High cholesterol is not the only problem for adults; children may also have high cholesterol levels, a condition that, with enormous potential, can lead to health problems, particularly ones related to heart disease later in life. Plague buildup on the walls of the arteries, the outcome of too much cholesterol, can narrow these arteries, blocking the blood flow to the heart and other organs. This can result in stroke, heart problems, and other health issues.
According to the American Heart Association, the total cholesterol level of children from 2 to 19 years old should be 170 or less.
Causes of High Cholesterol Levels in Children
- Heredity plays a role since high cholesterol usually runs in family. Children whose parents – or one of them – have high levels of cholesterol are very likely to have elevated cholesterol.
- Unhealthy diet
- Lacking physical activity
Preventing High Cholesterol Levels
It is known that there are two types of fiber: soluble fiber, which can reduce cholesterol levels, and insoluble fiber, which is known to have a connection with decreased cardiovascular risk and slower progression of heart disease. As a result, provide your child with at least 5 servings of vegetables and fruits every day. You can offer your child bananas, carrots, leafy green vegetables. Here are some other foods which are also high in fiber you can choose to help reduce your kid’s cholesterol level.
- Children can benefit from almost every kind of berry, but raspberries contain the most fiber. You can also find rich sources of fiber from the skins of the fruits – for example, apple.
- High-fiber cereal. Cereals are undeniably the food that can appeal to your kid, so what would be better than cereal that is rich in fiber. Parents should, however, take notice of the sugar level.
Furthermore, make sure you child consumes foods that are low in cholesterol, total fat, trans fats, saturated fats. Saturated fats are mostly found in animal products, such as eggs, meat, and dairy products, such as cheese and butter. Saturated fats are also abundant in some snack foods such as cookies and chips. You can, on the other hand, find trans fats in fried fruits and processed foods such as crackers and doughnuts. The amount of total fat consumed in a day should not exceed 30% of total calories. Saturated fat should be lower than 10% of daily total calories; meanwhile, doctor may advise not consuming trans fat.
Encourage your child to stay active by engaging in regular physical activities. Maintain at least one hour of playing every day. Aerobic exercise is very good for your child because it can help increase HDL levels, the good cholesterol, and minimize the risk of heart disease.
Moreover, allow your child to watch television, or play computer games for only one to two hours a day.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: August 31, 2017 | Last Modified: August 31, 2017
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Cholesterol and Your Child. https://familydoctor.org/cholesterol-and-your-child/. Accessed August 14, 2017