high cholesterol kidsWe already know that a high total cholesterol and even a high LDL level is not the #1 reason a person has heart disease. Stress, family history, smoking…then diet or what we eat. Why do pediatricians test for cholesterol in children? As a child of the 70s, my cholesterol wasn’t checked. Was it high? Did it lower as an adult when I made my own food choices? 21st century pediatricians are testing for cholesterol and if it is high, the conversation is to cut our eggs, shellfish and play outside. This is old-school. Replacing poly-fats—omega6s (soybean/vegetable/corn oils) with more mono and omega-3 fats (walnuts, olive, canola, algae, fish and omega-added foods) is the way the go. I took on the challenge this past year since my normal-weight child was told to improve her ‘diet’ a year ago. She is active. We base our meals around fruits, vegetables and grains. We eat protein from all sources. But she heard that word-diet. There’s the 4-letter word and she heard it. We took it on as family to improve our meals to include more omega-3s instead of the omega-6s. The research for cholesterol-lowering is not new—for adults. When the conversation with a pediatrician regarding cholesterol includes a statin for a less than 18-year-old, we have to change the standard. The bottom line here is meet with a MD every year for lab work, but know that drugs may not be the best option for kids. Reach out to a registered dietitian nutritionist---me or I will refer you to a great one in your area---to make meal suggestions that are tasty, nutritious and your family will love too.