High cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood pressure and excess weight is a fact in a majority of American people. We are addicted to meat and fat in our food. In countries that eat grain, fish, vegetables and little fat, people are not subject to strokes and heart disease as Americans are. We should take a lesson from them to eat healthy and live better
You are at greatest risk of heart disease if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, high triglyceride, excess weight and use tobacco. If you have already had a heart attack, that increases your risk of another unless you change your life style immediately. Other signs are also a factor, pain in the chest, shoulders, arms, legs, or irregular heart beats. If you have any of these you need to follow the strictest, lowest fat and sodium diet possible. If you haven’t had a full lipid panel or your weight and blood pressure checked lately you should do so now.
Many people think heart disease is an old person’s disease and that younger people need not worry but this isn’t true. Many teenagers who follow American eating habits have high cholesterol levels. Most people don’t worry about it until middle age but not having symptoms doesn’t mean you have a healthy heart. Clearly, it would be better to start a prevention program early in life. You should maintain a normal cholesterol level no matter what your age. Both young and old will benefit from a healthy diet and lifestyle.
If you have a family history of heart disease, that’s all the more reason to cut your fat intake and bring your cholesterol level to no more than 130. Your family fate need not be yours if you do that.
People in China who eat grains and vegetables have typical cholesterol levels of 100 to 127. You may think heart disease among the Chinese have no meaning to you but studies on autopsies done in fourteen countries found that the artery surface area damaged by plaque was directly related to blood cholesterol levels and how much fat and cholesterol was eaten.
Other studies have shown that when people who typically ate a low fat diet were exposed to the Western diet, they had a triple increase in heart disease within a generation. If that isn’t enough to get us to eat a healthy diet, I don’t know what is, but many of us will not change our eating habits. We will continue eating the typical American diet and have heart disease, strokes, and kidney failure. We’re a hard headed lot and from the way we behave, we don’t mind being sick and dying younger than we have to.
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