Healthy by Choice
By: Alex Sundholm
Healthy hearts are kind of an anomaly in my family. My great-grandfather had his first heart attack before he was forty. My grandfather is pre-diabetic with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. My dad has been on cholesterol medicine for twenty years. With my family history, for me, the writing is on the wall. On the other side of this, my mom’s side of the family isn’t as stricken with health problems. With me being a male, I will tend to take after my dad more, so I know that I need to watch what I eat and get plenty of exercise.
My family isn’t the only one that has been stricken with high cholesterol and health issues. According to WebMD.com, the average American has borderline high cholesterol and 1 in 6 Americans actually have high cholesterol. This is obviously a huge problem in the USA and needs to be fixed. The good thing is that this isn’t too hard of a problem to fix.
There are a lot of easy things that can be done to correct high cholesterol and to maintain a healthy heart. The easiest thing to do is simply to walk and exercise. Since coming to college, it has been really easy to do this. I’ve walked to all my classes, which often adds up to a mile or two of walking every day. It’s also been easy to get to the gym. I found that it is surprisingly easy to get a group of people together to work out.
Another easy thing to do is to eat healthier. Eating healthier just consists of a lot of little things. Some simple examples would be like instead of having fried chicken, get roasted chicken, instead of French fries, have a baked potato, or simply avoiding greasy fast food. Eating healthy isn’t a hard thing to do and it doesn’t mean giving up what you like to eat, like many people seem to think. It is simply watching what you eat, choosing healthy alternatives for greasy, unhealthy food, and eating a little bit less for meals.
The last easy thing people can do to promote a healthy heart is to take vitamins. Not medical super pills, but just a simple chewable vitamin that can give you some extra vitamins or some that you don’t have enough of. It’s also a good idea to take fish or krill oil. It has been shown that krill oil has up to 54 times the amount of Omega 3s compared to fish oil. Both fish and krill oil have been shown to have positive effects on you body, though, like lowering cholesterol, boosting energy levels, improving memory, and relieving joint pain. (KrillOil.com)
Overall, heart health is something that is easy to keep, but isn’t maintained by many Americans. Knowing my family history, I know that I am in danger of having health issues, but they can easily be prevented. By simply eating right and exercising, I can maintain a healthy heart. I only wish that everyone would realize that being healthy doesn’t mean only having lettuce to eat. I think a reason that many people don’t eat as healthily as they should is because there are a lot more unhealthy options that sound a lot more appealing then healthy ones. The perception of most people is that eating healthy is expensive and hard. The truth is, it doesn’t need to be either of those. Eating healthy can be easy, inexpensive, and best of all, delicious!
“High Cholesterol: What It Can Do to You.” WebMD. WebMD, LLC, 12 Sep., 2012. Web. 31 Dec.
“Krill Oil vs Fish Oil.” KrillOil.com. Everest Nutrition, n.d.Web. 31 Dec. 2012