High Cholesterol: Frequently Asked Questions (cont.)
In this Article
- What is cholesterol?
- Why should I be concerned about cholesterol?
- What's the difference between "good" and "bad" cholesterol?
- How much cholesterol is too much?
- Can I lower my risk for heart disease if I lower my cholesterol?
- What makes my cholesterol levels go up?
- What can I do to lower my cholesterol?
- What medications are used to treat high cholesterol?
- If a product's package reads "low cholesterol" does that mean that the product is low in fat and safe to eat?
- At what age should people begin having their cholesterol checked?
9) If a Product's Package Reads "Low Cholesterol," Does That Mean That The Product Is Low in Fat and Safe To Eat?
Not necessarily. Numerous foods marked "low cholesterol" can contain oils that may be high in saturated fats, which are not considered healthy. In addition, unsaturated fats like vegetable oil also can be high in calories. The total amount of fat in your diet should be kept to about 20-30 percent of your daily intake.
10) At What Age Should People Begin Having Their Cholesterol Checked?
It is important to have your cholesterol level checked when you are young, since clogging of the arteries (atherosclerosis) is a gradual process that takes many years. Total cholesterol should be measured at least every five years starting at age 20.
Note: If you have high cholesterol and your doctor has told you there may be an underlying genetic cause, you may want to have your children, under age 20, get their cholesterol levels tested. Talk to your children's health care providers about cholesterol testing.
Reviewed by the doctors in the Department of Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation at The Cleveland Clinic Heart Center.
SOURCE: American Heart Association
Edited by Cynthia Dennison Haines, MD on November 01, 2005
Portions of this page © The Cleveland Clinic 2000-2005
©2005-2007 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved.
Last Editorial Review: 2/9/2009
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