Com­bat­ting Choles­terol

Natural Solutions - - Food Matters -

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.

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