High Cholesterol Can Also Occur In Children
The condition of high cholesterol is not only owned by adults, but can also be experienced by children. High cholesterol in children is usually caused by heredity, but can also be caused by unhealthy eating patterns. Come on, know more about the causes and how to overcome them.
Cholesterol has various functions for the body, including producing hormones and vitamin D, and producing substances for the digestive process. There are two types of cholesterol, namely high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or known as good cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol.
Good cholesterol in the body should be high, while bad cholesterol must be kept low. If the amount of bad cholesterol is high, it can cause diseases such as heart disease and stroke, including in children as well as in adults.
Understanding the Causes of High Cholesterol in Children
Normal cholesterol levels in children are actually not much different from adults. The limit on total cholesterol is 200 mg / dL. With good cholesterol more than 40 mg / dL, bad cholesterol less than 130 mg / dL. Generally, high cholesterol in children is caused by heredity and unhealthy eating patterns. For example, the habit of consuming foods and drinks that contain excessive saturated fat, such as cheese, milk chocolate, processed meat products (sausage and burger meat), ice cream, and french fries.
There are no specific symptoms that can indicate a child has high cholesterol. However, you can check your child to the doctor to make sure. The ideal age for a cholesterol check is 9-11 years, then repeat a cholesterol check at the age of 19-21 years.
Meanwhile, children aged 2-8 years and 12-16 years are recommended to do a cholesterol check if they are obese, have a family history of high cholesterol, or suffer from certain diseases such as kidney failure, diabetes, and Kawasaki disease.
After knowing the child’s condition, the doctor can advise the child to do a blood check. Usually the child will be asked to fast that is not eating and drinking for approximately 12 hours. From the results of a blood check, the doctor can diagnose whether the child has high bad cholesterol or not.
How to Reduce High Cholesterol in Children
If the child has been diagnosed with high cholesterol, you don’t need to worry too much. Because high cholesterol can be lowered in several ways:
- Limit foods or drinks high in cholesterol
Things that must be done to reduce high cholesterol in children is to limit the consumption of foods containing cholesterol (maximum 300 mg/day), saturated fat, and trans fat. You can check the contents contained in a food or drink before being given to children. When cooking food for children, you can use vegetable oil or butter that is free of saturated fat (trans fat).
- Implement a healthy diet
Teach children about healthy eating, by giving them low-fat foods (low-fat milk and whole-grain bread), rich in fiber (nuts, oats, carrots, and broccoli) and protein (nuts, fish, and beans). For fruits, you can give them fresh, unpeeled fruits, such as apples, grapes, oranges, and strawberries. It’s best to avoid giving children, juices, fruit-flavored drinks, and sodas. Limit the amount of sugar consumed to reduce high cholesterol in children.
- Invite children to exercise regularly
Regular exercise, such as swimming, biking, walking, or running, can be beneficial to reduce high cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. The ideal duration of exercise for reducing high cholesterol in children is 60 minutes every day. Reducing the activities of playing gadgets and watching television can also be one way to reduce cholesterol. It is recommended to invite children to actively move.
If after undergoing a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise, your child’s cholesterol does not also go down, you can consult further with your doctor. If needed, the doctor will provide other treatments that are more effective for lowering cholesterol, according to the child’s condition.