During earlier times it was considered that cholesterol is an age related problem and starts to show when a person grows old. Now it has been found that many kids even in pre teen age are suffering from high or unwanted level of cholesterol in their blood.
Cholesterol is a wax like fatty substance produced by the liver. This substance is produced with the object of producing cells of the membranes of arteries and veins inside the human body which carry blood. Cholesterol is also responsible for formation of a number of hormones. Cholesterol can enter our blood stream and travel through arteries and veins through food we eat and also produced by liver. Those who eat lot of fatty food are more likely to suffer from the problem of excess of cholesterol.
Some of the products of nature which are rich in cholesterol are egg yolks, red meat, sea food and dairy products. As such doctors advise to drink skimmed milk. Cholesterol has broadly been classified into LDL and HDL. LDL or low density lipoprotein is bad cholesterol as it results in formation of plaque – a thick hard substance inside blood vessels. In case of it being excess than the required quantity it starts to deposit on the inner walls of arteries restricting flow of blood to heart or brain. With the obstruction of blood passage, in case of formation of blood clot its supply to brain or heart stops, resulting in stroke.
In contrast HDL or high density lipoprotein carries cholesterol away from arteries to liver for reprocessing and recirculation in blood vessels. HDL also helps remove plaque that has deposited in the arteries.
When a person is detected to be suffering from existence of high level of cholesterol the doctors advise him for brisk walking and other exercises which help burn excess fat. Since this disease of deposit of plaque is a slow process and the results are apparent after quite some time, it is essential to take proper care of the food your children eat so that their future life remains safe. Food rich in high fats, saturated fat and trans-fat should be avoided. These result in obesity which itself is a cause of high blood pressure. Care also needs to be taken in case of the kids whose parents suffer from high level of cholesterol.
What causes high cholesterol in children?
It is necessary to take proper and adequate care of your child to ensure that he is not suffering from this problem. Some of the precautions that could help your child in the long run are:
- In case one or both of the parents have been diagnosed of having high cholesterol blood test of the kid needs to be done. This test should be repeated every year.
- Avoid food rich in fat and trans-fat. Plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grain should be part of daily meals. Avoid excess consumption of meat products. Tofu and soya products are good.
- Before buying any pre cooked and ready to eat food products read the contents printed on packaging and avoid products having saturated fat and trans- fat. Be very careful in selecting fat used for cooking.
- Give your child low fat milk and other dairy products. Milk products like ice cream are very rich in fat. Though these cannot be prohibited for the children but can be avoided.
- Discourage your child from drinking soda or other drinks which have added sugar.
- Avoid fast food and junk food as it is made of refined stuff and has lot of fat and sugar added to make it tasty.
- Make a definite programme of exercise for the child. This should be strictly followed. Brisk physical activity should be for at least 60 minutes each day.
- In case the tests indicate high level of LDL cholesterol consult your doctor who will be able to suggest ways to reduce the instance of cholesterol in your child. If need be he will suggest some medicine.
Remember precautions taken during childhood will go a long way in your child leading a healthy life.