Keith McNiven Right Path Fitness
Cholesterol, that’s just something older people have to worry about, right? Actually, no, research from the University of California found if you have elevated cholesterol in your 20s and 30s, it can accumulate over time, causing problems later in life. Cholesterol is called the ‘silent killer’ as it often doesn’t have any symptoms, but left unchecked it can cause heart disease and stroke. This National Cholesterol Month we look at the 5 truths of cholesterol for 20 somethings!
Cholesterol is fat in the blood so you can still fit quite happily in your skinny jeans whilst carrying around fat like cholesterol in your system. Cholesterol is a fat like substance that our bodies naturally produce, carried around as two types of lipoproteins, LDL (low density lipoproteins) and HDL (high density lipoproteins). Too much LDL means a higher risk of heart disease.
Often, when we start a training programme in our 20s, the motivator is to look better, but what about what’s going on inside? Keeping your heart healthy through physical activity means you’re not storing up health complaints that you’ll have to deal with later in life. This October, charity HEART UK are encouraging us all to walk, run, swim, walk or cycle 100 miles as part of The 100 Mile Great Cholesterol Challenge.
Avoiding high cholesterol is about choosing food the right food. Say, you’ve got the busy life of most 20 somethings and you don’t eat a great deal, but what you do pick is really high in saturated fat like a pastry for breakfast, a few biscuits at lunchtime and a burger for tea. This is a collision course to high cholesterol. Instead opt for nutritious food at regular intervals that is lower in saturated fat. Maybe toast with sunflower spread for breakfast with fresh fruit, a hearty vegetable soup at lunchtime and lean chicken casserole for dinner.
Our 20s can be characterised by a devil may care attitude that is all about living for the moment and worrying about the consequences later. Smoking though stops our HDL from being able to do its job and transport cholesterol to the liver, whilst also oxidising the LDL and upping our chances of heart attack or stroke.
A drink on a Friday night is a staple in the calendar of most 20 somethings, and actually research suggests that a drink or two, particularly of red wine with its antioxidant properties, can actually raise our HDL cholesterol levels. Take it to the excess though and the potential for heart disease and stroke rear their head once more.
Talk to the team about how we can help you to reduce your cholesterol through fitness and nutrition.