Cholesterol Myths #1 Your choice about diet and physical activity are fully responsible for your cholesterol levels. Although diet and exercise do contribute to your overall blood cholesterol levels, we need to take into consideration other factors that contribute greatly, such as:
The fact that your bodynaturally produces cholesterol
Whether or not you are obese or overweight
Even getting older
However, a heart-healthy diet and regular exercise are important to everyone for maintaining cardiovascular health.
Cholesterol Myths #2 If you are thin or slim then you do not need to worry about your cholesterol level.
As I write this blog I have a niece that just turned 15 years of age and she is very thin/slim, very active in school, plays netball and is on the swimming team. But guess what, while playing her favorite sport(netball), she collapsed on the field and had to be rushed to the hospital where she was informed that her cholesterol level was very high, too high for her age. So that throws this misconception to the dogs, it shows that high cholesterol is not a respecter of persons or age. It also shows the importance of diet and genes in the equation for it.
Cholesterol Myths #3 Using margarine instead of butter will help to lower your cholesterol level
One thing you need to know is that both margarine and butter contain high levels of saturated fats, so both need to be used in moderation. The major culprit that affects your blood cholesterol levels from a dietary standpoint is the amount ofsaturated and trans fats that are in the foods we eat.
Most vegetable oils and margarine (soft or liquid) have less saturated and trans fat than the solid spreads and are the preferred choice of ( soft/liquid) margarine for a heart-healthy diet. Limiting foods high in saturated fats and trans fats may help lower your (LDL) bad cholesterol levels. Ensure when you are choosing margarine that the label reads 0g trans fat, this would be a good switch but it may not do the job of completely lowering your cholesterol levels. Other lifestyle factors along with medication that is recommended by your physician would have to be in place in order to get your cholesterol levels back to a healthy level.
Cholesterol Myths #4 Your doctor hasnt said anything concerning your cholesterol level so you dont have to worry.
Pssst, hear this little secret, your health is your responsibility, so ask your healthcare professional to do a check on your cholesterol levels and other risk factors so you would know how to proceed with your lifestyle change.
Cholesterol Myths #5 The nutritional label on my favorite food says there is no cholesterol or cholesterol free, that gives me the assurance that it is a heart-healthy choice.
There is no denying the fact that nutritional labels are very helpful when choosing your heart-healthy foods, but you also need to know what you are looking for. Many low-cholesterol and cholesterol-free foods also contain high levels of saturated and trans fats both of which are avid contributors to high blood cholesterol. Low-fat labels may also have a higher fat content than you initially thought, ensure that youcheck the amount of saturated fats, trans fat and total calories in the product serving. Dontforget the size of the serving most time it is smaller than what you expected. The first ingredient listed is the one used most, so make sure the fats and oils are listed last. Remember some labels can be indirectly misleading so pay attention to your labels and get in the know.
Cholesterol Myths #6 Since I am taking medication prescribed by my doctor I see no need to pay attention to what I eat.
Thats a load of baloney, making diet and lifestyle changes isthe correct way to go about managing your high cholesterol level, this way will help you to prevent heart attacks, and stroke. Be responsible for your own health, eat heart-healthy foods and exercise at least 40 minutes, three times a week. Thisin turn will help to lower your cholesterol level along with your doctors recommendation.
Cholesterol Myths #7 I am a woman so I do not have to worry about high cholesterol, its a mans problem.
That is so not accurate, even though premenopausal women may have immunity from (bad) cholesterol (LDL), due to the female hormone estrogen which tends to raise (HDL) (good) cholesterol levels, and is at its highest during pregnancy, as you age your cholesterol levels tend to increase. Older women tend to have higher triglyceride levels and also higher cholesterol levels. If you are approaching menopause it is important to have your cholesterol and other risk factors checked by your doctor.
Cholesterol Myths #8 You should not get your cholesterol tested until you have reached middle age
It is apparent from the episode taking place with my niece that everyone should have their cholesterol and other risk factors checked as early as possible. Children are at a greater risk of developing heart disease compared toadults, due to inactivity, poor diet choices and also genetics. All of these factors can affect your childs cholesterol level. We as parents should develop a heart-healthy lifestyle change for our children to help to bettertheir future health.