Carmel, CA Americans Learning To Eat Right, Lower Cholesterolby Richard Kuehn on 10/23/12
With American's living longer, it's important that we do whatever is within our power to stay healthy, both mentally and physically. It's no fun to live out your golden years in poor health or with a deteriorating memory. It was great news to read that the average level of bad cholesterol in Americans is on the decline. High cholesterol can cause a number of problems, including heart disease and stroke. The results are attributed in part to more Americans being on cholesterol lowering drugs (3.4% of Americans took them in 1988 but that rose to 15.5% by 2010) as well as lowering their intake of trans fats. This is partially due to the fact that many restaurants have voluntarily switched over to oils lower in cholesterol for frying foods. The rate of death from cardiovascular disease has dropped by a whopping 31% between 1998 and 2008. The recent report was based on research done by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) which looked at cholesterol levels of almost 38,000 people who took part in the National Health and Nutritional Examination surveys between 1998 and 2010. Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it found that total cholesterol in this group dropped from 205 in 1988 to 196 in 2010. Looking at an even earlier study, the findings were more dramatic. In 1960, the average level of LDL was 222 in this group. Average bad cholesterol (LDL) fell from 129 in 1988 to 116 in 2010 while good (HDL) cholesterol rose from 51-53. The good news is that even those who didn't take cholesterol lowering drugs showed a decline in bad cholesterol levels. It's great to know that more people are paying attention to things they can do to keep in good health. There are so many things working against us as we age, many of which nothing can be done about. It behooves us to exercise, eat right and get plenty of social stimulation so we can fight off many diseases which afflict the elderly.