I’m still a little numb from the words: You have high cholesterol.
The lab results from my doctor’s office were in. And I was stunned. High cholesterol? Me??? How is this possible? I eat healthy. I exercise. But my genes. Those dang genes. I’ve always known my healthy lifestyle was my ammunition to fight them. But something’s not working. I have to fight harder.
The fact that heart disease runs in my family scares me. That I have high cholesterol terrifies me. How could I let this happen? Have I not been watching my diet as closely as I thought?
I have to take control and really monitor what I eat. I’m starting with this refresher – recommendations from the American Heart Association:
• Limit total fat intake to less than 25–35 percent of your total calories each day;
• Limit saturated fat intake to less than 7 percent of total daily calories;
• Limit trans fat intake to less than 1 percent of total daily calories;
• The remaining fat should come from sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as nuts, seeds, fish and vegetable oils; and
• Limit cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg per day, for most people. If you have coronary heart disease or your LDL cholesterol level is 100 mg/dL or greater, limit your cholesterol intake to less than 200 milligrams a day.
I can’t change my genes. But I can… and must fight harder.