Cholesterol monitoring in children!

Cholesterol monitoring in children!

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The cholesterol problem, which is a result of unhealthy living conditions, also hits children. Cholesterol problem can occur in children from a very young age. The most important role in maintaining the balance of cholesterol falls to the family, especially the mother. The mother needs to constantly monitor how her child is fed. Otherwise, it is not very far from the possibility of heart disease in the future. Cardiovascular Specialist, Pediatric Cardiology Specialist Prof.Dr. Sertaç Çiçek answered questions on the subject.

Can children have cholesterol? Does this increase the risk of heart disease?

Children may have cholesterol problems as adults. A number of genetic problems can cause this; If there is a familial predisposition, the child may have excessive cholesterol levels. Almost half of children with high blood cholesterol can show normal levels later in life. However, high cholesterol levels still carry a risk of heart disease.

The higher the person's cholesterol level, the higher the likelihood of heart disease. The leading cause of death in men and women in Turkey is the first in cardiovascular disease. Atherosclerosis may begin at an early age. Nutritional system and familial cholesterol diseases can increase cholesterol values. It can be beneficial to improve nutrition habits, avoid obesity, investigate diabetes and take necessary measures (diet, exercise and medicine) if necessary. High blood cholesterol levels increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Which children's cholesterol should be looked at?

Children who meet the following criteria are at risk of developing coronary heart disease in the future:

  • If coronary heart disorders have been observed in parents or family elders aged 55 years or older,
  • If one of the parents has a blood cholesterol level of 240 mg / dL or higher, (about 90% of children with high cholesterol have high cholesterol.)
  • If the family history of lipid metabolism disorders,
  • If the child has medical conditions such as excessive obesity, physical inactivity, smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, renal disease and low thyroid activity, which may lead to coronary heart disease,
  • If family history is unknown.

What should be done if the child has cholesterol?

  • It is important to remember that treatment is a family business, as 90% of parents with high cholesterol in their children have high levels of their own, and diet and exercise under parental control is very important in reducing cholesterol levels.
  • First of all, don't scare your child. Inform him about high cholesterol in an age-appropriate manner. Consult your doctor for advice. Do not refer to this as a treatment for a disease.
  • Plan family meals and watch what your child eats.
  • Pay particular attention to cholesterol and fat in meals.
  • Plan family activities, including walks, games and sports.
    Have your child's cholesterol levels retested after 3 months of nutritional changes.
  • Talk to your child's doctor about medication use. Drug use is generally considered in children over the age of 8 years and can be used ONLY after trying nutritional changes and exercise.

What should mothers pay attention to to protect their children?

Mothers should first ensure that their children are healthy. For this:

o Read food labels for necessary information. Labels can tell you how many calories a meal is served and the size of a portion. You can also find out how much fat a portion contains on these labels and how much of that fat is saturated (those to be avoided).

o Give meals from the 5 listed areas: fruit, vegetables, cereal and cereal products such as bread, beans and fish. They are low in cholesterol (and will help lower your child's blood cholesterol).

o Try lean meat like skinless chicken breasts. Separate all the fat you see on the meats.

o Prefer low-fat dairy products such as skim milk or low-fat yogurt.

o Avoid cooking oils. Grill or bake. Roast.

o Reduce the intake of light drinks, fruit drinks and low-fat snacks in children of healthy weight. Avoid these products in overweight children. They provide empty calories and zero nutrients.

o Reduce the intake of foods with high cholesterol. Cholesterol is seen in dairy products (prefer lean dairy products such as skimmed milk), crustaceans such as red meat, white meat, fish and shrimp. Features Avoid meats such as liver derived from organs.

o Avoid saturated fats. They are often found in cookies, crackers, baked goods and hard margarines. If you can find it, you can see this information on the labels. If you can't find it, check the content list. If hydrogenated oil (saturated fat) is in the list, avoid using it. Prefer soft margarines.

o Turn your child's snack from cookies and crackers, raw vegetables such as fruits, baby carrots, and plain salted popcorn. The best snacks are apple slices, orange slices, fruit mixed in lean yogurt, lean popcorn and low-fat chips.

o Prepare a healthy lunch for your child to take to school. For school meals, prepare low-fat or lean meat sandwiches made with whole-grain bread. Low-fat cheese can also be added.

o Vending machines giving snacks can be a problem. Help your child choose low-fat meals or keep them completely away from the machines. Avoid using coke machines.

o Keep in mind that they are children and you cannot block their favorite food at birthday parties and school events. Very greasy dishes such as hot dogs, ice cream, fries and pizza can be part of your child's diet when balanced on the same day as other healthy meals and for the rest of the week.

o Use the breakfast as an opportunity to choose fiber dishes such as toast prepared using whole grain bread. Fruits such as apples will contain more fiber than juice, so choose fruit instead of fruit juice.

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