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Aug 15, 2013

Healthy Living gets its cholesterol checked

Most people find out they have high cholesterol while conducting routine screening tests.  Even so, high cholesterol is diagnosed in Belize on a daily basis. It is a worrisome situation as high cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease and strokes. Yet many people struggle with lowering their cholesterol level. In this week’s Healthy Living we seek some advice about lowering your cholesterol.

 

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

It is no secret that Belizeans are struggling to win the war against diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and high cholesterol.

 

Doctor Fernando Cuellar, Internist & Intensivist

Fernando Cuellar

“I would say at least seventy-five percent of patients have some problem or another with cholesterol or lipids levels.  Many times having high cholesterol or cholester ‘oil’ like what we fondly call it is because there are not many symptoms. Many people walk around with high levels and no know about it and until they come in with a checkup and other problems. We would find we do a routine check; we find that these people have high cholesterol.”

 

Now, the body needs cholesterol as a part of its daily function. In fact, it produces all the cholesterol your body actually needs. The problem surfaces when we consume foods high in saturated fat and add additional cholesterol to our body that it doesn’t need.

 

Dr. Fernando Cuellar

“Animal fat is definitely the main one I see, I think we’re a society who like our meats, beef and pork and the barbeques and all of that  The shell fishes on a whole, lobster, shrimp and conch, those are high in cholesterol. Eggs and cheeses, you are asked to eat only one egg a day, less cheese, the whiter the cheese the better and skin milk or low fat milk are a very good option.”

 

The general food recommendation is for substituting these foods with healthier options and increasing your intake of heart healthy foods.

 

Dr. Fernando Cuellar

“Fish for example we don’t eat enough fish even living right next to the sea. And of course chicken, without the skin would be a very good option. Oils that are used for cooking, I usually tell people to use for cooking is preferably olive oil. We Belizeans do need to acquire that taste; it’s not one of the tastier ones or canola oil that’s the second.  Oats, things that have a lot fiber, oats fruits vegetables, supplements that include fish oil, Cod liver oil, seven seas, flax seed. A combination of oats, flax seeds and fish oil capsules can reduce your cholesterol levels at least thirty to fifty percent.”

 

Healthy eating alone though won’t work; cholesterol management is not complete without exercise.

 

Dr. Fernando Cuellar

“You find that at least in half the cases they manage to lower their cholesterol with healthier lifestyle. They eat different and exercise. Don’t forget the exercise. They say I work hard, I’m up and down and the office, I’m from one desk to another. But that’s not the same, that’s one of the difficulties; hard work is not the same as exercise. Pretty simple; three times a week for a thirty minutes each time and that’s an acceptable exercise regime.”

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No Responses for “Healthy Living gets its cholesterol checked”

  1. JJ says:

    I love this news piece!!! As a young man barely into his early 30′s and battling with lowering cholesterol for over some years now, I can only appreciate the good news this article shares.

    I was made aware of my extremely high cholesterol at around age 25 on a routine check-up to the doctor and I have struggled to bring it down to reasonable levels. I am average weight and body build and it was a shock to find my bad cholesterol level so high; and so young. As with so much of us here in Belize, my high bad cholesterol is a combination of hereditary traits as well as that bountiful of food choices that not always was good.

    Eating right foods as this article suggest coupled with exercise is a great thing! Healthy living is a necessary choice and lifestyle. Trust me! Especially because on that weird day when you just don’t feel good, and your headache starts and your head starts to twitch and your hands feels oddly numb for no reason that you can explain, you will wish you make a better choice to be personally healthy.

    At age 32, I hope to live until at least 75 years old and I want to be one healthy sexy old man with good health!!! And I can only hop that it will be routine doctor visits and bills. So I hope to maintain good food choices and a healthy lifestyle.

    Keep the good stories coming!!!!!

  2. JJ says:

    I love this news piece!!! As a young man barely into his early 30′s and battling with lowering cholesterol for over some years now, I can only appreciate the good news this article shares.

    I was made aware of my extremely high cholesterol at around age 25 on a routine check-up to the doctor and I have struggled to bring it down to reasonable levels. I am average weight and body build and it was a shock to find my bad cholesterol level so high; and so young. As with so much of us here in Belize, my high bad cholesterol is a combination of hereditary traits as well as that bountiful of food choices that not always was good.

    Eating right foods as this article suggest coupled with exercise is a great thing! Healthy living is a necessary choice and lifestyle. Trust me! Especially because on that weird day when you just don’t feel good, and your headache starts and your head starts to twitch and your hands feels oddly numb for no reason that you can explain, you will wish you make a better choice to be personally healthy.

    At age 32, I hope to live until at least 75 years old and I want to be one healthy sexy old man with good health!!! And I can only hop that it will be routine doctor visits and bills. So I hope to maintain good food choices and a healthy lifestyle.

    Keep the good stories coming!!!!!

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