Not only adults, high cholesterol can also be experienced by children. Usually high cholesterol in children is caused by three main factors, namely heredity, unhealthy diet, and obesity. Come on, find out more about cholesterol in children and how to deal with it.
In sufficient levels, cholesterol is actually needed to build body tissues and produce sex hormones. Conversely, if it is too high, cholesterol can cause plaque buildup in the arteries, so that blood flow to the heart becomes disrupted.
If not treated immediately, high cholesterol in children can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke later in life.
Check High Cholesterol in Children
Cholesterol is divided into two types, namely good cholesterol or bad cholesterol high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and bad cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Cholesterol levels in children are said to be normal if:
- Good cholesterol more than 45 mg/dL
- Bad cholesterol less than 100 mg/dL
- Total cholesterol less than 170 mg/dL
Cholesterol levels that are classified as high in children usually do not show special symptoms. Therefore, every child needs to have cholesterol checks from the age of 9-11 years and check again when they are 17-21 years old.
However, if the child is known to have high risk factors, such as suffering from diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and has a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, it is usually advisable to check cholesterol regularly from the age of 2 years and over.
How to Overcome High Cholesterol in Children
If your little one is diagnosed with high cholesterol, you don't need to worry too much, because the main treatment for high cholesterol is simply making lifestyle changes to become healthier.
Here are some effective ways that can be applied easily to treat high cholesterol in children:
Limiting foods or drinks high in cholesterol
One of the best ways to reduce high cholesterol in children is to limit the consumption of foods or drinks that are high in cholesterol, saturated fat, sugar, and trans fats, such as cheese, milk, French fries, burgers, sausages, pizza, and popcorn.
In addition, when cooking food for your little one, you can use healthier ingredients, such as butter, olive oil, or coconut oil.
Applying a healthy diet
Teaching a healthy diet from an early age to the Little SI is also important to do to overcome high cholesterol in children. To apply it, you can give your little one the following healthy food choices:
- Foods low in saturated fat and trans fat, such as milk or yogurt low fat, oatmeal, and whole wheat bread
- Fiber-rich foods, such as beans, oats, carrots, and broccoli
- Protein-rich foods, such as fish and chickpeas
- Fresh fruits, such as apples, grapes, oranges, and strawberries
In addition, do not forget to limit the amount of added sugar intake in children.
Inviting children to exercise regularly
Regular exercise, such as swimming, cycling, walking, or running, is also beneficial for lowering high cholesterol in children, as well as lowering the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Therefore, invite your little one to stay active and exercise regularly for at least 60 minutes a day.
The various ways to overcome high cholesterol in children above do not only apply to the Little One, you know, Bun, but also for other family members. If the people closest to you apply it, your little one will also be easier to imitate.
However, if you find it difficult to apply various ways of dealing with high cholesterol in children, you should consult a doctor to get the right solution.