Children and high cholesterol: What is most at risk and how to protect them

Prevention for cardiovascular diseases caused by high blood cholesterol should start in early childhood

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Atherosclerotic plaques and atherosclerosis, caused by high blood cholesterol, begin to form very early in childhood.

Studies have shown that children between the ages of 3 and 4 who have high blood cholesterol will continue to have high cholesterol and 5 years later.

But if these children are on a low-fat diet, they can lower their cholesterol levels.

In children, a total cholesterol level above 170 mg/dl is considered high.

Which children should be checked

- Children with a family history (not only parents but also uncle or aunt, grandfather or grandmother) of heart disease at an early age. Such conditions can be a heart attack or other heart disease, stroke or sudden death before the age of 55.
- Children whose parent has more than 240 cholesterol.
- Children suffering from diabetes, obesity or hypertension.
How to protect your child- By the time they reach the second year of age, children should gradually adopt a less fat diet.
- Avoid giving the child fried food.
- Try to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid ready-made snacks such as chips, chocolates, ice creams.
- Do not use butter, margarine or other animal fat in cooking. Only use olive oil.
- Encourage the child to play outside the home and exercise regularly, following an activity he or she has chosen so as to appetite and not leave it.

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