Winters may be the cause of your raised cholesterol levels
Blood lipid levels may exhibit mild seasonal variation with a peak in total cholesterol level in the winter and a drop in the summer. The variation can be up to 5 mg/dL.
Speaking about the importance of keeping cholesterol levels under control, Padma Shri Awardee Dr. A Marthanda Pillai – National President and Padma Shri Awardee Dr. KK Aggarwal – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement said, “Blood cholesterol levels are closely related to increased risks of getting heart disease. The higher your blood cholesterol level, the greater your risk for developing heart disease or having a heart attack. Heart disease is one of the leading killers of women and men in the India. For every 10% drop in your cholesterol level, your heart attack risk falls by 20% to 30%. It is thus important to raise awareness about detection of high cholesterol, management and prevention.”
Serum total and HDL-cholesterol can be measured in fasting or non-fasting individuals. There are only small clinically insignificant differences in these values when measured in the fasting or non-fasting state.
The total cholesterol can vary by 4 to 11 percent within an individual due to multiple factors including stress, minor illness and posture. Values may also vary between different laboratories, with data suggesting that a single measurement of serum cholesterol can vary as much as 14 percent. Therefore in an individual with “true” serum cholesterol concentration of 200 mg/dL the range of expected values is 172 to 228 mg/dL. More than one measurement of total cholesterol should therefore be obtained when treatment considerations demand a precise determination. Measurement of serum HDL-C and triglycerides may demonstrate even greater variability.
A standard serum lipid profile consists of total cholesterol, triglycerides, and HDL-cholesterol. Lipid profile should be performed after 12 to 14 hours of fasting to minimize the influence of postprandial hyperlipidemia. One can use either a plasma or serum specimen can be used. The serum cholesterol is approximately 3 percent lower than the plasma value.
A few ways in which people can keep their cholesterol levels in control this winter include:
· Choose healthy fats. Avoid saturated fats, which increase unhealthy LDL levels, and steer clear of trans fats, which both raise LDL and lower protective HDL. Instead, substitute healthier unsaturated fats found in fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.
· Go with whole grains. Whole–grain breads, pastas, and cereals help prevent a blood sugar roller coaster and make you feel full longer. Many of these foods contain fiber, which can help lower LDL levels.
· Make other healthy choices. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Ideally, substitute these for processed foods and sweets. Choose fat–free milk instead of whole milk. Opt for low–fat yogurt and pick brands that are not loaded with sugar.