Impossible, you say! Teens and cholesterol? No way! Did you know, anyone older than two years of age can have good enough reasons to be concerned about cholesterol? We bring you the fatsooopsthe facts!
What is Cholesterol?
- It is a type of fat ( lipids) found in foods from animal source eg. Eggs, meat, whole fat dairy products etc.
- Approximately 1000mg of cholesterol is produced by your liver every day, whereas the body uses approximately 150 200mg only.
- The cholesterol cannot travel by itself through the blood stream
- It combines with proteins and is carried to different parts of the body
High Risk Teens?
Children from high-risk families should be particularly careful about cholesterol.
- If the father has had a heart problem before the age of 50 years
- If there is heart disease in the family from the mothers side ( in anyone below the age of 60 years)
- If either parent suffers from high levels of blood cholesterol ( over 240mg)
Cholesterol is worth worrying about, for high levels of cholesterol lead to fat deposits on artery walls, called plaque. This eventually leads to narrowing of arteries and consequently puts you at a higher risk for heart disease. Lets check out the Trigger Factors
- Heredity- high cholesterol in the family makes your risk factor higher
- Obesity Being overweight is generally linked to higher levels of cholesterol
- Lack of exercise
- A diet rich in fat
We know that high cholesterol is bad for health, but did you know that it is also the easiest thing to control with awareness, diet and lifestyle modification?
You cant do much about your genes, but there are other things you can do!
- Eat a diet rich in low cholesterol foods: fruits, vegetables, fish, beans and grains
- Eat lean meats / skinless chicken
- Avoid eating the yolk of the egg. Cook the whites whichever way you like
- Switch to margarine instead of butter
- Look for low fat snacks
- Use unsaturated fats for cooking
- Avoid deep fried foods. Go for baked, boiled, grilled foods
- Switch to low fat milk / dairy products
- Periodic checks of cholesterol levels
- Exercise tends to increase the "goodŁ cholesterol or HDL levels, thereby reducing your risk for heart problems. Physical activity is an absolute must.