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Apr 25, 2013

Healthy Living: cholesterol

Jorge Hidalgo

Like diabetes and hypertension, medical statistics show that there is another health condition that is growing leaps and bounds locally. It creeps in silently and increases the risk of heart diseases. Now, high cholesterol can be inherited but it frequently results from an unhealthy lifestyle. But a healthy diet and exercise can go a long way in bringing down the dangerous high cholesterol. Healthy Living explains.

 

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

Eat this, not that. Eat this, but definitely not that. This is not a weight loss diet but a sample of the shift in eating habits required by a person with high cholesterol. This medical problem is on the rise in Belize and should be a concern for every Belizean; as it shows no symptoms but has severe consequences.

 

Dr. Jorge Hidalgo, Internist

“The last study was done in 2007 and conducted in some of the studies…prevalent problem in Belize and is definitely something we need to deal with.”

 

Internist, Dr Jorge Hidalgo, shares the same concern of all health professionals in Belize. Since, diagnosing high cholesterol requires a blood test, most people find out through a check up or in other screening tests.  A blood test would detect the amount of fat in your blood specifically cholesterol which is divided into HDL – Good Cholesterol & LDL the bad cholesterol. And there are also triglycerides which are another type of fat that is very dangerous to your health.

 

Dr. Jorge Hidalgo

“In this breakdown we usually explain to people that the LDL is bad because essentially if the numbers raises very much then the person is in a higher risk to develop a heart attack or stroke or other complications related with that. The reason is with time the bad cholesterol build up of plaque in the arteries at some point it narrow the artery and this plaque can eventually experience a rupture and have a heart attack or a stroke. We have the good cholesterol the HDL and the good cholesterol is like a natural defense mechanism of the body and what it does its basically goes to where the arteries are where the plaque is forming and do like a vacuum, a cleaning system a natural cleaning system and bring the down all the bad cholesterol and all those elements.”

 

So what would make your LDL numbers enter into the danger zone? There are several controllable and uncontrollable factors which puts just about anyone at risk from the overweight couch potato to the gym rats.

 

Dr. Jorge Hidalgo

“It is very funny because sometimes people say “doc I have high cholesterol and I don’t know why because I’m eating healthy and exercise.”  Three essentially reasons why one could be related with a genetic predisposition, a family issue and eventually it’s a hereditary issue. The second one could be related with the habits, the diet plays a very important role and the type of food we have right now is not good.”

 

The third reason would be a malfunction in the body. It is for this reason the treatment varies from shifting to a healthy lifestyle to medication.

 

Dr. Jorge Hidalgo

“At some point we measure your cholesterol and we advise you that your cholesterol is high, you need to make changes in your lifestyle modify your diet, get in some exercise, because with time cholesterol is a risk factor that is basically put you at risk for heart attack or maybe a stroke.  There are risk factors that we can modify and some that we can’t. We can’t fight with our age, race those things we can’t change alone with our sex. Those are risk factors we definitely can’t change.”

 

Of course a healthy diet and regular exercise is better way of living for everyone, for some people with high cholesterol they will still require medication to keep the bad fats down. For those who’ve never been tested, the general recommendation is for persons 20 and older should have their cholesterol levels checked at least once every 5 years.

 

Dr. Jorge Hidalgo

“We claim that we are busy, we don’t have time to exercise, we don’t need more than thirty minutes a day will help a lot with maintain good health. You should have a balanced diet that would include more fruits vegetables. You must drink six to eight glasses of water and most important points to start.”

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1 Response for “Healthy Living: cholesterol”

  1. Storm says:

    Vegetarians have essentially no cholesterol problems, stronger hearts, and significantly lower rates of many cancers. There’s a lot of great information on how to enjoy a truly healthy diet at drmcdougall.com .I don’t get a commission from him, but I have followed his program for 20+ years and enjoyed great health the whole time.

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