14 answers

My Kids Have High Cholesterol

Yesterday my kid's doctor did blood work on them that i requested and she said they have high cholesterol. I never heard of such a thing since they are so young. She said there cholesterol should be under 200. My daughter's was 201 and my son's was 205. I don't understand. They eat all kinds of things so, i don't know one partical food it could be from. They don't even eat alot of cheese. My husband said it could be from the meats they eat during the week- like i make steak, hamburgers,but they also eat chicken, pasta, cereal. Any help would be great!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I retested my kids this morning and there cholesterol is fine. I was gonna say, they don't even eat that much. I will continue to give my kids meat(sorry for you moms that don't believe in that). I spoke to a nutrition and she says kids espically at a young age should be exposed to all kinds of foods espically meat,chicken, fish, yogurt, and whole milk. I had asked for a test in the first place just to have there sugar tested cause diabetes runs in my family. They had eaten waffles, yogurt, milk, and juice that morning. I had them retested this morning on an empty stomach. Thanks to those moms that wrote that in the emails. I had gotten emails that made me seem like a bad mom.

More Answers

YES
Children NEED higher fat diets for development.
They use fats more for that massive growth percentages, unlike adults who use more glucose for energy. But cholesterol levels are measured in good and bad cholesterol and children should not have high bad cholesterol.

Hmmm....
Steak and hamburger at that age?? Reconsider your diet for them...They can still have high cholesterol based on their body weight.

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I came back to edit this....
I cut and paste this from www.healthatoz.com

Cholesterol levels for children are not evaluated by the same criteria as those for adults. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, the following cholesterol levels apply for children between 2 to 19 years old.

Total Cholesterol Less than 170 is Desirable
170-199 is Borderline
200 or more Associated with Higher Risk

LDL Cholesterol Less than 110 is Desirable
110-129 is Borderline
130 or more Associated with Higher Risk

so,
Find out if the LDL is high too...or just the overall level.

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Most of the cholesterol in your body you create, not ingest. Saturated fat causes your body to creat more bad cholesterol (LDL). You can ingest fats without saturated fat. Higher fiber diets cause you to create more good cholesterol...Your cholesterol levels are reduced by creating more good cholesterols (HDL).

YES..
She is right about hereditary traits
Some people naturally produce more bad cholesterol than others...

Cut back on hamburger, sausage, hotdogs (all are just ground fat and YUKKY stuff) bacon, and butter.......know what you are feeding your children. Occassional steak...not often. Lots of chicken and turkey. Try egg beaters for scrambled eggs....they are amazing. Ground turkey is ok...but still fatty. If you need ground meat, boil the fat out after you cook it. the fat will rise up and drain off easily. Switch your pasta to the high fiber low carb pasta. You won't notice the taste at all....but it take a few more minutes to cook because it doesn't get mushy. Cut back on sweets and replace it with raisins and fruit. Get creative wil slipping fruit and veggies into everything. Use applesauce more....Cheerios of every variety in the cupboard for snacks.

NO FAST FOOD!!!!

AND IMPORTANT
Make sure they have GOOD omega oils and fats...
Vegetable oils
FISH!!!!
At the supermarket the Fish counter can be expensive....but if you can get your kids turned on to salmon....its an amazingly balanced food.
Use I can't believe its not butter in cooking and on toast and veggies...
They still get fat, but not saturated fat.
Read the labels!!

They still need fat.
Don't cut out all their fat by any means....but definately increase their fiber intake and lower the saturated fat a little....Their bodies will create more of the good cholesterol and HDL will actually help to eliminate the LDL in your body.

So its not so much getting rid of the LDL...but increasing your production of HDL.

Diet (not weight loss diet, just healthy high fiber diet), excersise and good habits keep the LDL down.

Well...you can't make a child that age excersise...but when they eat better, they become more active naturally.

Make sure they are not exposed to cigarette smoke. Smoking and second hand smoke is proven to inhibit the production of good cholesterols.

Do some reading online for pediatric diets....get some good ideas. But don't cave and give them hotdogs just because they whine and won't eat what you gave them. trust me....hungry children will eat spinach and brussel sprouts (both very healthy). You don't have to be extreme....but make some subtle changes.

High overall cholesterol so young is saying they are producing to much from their liver....and probably have hereditary cholesterol issues.
They better learn young to eat right....it will follow them all through life.

1 mom found this helpful

my husband and i do the south beach diet (for the most part) it is very heart healthy and stage 2 and 3 are safe for children. i wouldn't necessarily recommend that you put them on a diet... but you could add in/ switch out some of the recommended foods from south beach. especially switching your breads/pastas to whole grains/whole wheats and serving lots of vegetables (raw or steamed are the best nutritionally) you need to look carefully at the labels for whole wheat/grain. alot of times they claim to be whole wheat and it's "enriched" or something. you want straight up whole wheat. also, oatmeal is supposed to be good for cholesterol.

i'm assuming your children just have it in their heredity to have higher cholesterol, but you can help by establishing very healthy eating habits and even exercising as a family (take family walks often, etc.) if it were me, i would talk to the doctor and get more information as to what they recommend or get a referral to a specialist or something so you can be sure you're doing the right things, and check if they want to re-check their cholsterol in a year or what?

HTH

J.,

Cut the red meat completely out! After I stopped eating it about 13 years ago now, I lost 30 pounds and my eczema didn't bother me as much, and my hair and skin became healthier and my periods stopped being so heavy. The stuff is bad. Just now they're recalling some. Don't believe the b.s it's healthy for you- you can get more protein from beans than meat. Plus, it's disgusting and makes you feel gross. I won't let my 2 yr old near the stuff and have limited other meat and dairy products because of all of the bovine growth hormones and peniciilin they pump into the animals. I've heard of grows growing breasts at 2 or 3, yes, 2 or 3, when their whole diet is animal based. Once they switched, their breats reduced immediately.

There's a wonderful book called : Fit for Life. It was published in 1987. I've been following it and lost 15 pounds so far and never felt better.

Good luck!
A.

It could be hereditary. i had it as a child and now im 37 and still have it. and i dont eat any foods that cause high chol. its hereditary from my grandmothers grandmother believe it or not! try eliminating certain foods from their diets and see if there is any change...cheeses, cream sauces, yogurts all can raise cholesterol. go on line and just type in cholesterol and you can research which foods to elimitate and maybe through a process of elimination you can get their cholesterol under control. good luck!

Could it possibly be hereditary? Do you or your husband (or your respective parents) have high cholesterol? My husband eats extemely healthy and has high cholesterol too (true, he's many years older than your children), but it's due to a family history. If it doesn't run in the family, try to lower their cholesterol naturally by eating low fat foods and try to stay away from the red meats for a while. Ask the doctor what she suggests.

You can make sure they get more whole grains in their diet, like oatmeal, 100% whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta and beans like lentil, Red, and Black beans. I use spread instead of butter, particularly Smart Balance spread because it promotes good cholesterol levels. High cholesterol runs in my family so I try to watch what my family eats. Hope this helps!

It could run in the family. Make a chart of the cholesterol count of you, your husband, your in-laws, your parents and brothers and sisters on both sides. It may simply be a factor of genetics. This is the case with my sister's two kids, a 12 year old girl (she is not yet on cholesterol reducing meds)and 20 year old boy (he is taking cholesterol reducing meds). Their Dad, his brother and their Dad all have or had VERY high cholesterol and take medication for it. Unfortunately my sister's husband died of a heart attack at 40 due to the fact he didn't pay close enough attention to this issue. He was a dear man. So I would take a close look at this first to rule out genetics, and if it is genetics, at least you have a starting point from which to address the issue with your kids, ie; diet.
I am wondering why you ordered blood work on your kids at so young an age, were you suspecting their may be a cholesterol problem?
Best Wishes,
N.

What made you request the blood work? Are there symptoms you are seeing?

Honestly, I wouldn't be that concerned about their levels when they are only 1 and 5 points over. If their levels were horribly over, then I would.

I would just be careful what they eat and that they lead active lives.

"In the Dietary Intervention Study in Children (DISC), children who adopted a recommended low-fat, low-cholesterol diet decreased their intake of total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol within the first year of the study and maintained lower levels for several more years. These dietary modifications did not alter the children's growth, nutritional status, or sexual maturation throughout the 7-year study. Furthermore, the diet helped the children significantly decrease their blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) —the bad cholesterol —for up to 3 years."

"Often, testing is unnecessary for children under 2 years old, as they should not undergo dietary restrictions prior to that age because they have special nutritional needs for fat."

"A heart-healthy diet means eating less saturated fat, less total fat and less cholesterol. This can be achieved by eating lean meat, a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and wholegrain cereal products, using low-fat dairy products, eating fish 2-3 times a week, and limiting snack food, takeaway food, cakes and biscuits. Such a diet also has the added advantages of meeting the increased needs of children and teenagers for nutrients such as calcium, iron and zinc."

These are just some things I found I thought may interest you. You can go to www.ask.com and type in high cholesterol in children/kids and it will show you a bunch of links you can check out.

Personally I would just try to help them eat healthy and get exercise because they are so young and their levels are where they are.

high cholesterol could be an heriditary issue as well as the foods they eat have yours and your husbands cholesteral levels checked as well as do a family history on cholesterol problems if there is none then you might need to monitor there foods closer. Remember there is cholesterol in almost everything you eat except maybe fresh fruits,veggies and whole grains

Good luck
N.

Hi J.,

If your children ate right before they had their blood taken, that could affect the results. I had to be retested once because my first test said I had a cholesterol level of 245! I had just had breakfast an hour before (an english muffin with butter and 2% milk) -- when I retested a couple of weeks later on an empty stomach, my cholesterol read 178. Big difference.

Also, young children need higher fat diets (i.e., whole milk, cheese, legumes, etc.). Now that your daughter is nearing 3, she can probably be switched to 1% milk and other lower fat dairy and lean meats. You should research the American Academy of Pediatrics website (www.aap.org)for information about what your children should be eating at their ages. And consider getting your kids retested to make sure you got an accurate reading. Good luck!

Give them more fiber and fish. For instance , spinach is a greta vegetabel rich in antioxidants, fiber, and iron. Also fishh os high in OMega 3 which ios a natural combatant to cholesterol. Also, for snacks Honey Nut Cheerios are great! You can also get them to eat more beans such as lentils. Or add a little fibersure or metamucil to their yogurt.

Hope this helps! It worked for my hubby and I when we were diagnosed with high cholesterol. Also, you may also want to get checked yourself. Another idea is to go online and do a search on google about High Cholesterol. The AMerican Heart Association is a great one!

Toddlers are SUPPOSED to have high cholesterol!! Only adults are supposed to have cholesterol of under 200.. I'm surprised that your doctor didn't tell you this, ( or know this) and that she did the blood work at all.. Toddlers ( and infants) need the extra fatty substances in their bloodstream in order to create amino acids that help the brain and nervous system develop. Toddlers, especially those under the age of 3, should not have the fats restricted in their diets. Once they are older, switching to 2% dairy is recommended, as is reducing the amount of red meat in their diet. . Also, you can provide fats without giving them saturated fats. Go on line, and learn about what foods are high in saturated and trans-fats and avoid them. You can set life-long eating habits in your kids when they are this young. Later in life, it's harder to "diet" ...

If your kids are significantly overweight, you might want to go to a pediatric dietitian. Start at Columbia Babies and Children's Hospital and take your search from there.

That does sound a little unusual.. Maybe the meat is a factor, if you are not using very lean cuts.
I would not change their milk, even though it is higher in fat to give them whole milk they need it.
Maybe small things added together are factoring, so check out what kind of oil you are using, if you fry alot, what kind of margarine or butter you use, how many eggs they eat regularly, and the supre fattys to avoid too much of like BACON.. there is always turkey bacon ya know? and GRAVY. . . also very high fat is ice cream, but there is edy's with lower fat, and sorbet to sub. I guess I am saying just look over your menu and some key ingredients.

There can also be other factors such as your family history. Also when the testing was done had they been fasting? If they had a really high fat meal then that would through off their numbers. I don't believe in sticking kids for no real reason so if the latter is true I would just be more careful next time they have to be tested. If you do have a family history of high cholesterol then you really need to look at everything your family eats and drinks and how much exercise they get. I'm very careful with my daughter because my husband has a really bad family history of both high cholesterol and diabetes. I have to be careful with her. Did the doctor tell you what part was elevated? There are good and bad types of fat and cholesterol. Although butter is bad olive oil not only won't raise the levels but can reduce them. Also foods like salmon which is a cold water fish (you want free range not farmed if possible) will also reduce it. Almonds are really good but if you look at the nutritional brake down (I like Hanaford for this reason) the best ones are the raw organic ones. They cost much more then the others about $18 a pound but are worth every penny.

I hope this helps at least a little. Your children are still young so you have time to make what ever changes you need for them to be healthy. Have a great holiday season and happy new year.

Kim

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