Getting high cholesterol under control - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Getting high cholesterol under control

Posted: Updated:
  • HealthMore>>

  • FDA to propose e-cigarette regulations

    FDA to propose e-cigarette regulations

    © FDA© FDA
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing long-awaited regulations governing the fast-growing electronic cigarette industry.More >>
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing long-awaited regulations governing the fast-growing electronic cigarette industry.More >>
  • People seek out health info when famous person dies

    People seek out health info when famous person dies

    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...More >>
    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...More >>
  • 1 in 13 U.S. schoolkids takes psych meds

    1 in 13 U.S. schoolkids takes psych meds

    More than 7 percent of American schoolchildren are taking at least one medication for emotional or behavioral difficulties, a new government report shows.More >>
    More than 7 percent of American schoolchildren are taking at least one medication for emotional or behavioral difficulties, a new government report shows.More >>

High cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. You might look healthy and feel healthy - and unknowingly be living with this condition that shows no symptoms.

43-year-old John Needham is a husband and father in Lake Charles with a good bill of health now.  But that was not always the case, even when his days in the Army had him running five miles a day.  "I was extremely physically fit. I only weighed about 175 pounds and my cholesterol was in the 300 range," said Needham.

A healthy total cholesterol is less than 200. Needham's 300 put him in the dangerously high category, as registered nurse Jacqueline Richard with CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital's Diabetes Management Center explains.  "Having high cholesterol puts you at twice the risk for developing heart disease," said Richard.

One in six Americans have high cholesterol, but you will not know you are in that category without a blood test. Once it is determined you are in an unhealthy range, changes must start with your diet - cutting out foods with high saturated fat.  "That means the stick butter, whole milk, heavy whipping cream, sour cream, cream cheese, regular mayos, full fat cheeses," said Richard.

Foods with high dietary cholesterol also have to be kept in check.  "Egg yolks, organ meats, shellfish, those are all high cholesterol foods," said Richard.

Needham tries to stick to lean meats, fruits and veggies.  It is a meal plan that has helped him drop 35 pounds and lower his cholesterol.  "I've tried to watch and only eat natural foods, no fried foods, no breaded foods and it's worked really well for me, I've dropped quite a bit of weight," he said.

Some people with high cholesterol also have to take a statin to keep the numbers in check.  It is something Needham does not mind if it means he stays healthier longer.  "My hope is to have a long life," he said, "and be able to take care of my kids and also to prevent anything that I might have naturally been disposed to."

While diet is one of the most important ways that you can help to lower your cholesterol, physical activity is also very important and can help lower your LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise the HDL (good cholesterol).

Copyright KPLC 2012.  All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow