Cholesterol is much misunderstood. Many people associate cholesterol with poor health, but the body actually needs cholesterol to thrive. Knowing about cholesterol is helpful for your own sake, and will also help you provide better senior care for an elderly parent or other relative. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the subject to help you get started.
4 FAQs About Senior Care & Health Impacts of Cholesterol
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy compound created in the liver and stored in the blood. It’s also present in many of the foods you eat. The body uses this substance to form cell membranes and produce certain hormones.
How can there be “good” and “bad” cholesterol?
Cholesterol travels through the body on two types of lipoproteins found in the blood. High-density lipoproteins (HDL) carry it to the liver, where it is eliminated. This is known as the “good” type. Cholesterol carried on low-density lipoproteins (LDL), on the other hand, is dispersed throughout the body. High LDL levels often lead to the accumulation of cholesterol in the blood. When it encounters fat in sufficient quantities, it forms artery clogs.
What is a healthy cholesterol level?
Researchers have determined that a healthy cholesterol level is less than 200mg/dL. The LDL level should be less than 100 mg/dL, while the HDL level should be more than 40 mg/dL for men and more than 50 mg/dL for women. High cholesterol typically doesn’t have symptoms, so if you provide senior care, have a doctor check your senior’s cholesterol levels to ensure they’re within safe levels.
How does diet affect cholesterol?
People are often surprised to learn that consuming foods high in cholesterol will not necessarily increase their LDL levels. However, foods containing saturated fat can stimulate the production of cholesterol in the liver. If you provide senior care, prepare balanced meals to keep cholesterol levels reasonable. That means limiting red meat, full-fat dairy products, fried foods, processed snacks, and added sugar.
Even the most knowledgeable caregivers could use a little extra help once in a while. For quality senior care, turn to Visiting Angels Toms River in New Jersey. Their compassionate senior care professionals are committed to helping clients enjoy independent living for as long as possible. Services include bathing and grooming assistance, light housekeeping, companionship, meal prep, errand running, medication reminders, and respite care. Visit their website to view a comprehensive list of the ways they can help your loved one, or call (732) 240-1050 to discuss your family’s particular senior care needs.