which include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, a large abdominal girth and an abnormal lipid metabolism. Metabolic syndrome is an extremely high-risk factor for coronary artery disease because each of the conditions mentioned above is by itself a high-risk factor.
Also Check: Pork Cholesterol Amount
Facts About Cholesterol Ldl Hdl And Triglycerides In Children And Adolescents
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fat-like, waxy substance that can be found in all parts of the body. It aids in the production of cell membranes, some hormones, and vitamin D. The cholesterol in blood comes from two sources: the foods your child eats and his or her liver. However, your childs liver can make all of the cholesterol your childs body needs.
Cholesterol and other fats are transported through the blood stream in the form of round particles called lipoproteins. The two most commonly known lipoproteins are low-density lipoproteins and high-density lipoproteins .
What is a lipid screening?
A lipid screening consists of a blood test that provides a childs healthcare team with an overall look at the fats in the blood. In the past, doctors felt that children and adolescents were at little risk for developing high cholesterol levels and other risk factors for heart disease until later in life. However, we now know that children and adolescents are at risk for having high blood cholesterol levels as a result of one, or more of the following:
- Sedentary lifestyles
- High-fat or high-sugar junk food diets
- Family history of high cholesterol levels.
A full lipid profile shows the actual levels of each type of fat in the blood, such as LDL, HDL, triglycerides and total cholesterol. The childs doctor will compare the childs results with normal values after considering the childs age and the number of risk factors present.
What is LDL cholesterol?
How Is High Cholesterol In Children Diagnosed
Healthcare professionals can check cholesterol in school-age children with a simple blood test. Conducting such a test is especially important if there is a strong family history of heart disease or if a parent of the child has high cholesterol. The blood test results will reveal whether a child’s cholesterol is too high.
- Medical treatment of elevated LDL if the value is greater than 190 mg/dL in patients with no risk factors for cardiovascular disease and if diet modification has been unsuccessful.
- Medical treatment for patients with an LDL greater than 160 mg/dL who have a family history of an early onset of cardiovascular disease or other risk factors, including obesity, hypertension, or cigarette smoking.
- Medical treatment for patients with an LDL greater than 130 mg/dL who have diabetes.
Don’t Miss: Can Dehydration Skew A Cholesterol Test
Causes Of Changing Cholesterol Levels
Your cholesterol levels will change as you age, most likely increasing. There are a number of causes for changing cholesterol levels. They include:
If you eat foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol, it will make your total cholesterol level rise. The saturated fat is the main cause. This type of fat comes mainly from animal food products. You can find it in meat, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, deep-fried foods, and processed foods. These foods make up a typical American diet, and consuming a lot of these foods is cautioned against.
Weight and physical activity
If you are overweight, your risk for heart disease increases and so do your cholesterol levels. Not being physically active also contributes to a risk for heart disease and high cholesterol levels. Exercising daily and losing weight can help lower your bad cholesterol, LDL, and increase your good cholesterol, HDL.
Smoking can lower your good cholesterol, HDL, making it harder for your body to remove cholesterol from your arteries.
Age and gender
As you age, your total cholesterol levels increase. Women have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. But when a woman goes through menopause, her bad cholesterol, LDL, tends to rise.
Eat Whole Grains Instead Of Processed Carbs
Include foods rich in fibre into your daily diet, like wholegrain oats or psyllium husk. These can help you feel fuller for longer, so they will curb cravings and prevent sugar spikes that lead to weight gain. Highly processed carbohydrates can be very harmful if they make up a large percentage of your diet. Carbs give you energy, but too much has been shown to increase cholesterol levels in the liver, making more by mistake
You May Like: Is Tuna High In Cholesterol
Don’t Miss: How Much Cholesterol In Canned Tuna
Treatment For High Triglycerides
Lifestyle modification is crucial for children who have been diagnosed with abnormal triglyceride levels. The American Council on Exercise reports that children who have abnormal triglyceride levels should be encouraged to start a regular exercise program that includes 60 minutes of aerobic exercise each day 4. Reducing caloric intake, lowering saturated fat consumption, and incorporating a colorful blend of various fruits and vegetables is essential for children who want to achieve normal triglyceride levels. Children who use tobacco or alcohol should stop immediately to keep triglyceride levels in check.
- Lifestyle modification is crucial for children who have been diagnosed with abnormal triglyceride levels.
- The American Council on Exercise reports that children who have abnormal triglyceride levels should be encouraged to start a regular exercise program that includes 60 minutes of aerobic exercise each day 4.
What Are Normal Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance found in the cells in your body. Cholesterol is found in some foods, like meat and dairy products. Your liver is responsible for making cholesterol. Your body needs it to function properly. There are two types of cholesterol high-density lipoprotein , or good cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein , or bad cholesterol. Too much LDL cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease.
The total cholesterol in your body is the amount of cholesterol in your blood. It consists of both LDL and HDL cholesterol. The good cholesterol, HDL, helps remove cholesterol from your arteries. The bad cholesterol, LDL, is the main source of cholesterol buildup and blockage in your arteries. Too much LDL can put you at risk for a stroke, heart attack, or other heart problems.
Cholesterol levels vary by age, weight, and gender. As you age, your body will produce more cholesterol. As an adult, you should check your cholesterol levels every four to six years to make sure youre in a healthy range.
Recommended Reading: Are Baked Potatoes High In Cholesterol
How Can I Lower My Kids Cholesterol
How to Reduce Fat and Cholesterol in Your Childs Diet
How To Affect The Level Of Cholesterol In The Blood
Already with a small excess of the level of «bad» cholesterol or approaching the upper boundary should start treatment and prevent further growth of this indicator. This is especially important for women after age 60. The view that the content of cholesterol in the blood is associated only with the diet is wrong. More than 80% of this substance is synthesized in the liver and only a small proportion enters the body with food. But the food is the factor that people are easily affected, thus regulating the level of cholesterol in the blood.
Respecting the rules of nutrition you can only affect the amount of harmful cholesterol, 20 30% which the person receives with food. To increase the content of good cholesterol by changing the diet, it is impossible, as the HDL cholesterol produced by the body.
Raise HDL possible with the help of moderate physical activity, which at the same time prevent deposition of «bad» cholesterol, arrived with food. Highly recommended sports even for people after a stroke or heart attack, if there is no relevant contraindications of the doctor, as well as persons with sedentary work. The perfect measure to maintain a normal ratio of cholesterol in the blood is the intake of vitamin complexes.
Read Also: Are Mussels High In Cholesterol
What Is The Normal Ldl Cholesterol Level In The Blood
Adults: 25 100 mg/dlLimit level: 130 159 mg/dlHigh risk: > 160 mg/dlPatients with coronary heart disease < 100 mg/dl
Reference ranges are always related to total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
In the International System of Units , LDL cholesterol in the blood is measured in mmol/L. The normal LDL cholesterol levels in the blood in the SI are:
Adults: 0.64 2.58 mmol/lChildren: 0.64 2.84 mmol/l
What Should My Cholesterol Levels Be
Cholesterol level is measured in the units known as mill moles per liter of blood. And written as mmol/L. therefore the total cholesterol level for healthy adults should be 5mmol/L or less, LDL should be 3mmol/L or less and HDL should be above 1 mmol/L. whereas the total cholesterol should be 4mmol/L or less, LDL level should be 2mm0l/L or less for those high risk people. The risk factors and treatment of such high level or low level of cholesterol depends on other crucial factors like high blood pressure and smoking.
The above cholesterol level is just a universal figure, but cant be same for every people, as everyone is different. So it is always advised to consult with your doctor, and inquire about your cholesterol level, and what is your normal level, and how can you control the level. So take action immediately to get rid of all those dangerous risk factors and live a healthy life and never allow those plaque to build up.
Recommended Reading: Shrimp And Cholesterol
Healthy Cholesterol Levels By Age
The following table was adapted from the Cleveland Clinic :3
|Cholesterol Levels by Age: Normal, Borderline, and High|
|More than 45 mg/dL|
|Greater than or equal to 200 mg/dL||Greater than or equal to 130 mg/dL|
|Males 20 and older||More than 40 mg/dL|
|Greater than or equal to 239 mg/dL||160189 mg/dL|
|More than 45 mg/dL|
|Greater than or equal to 200 mg/dL||Greater than or equal to 130 mg/dL|
|Females 20 and older||More than 50 mg/dL|
|Greater than or equal to 239 mg/dL||160189 mg/dL|
Articles On High Cholesterol
Adults are not the only people affected by high cholesterol. Children also may have high levels of cholesterol, which can cause health problems, especially problems with heart disease, when the child gets older. Too much cholesterol leads to the build-up of plaque on the walls of the arteries, which supply blood to the heart and other organs. Plaque can narrow the arteries and block the blood flow to the heart, causing heart problems and stroke.
Recommended Reading: Does Tuna Have Good Or Bad Cholesterol
How Is Cholesterol Measured
The primary way to measure your cholesterol levels is with a blood test from your arm, usually done in a laboratory. This test is frequently performed in adults, it takes only a few minutes, and its relatively painless.
Your doctor may ask you to fast if you are having a complete lipid profile that includes your LDL. If you are only having a total cholesterol test, you do not need to fast. If you are not sure if you should fast, call your doctor or the lab.
Also Check: What Is The Best Margarine For High Cholesterol
What Are The Treatments For High Cholesterol In Children And Teens
Lifestyle changes are the main treatment for high cholesterol in children and teens. These changes include
- Being more active. This includes getting regular exercise and spending less time sitting
- Healthy eating. A diet to lower cholesterol includes limiting foods that are high in saturated fat, sugar, and trans fat. It is also important to eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Losing weight, if your child or teen is overweight or has obesity
If everyone in the family makes these changes, it will be easier for your child or teen to stick to them. It is also an opportunity to improve your health, and the health of the rest of your family.
Sometimes these lifestyle changes are not enough to lower your child or teen’s cholesterol. Your health care provider may consider giving your child or teen cholesterol medicines if he or she
- Is at least 10 years old
- Has an LDL cholesterol level that is higher than 190 mg/dL, even after six months of diet and exercise changes
- Has an LDL cholesterol level that is higher than 160 mg/dL AND is at high risk for heart disease
- Has an inherited type of high cholesterol
Don’t Miss: Is Goat Cheese Bad For Cholesterol
Surprising Ways To Boost Your Heart Health
So how can you help to raise your HDL levels naturally? Here are some easy, and more unusual, ways.
1. Eat More Good Fat / Less Lectin-Rich Grains
Avoid: Whole grain/ low-fat diets dont work, just look at the coach from the Biggest Loser or the President of the American Heart Association both had heart attacks and both follow whole grain/ low-fat diets.
Get More: Eat more fats like avocado and olive oil, and cut out healthy lectin-loaded grains that inflame the system like wheat, quinoa, and oats
2. Be Kind
Doing good for others be it writing your partner a sweet note or helping a neighbor with a project boosts your oxytocin levels and reduces cortisol . When cortisol is increased, our blood pressure and inflammation levels rise.
3. Focus On Good Levels, Not Bad
Instead of worrying about bad LDL cholesterol, focus on raising your HDLs through low weight/high rep weight training. And, by drinking a glass of RED wine or champagne once a day .
You can also cut out seeded veggies and fruits from your diet, which are full of lectins. They also raise your triglycerides and lower your HDL levels due to the high-sugar content, as studies by the American Heart Association have shown.
4. Floss More!
Flossing reduces heart plaque. You see, there are bacteria in your mouth that gets into your bloodstream and its one of the main causes of heart disease! All you have to do is floss every other day to see the benefits, as proven by Dr. Gundrys study.7
5. Get Stinky