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Cholesterol is needed as a building block for tissues, to produce bile, and to produce sex hormones. However, if the amount is too much, cholesterol can actually cause he alth problems. High cholesterol is usually experienced by adults. The question is, can children also experience it?
Cholesterol is divided into 2 types, namely good cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and bad cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
Why is LDL called bad cholesterol? This is because when levels increase in the body, LDL has a high risk of accumulating and forming plaque in the arteries. As a result, blood vessels constrict and blood flow is disrupted.
Children Can Have High Cholesterol
The normal value for total cholesterol levels in children is less than 200 mg/dL. Meanwhile, the normal level of good cholesterol in children is more than 40 mg/dL and the normal level of bad cholesterol is less than 130 mg/dL.
There are various causes that can make LDL cholesterol levels increase in a child's body, including heredity, habits of eating foods containing saturated fat, not exercising, and obesity.
In addition, it is undeniable that modern lifestyles like today also play a major role in increasing the risk of high cholesterol in children. For example, it becomes easier for them to eat food on the side of the road without their parents knowing.
Although parents of course always want to provide he althy menus for their children, busy work can also make parents forced to give their children instant or fast food more often. In addition, high cholesterol in children can also be caused by the unhe althy eating patterns of the parents they follow.
High cholesterol in your little one should not be taken lightly, Bun, because the impact on children is not kidding. If your child has high cholesterol, he or she is at much greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease early, such as coronary heart disease and stroke.
Tips to Prevent High Cholesterol in Children
So that your little one doesn't have high cholesterol, you need to take preventive measures through some of the tips below:
Apply a he althy diet
Implementing a he althy diet in children can protect them from unwanted weight gain. This certainly has an important role in preventing high cholesterol in children.
The method is quite easy, give your little one staple foods and he althy snacks, prevent him from skipping his meal schedule, give him food portions according to his age, and make sure nothing distracts him when he eats, such as gadgets.
Get your kids used to eating he althy food
Animal offal, fast food, and fried foods are some types of high cholesterol foods and contain lots of saturated fat. To prevent children from developing high cholesterol, they should not eat too much of this type of food.
In addition, Mother must get used to the Little One eating he althy foods that contain lots of complex carbohydrates, protein, he althy fats, and fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals.
Help children to stay active and exercise regularly
Spending time by lying down or sitting all day will increase the risk of obesity in children. This can threaten his he alth, especially if he also often eats unhe althy foods and has high cholesterol.
So that your little one doesn't have high cholesterol, help him to stay active every day. This method is also able to burn calories, lower blood pressure, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve mood.
Besides that, in the midst of a pandemic like today, exercise is also important for children's immunity. You don't have to leave the house or in the open field, really. Going up and down stairs, helping Mom finish homework, or just gardening are also light exercises that can be done by the baby.
High cholesterol in children can indeed be prevented with the tips above. These tips are actually not only for the Little One, but also apply to Mother, Father, and other family members. If people at home apply it, your little one will also follow the example.
If you feel that your little one is overweight and has a bad diet that is very difficult to change, it is better for you to see a doctor for a thorough he alth check, including cholesterol levels, as well as asking for treatment advice.