e know that losing weight helps lower cholesterol, but what you might not know is that eating low-cholesterol foods also helps us to lose weight and melt belly fat. Most high-cholesterol foods also contain more calories compared with their low-cholesterol counterparts.
You may have seen in recent news stories that the cholesterol present in the foods we eat may not be a direct cause of heart disease, but that doesn’t mean you’re free to consume fatty foods with abandon. While healthy fats will always have a place in a nutritious diet, here are some reasons why, if you’re a woman, you should still be concerned about your cholesterol levels. In addition to heart disease, cholesterol plays a role in:
LEG CRAMPS: Leg pain could be a sign of Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), which happens when cholesterol clogs the blood vessels leading to your extremities. This is why PAD is linked to increased risk of heart attack and stroke. PAD is most common in people older than age 50, those who smoke, and those who have diabetes.
UNATTRACTIVE YELLOWISH BUMPS OR PATCHES: Technically known as xanthomas, these bumps are either caused by high cholesterol or they may indicate a genetic predisposition for cholesterol problems. They can appear anywhere on your body including elbows, knees, shoulders, hands, and face. Not all eyelid xanthomas are from high cholesterol, but it’s important to have your doctor check them out anyway.
Parents are responsible for managing their family’s healthcare needs, and as the family’s role models, most parents are motivated to eat better so their kids will, too, and they should know that even children can develop high cholesterol. It’s recommended that everyone start getting cholesterol screenings starting at age 20, but it may be advisable for children in families with a history of heart disease to start being tested earlier.
FYI: If you are a woman over age 50, your doctor may want to monitor your cholesterol levels more closely because drops in estrogen levels increase your risk for higher LDL cholesterol levels.