Howie Mandel: Thinking You're Fit Doesn't Stop High Cholesterol
7 minute read
Comedian and beloved TV star Howie Mandel is known for making people smile. But in his personal life, he has faced struggles that anyone would find how to stay cheerful through.
Since becoming vocal about his struggles with cholesterol, Howie is now famous for more than his quick wit. The sharing of his struggles have helped others to overcome similar battles and let the world know that cholesterol does not have to dictate your life.
Health Condition in Hiding
Over 30 years ago, Howie received a surprise diagnosis of high cholesterol. Having thought of himself as active, fit, and healthy, he was shocked to discover this. High cholesterol is a common condition, affecting over 100 million Americans, so Howie was by no means alone.
The struggle for him was trying to understand how the condition developed and treating it effectively.
When you think of yourself as a healthy individual, any diagnosis can be upsetting. While shocked, Howie also valued the insight and information, as it allowed him to rethink his health and change focus. His story shares with us how easy it is to have a health problem and yet be completely unaware of its existence.
High cholesterol can contribute to more serious health conditions when left untreated, but the good news is that it is easy to control with medications and lifestyle changes. Many times we think we are fine and high cholesterol is working against us from the inside.
With increased awareness and regular checks, you can identify it early and make the necessary changes to control it.
Howie now serves as a spokesperson for the Take Cholesterol to Heart awareness campaign along with other celebrities who faced the same struggle. Their goal is to raise awareness for this sneaky condition.
What Is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that develops in the body. In small doses it is actually beneficial for you, but too much causes complications. Too much cholesterol in your blood accumulates and clogs blood vessels and arteries. When this happens, your risk for atherosclerosis and heart disease also increases.
The trouble with high cholesterol is that many people do not show symptoms. The only way to identify it accurately is to get regular checkups with your doctor.
This is where the increased awareness Howie shares help out. The more you know about the condition and its existence, the more likely you are to get checked and discover it early enough to treat effectively.
How to Curb Your Cholesterol
Howie was prescribed statin medications to help control his cholesterol, which is a common treatment option. Some people have adverse reactions to drugs, and there can be unpleasant side effects too.
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Although the drugs did work for Howie, he also shares alternative treatment options along with spreading awareness. There are a number of things you can do to prevent high cholesterol and protect your heart and health.
Limit Saturated Fat and Dietary Cholesterol Intake
The Western diet consists of a lot of unhealthy fats, which contributes to the majority of cases of high cholesterol in the country. The foods to avoid are butter, red meats, full-fat dairy, egg yolks, and shellfish. This doesn’t mean they are forbidden, as an egg a day can actually be good for your heart, but they should be regulated.
You should also check the labels for trans-fats which are often hidden but contribute to your overall cholesterol count.
Krill Oil Supplements
Krill oil is full of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids that promote heart and overall health. Omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce cholesterol build-up and clogged arteries while promoting healthier blood pressure too.
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As a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, omega-3 fatty acids also prevent inflammation which is a contributing factor to cholesterol build-up and heart disease. Astaxanthin is an antioxidant compound found in krill oil that protects the delicate lining of your blood vessels and your heart from oxidative damage. Weakened or damaged blood vessels are more prone to atherosclerosis and cholesterol build-up.
Eating More Fiber
Oats, fresh fruits & vegetables, and beans are great sources of dietary fiber that are great at lowering cholesterol. Studies have shown that soluble fiber slows the absorption of cholesterol into your blood stream, allowing your body time to more effectively process it for elimination. The more you can get rid of, the less there is available to clog your arteries.
Shedding some extra pounds not only improves your overall health, but it helps to control cholesterol levels too. It is important to remember that you do need some fats in your diet, so you shouldn’t cut them completely from your diet to control weight and cholesterol.
Good fats, like olive oil, help to keep you full but are not as likely to accumulate and become stored in the way unhealthy fats do.
Cut the Bad Habits
Research has found that smoking causes spikes in your LDL cholesterol, which is the bad kind of cholesterol. Quitting shows an immediate improvement in the good cholesterol levels and a decline in LDL levels, promoting instant improvement.
Alcohol consumption has been linked to higher HDL (good) cholesterol levels, but moderation is the key. Excessive alcohol drinking raises blood pressure and causes cholesterol buildup and plaque formation.
Staying active and getting regular exercise helps to keep your cholesterol levels low. Aerobic activity works the best, but when combined with strength training, you can reduce cholesterol and protect your heart from heart disease.
No need to do anything vigorous, the key is to keep moving regularly to promote optimal blood circulation and heart health. Even starting a simple walking challenge is beneficial.
The Bottom Line
Howie Mandel has long been a beacon for humor and entertainment, and millions look to him in admiration. Sharing a struggle common to so many people helps us to realize that we have a choice and we do not need to let cholesterol beat us.
With the right steps you can effectively control your cholesterol levels and continue to live your life smiling, just as Howie does. If you’d like to learn more schedule a check-up with your doctor and be proactive about being healthy.