There is a lot of information on cholesterol to be found via the internet, books, magazines and healthcare professionals Unfortunately, some of the information you will come across is false, and if you take it, you could be harming yourself in your effort for better health. Let’s explore some common myths about cholesterol.
Myth #1-High cholesterol only affects men.
False. While estrogen levels in premenopausal women do tend to raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels, these levels change as you age. When estrogen levels decrease after menopause, women may find their cholesterol on the rise even if they exercise and follow a healthy diet.
Myth #2-If you eat healthy and exercise regularly, you don’t have to worry about cholesterol.
This is false. Our bodies naturally produce cholesterol to be used in the making of digestive acids. In some people, the liver makes more cholesterol than the body needs. In this case, your can high cholesterol even if you eat well and exercise on a regular basis.
Myth #3-High cholesterol only affects overweight people.
Again, this is false. While overweight individuals are more likely to be diagnosed with high cholesterol, thin people are at risk as well. As explained in myth #2, some people naturally produce more cholesterol than their bodies need. Also, individuals that don’t have to worry about their weight can sometimes be less aware of how much fat and cholesterol is in the foods they eat.
Myth #4-Cholesterol medicine will cure me.
False. Cholesterol medications are designed to help reduce high cholesterol. However, if you’re still eating a large amount of cholesterol, you’re working against the medication. For best results when taking a cholesterol lower medication, you need to eat healthier and be active.
Myth #5-Cholesterol doesn’t affect young people.
Sadly, this is false as well. There are many documented cases of children with high cholesterol. In some cases, this is hereditary, but in a growing number of cases, it is a lack of healthy diet and exercise that’s leading to children being diagnosed with high cholesterol.
Myth #6-If your doctor hasn’t said anything about cholesterol, you’re fine.
False. Most doctors are busy people. Your doctor may have assumed he or she already tested your cholesterol or he may be waiting until you reach middle age. It’s also possible that you’ve have a cholesterol test with borderline results and the doctor is taking a wait and see approach. If you have a family history of high cholesterol, this could be dangerous. Ideally, you need to have a cholesterol test at the age of 20 and every 5 years thereafter. If you have a family history of high cholesterol and you have children, you might want to consider asking your family doctor to test them as well to be on the safe side.