Ways to Control Unhealthy Cholesterol Level in Children

Ways to Control Unhealthy Cholesterol Level in Children

Everybody get worried hearing the word ‘cholesterol’, especially the adult people who have increased risk of heart problems. But if you thing that cholesterol affects only middle aged or older people, you have to give a second thought to this. According to the recommendation of Lipid Association of India, the lipid profile screening (test for high cholesterol) should start at the age of 17, the age of entering the college.

Highlights

  • Cholesterol also affects children and adolescent and is a big cause of concern
  • Foods with high saturated fat and full dairy products have a bigger impact
  • Parents must encourage their children to cut junk food and adopt vegetables as their healthy snack

Traditionally, screening is generally recommended to people above 40. But this new recommendation from Lipid Association of India has been drafted in collaboration with 150 cardiologists from across the country.

Why is it alarming?

There is a strong reason for that. According to a study by senior cardiologist Dr Raman Puri on 2,500 Delhi school students aged 14-18 years, 23 percent of them were having high cholesterol levels. What raised more concern was the alarming levels of LDL or low density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) in 10 percent of the students surveyed. Besides, their triglycerides levels were also high. This is an indicator of heart disease.

High Cholesterol is a cause of concern in young people as they set the base for a lifetime of health problems including heart related diseases. So what can we do to ensure our child’s health?

Experts believe it’s not simply changing the dietary things to lower cholesterol levels in kids and teens, more importantly; we have to look what kind of foods they are eating. If they are having foods with high saturated fat such as meat, full-fat dairy including cheese and butter, then it can have bigger impact. 

Besides, trans fats found in commercial baked foods lowers high density lipoprotein (the good cholesterol) and increases the low density lipoprotein (the bad cholesterol).

On the contrary, there are certain fiber rich foods that can lower the cholesterol naturally such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, etc. Moreover, healthy fats like omega-3s also aids in lowering bad cholesterol. Twice a week, it’s a good idea to replace butter with olive oil and choosing fish instead of red meat.

What Parents can do in controlling cholesterol of children

  • Parents must make sure that the child has a complete physical check-up before embarking on any diet or exercise plan.
  • They must encourage them to cut on high cholesterol food such as hamburgers and french fries and replace them with some healthy snacks such as vegetables. If possible cut up vegetables in advance so that they are ready to grab by your children.
  • Foods with refined carbohydrates such as bakery products, sugary foods, pastas, etc. must be avoided.
  • Give them skim (cream free) milk instead of whole milk.
  • Encourage them to cut the sedentary lifestyle right from the beginning by limiting their TV, video games and computer time.
  • Encourage them for physical activity.

Following the above mentioned plan will help get your child on the road to a healthy life, free from obesity and high cholesterol.