Monday, January 11, 2010

It messes up your schedule, but worth it

I admit it - skipping breakfast is an inconvenience. It messes with my schedule for work and I'm grouchy without it.

Why miss breakfast? For an occasional blood draw to test your cholesterol level after fasting.

And why care? Because, according to the National Stroke Association: "Cholesterol or plaque build-up in the arteries can block normal blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke. High cholesterol may also increase the risk of heart disease, a risk factor for stroke."

The association's Web site offers some information on the relation of stroke risk reduction and high cholesterol:

Things you can change:
  • Diet -- Foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol can increase cholesterol levels.
  • Weight -- Being overweight can increase your cholesterol levels.
  • Exercise -- People who are not active tend to have higher cholesterol levels.
Things you cannot change:
  • Family History -- If someone in your family has high cholesterol, you are more likely to have high cholesterol.
  • Age -- Most people experience an increase in cholesterol levels until about the age of 65.
  • Gender -- Women under age 50 tend to have lower cholesterol and those in menopause have higher levels.
So get that number checked. Skip breakfast just one or two days a year. If the numbers aren't right, follow your doctor's advice. Take medicine prescribed. Exercise. Watch your weight and diet.

It could save your life.

(Photo from the U.S. Office on Women's Health)

No comments: