Hey there. I recently had a physical and got blood-work done, and everything checked out ok besides my cholesterol level. I'm only 20 years old, but my cholesterol is at almost 230. I know it's not really an age-related issue, but I am young and also not overweight. I'm about 5'8" and weight around 155. Everything else checked out fine (BP, etc.).
I was just curious, is this normal? I mean, I'm not the healthiest guy in the world and I don't claim to be, but I don't eat that badly. I don't drink soda and stick to only water/juices, and only eat fast food 2-3 times a week (hard to find other foods sometimes as a college student). I eat fruit almost daily as well.
I guess my main question is, is there anything to worry about and also, how could I change my diet a bit to lower my cholesterol a tad? I'm going to start up jogging again a few times a week, but I still live with my parents so I'm pretty much limited to the food that's in my house unless I want to go shopping and make my own meals.
High cholesterol is probably not a problem at your age, but it could become one if you let it continue. As to whether its normal, that depends on a number of things, including hereditary issues and your diet. Certainly eating fast food 2-3 times a week could have a significant impact on your cholesterol. I'd suggest trying a diet lower in fat and much higher in fruits, veggies, and soluble fibre (Psyllium husk cereal is great for that).
Most people don't eat enough fruits and veggies. Most nutritional agencies suggest 5-10 servings a day, but in reality, 8-10 servings is ideal. That sounds like a lot, but just make sure you have a serving or two of veggies with every meal, or as a snack accompanying it -- preferably not topped with melted cheese or butter :P -- and you that should help.
If I was you, I'd do my own groceries. Maybe not a full order, but definitely spend 10-15 bucks a week on fresh fruits and veggies (hell, even canned or frozen, if you absolutely must) that you can keep aside for snacks.
Bottom line, carefully monitor your fat intake and eat a lot of fibre.
CyberNick,I agree with Ryguy1's advice. You will have to change your diet, avoiding saturated fats (this means avoiding processed foods like biscuits, cakes, and many take-away/fast-food items), consuming more fresh fruit and vegetables and removing the fat from chicken and meat. Almonds, Walnuts, oats and oatbran are also helpful. Biscuits and cakes can be home made avoiding satuarated fats and using nuts and fruit. Olive or canola oil should be used for cooking rather than palm oil or other not-so-good oils and fats.The other important factor is regular exercise. Even a 20 minute daily walk helps increase the high density lipoprotein (HDL) the "good" cholesterol.Good luck, Excelsoir
Thanks for the advice guys . I never noticed how much crap I actually eat, until I actually looked back in retrospect and realized that my diet does really need somewhat of an "overhaul," so to speak. I guess I always just thought that because I have a high metabolism and really never gain weight, that I could pretty much eat whatever I wanted without any consequences.
There's no history of any heart disease in my family, so I wouldn't think it's hereditary. I think it's pretty much just my eating habits/ lack of any exercise. I'll try to limit the fast food from now on and do some cardio. Is Subway ok when it comes to fat intake? I usually get turkey or chicken on wheat bread or something similar. Anyways, thanks for the help.
Subway can be okay for a low-fat diet, but you have to read the fine print. They boast that a number of subs have less than six grams of fat, but that's only if you get them without cheese, mayo, or any other fatty dressing that comes with it.
Certainly it can be a healthy choice if you stick with the low-fat meats like turkey and load up on the veggies.
Listen bud, if you eat fast food 2-3 times a week and your cholesterol is only 230 your a lucky man! I was eating fast food alot, probably 3 times a week and my cholesterol was 267!!! I am 20 and a college student as well.
I had mine checked right after I had eaten a meal. Im not sure if that could have affected the result.
Subway tastes so sick. I ate there alot last year. You will quickly get tired of it. If you do eat there, dont get cheese, mayo, or anything with alot of fat and saturated fat. Subway is not healthy, it's nasty crap and will make you fat just like any other fast food.
Last edited by FrontierDriver2; 12-10-2004 at 08:56 PM.
I'm guessing if you ate right before the test, it would affect your results. It's recommended that you don't eat or drink anything for 14-16 hours before the blood test.
The only reason I asked about Subway is because some days I'm pretty much limited to "fast-food," where I have 4-5 classes in a day and am on campus for 8+ hours. There isn't that many choices for healthier food on campus, besides Subway and possibly a few Asian places.