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Happy Chanukah! (save the oil)

Tonight heralds Chanukah, the 8-day Jewish festival of lights.  Because that light came from oil, celebrating Hanukah includes eating foods fried in oil.  This year choose an oil low in cholesterol and saturated fats.  Elevated  cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease.  Dr. Rose Marie Robertson, President of the American Heart Association, is here to discuss this.

"Well, lowering cholesterol is important, because it clearly reduces your risk for coronary heart disease and stroke.  Lowering your cholesterol by as little as 10% can have an important impact on reducing your risk of dying of a heart attack."

Dr. Robertson, we know that HDL is the good cholesterol and LDL is the bad cholesterol, but how do triglycerides fit in?

"You know, for both women and men, lowering the LDL--that's the bad cholesterol--and lowering the triglycerides are important, but for women in particular, triglycerides have been shown to be of a special importance.  So it's important to pay attention to both those numbers."

Dr. Robertson, what's the most important thing that people with elevated cholesterol need to know?

"Well, the good news is that with simple dietary changes you can control your cholesterol to a great extent. . .and that for those people who can't control it perfectly, we have medications that in almost every case allow us to control it extremely well."

One common questions I hear is people can't just eat whatever they want and take more medicine to control their cholesterol.

"It's true that we really have very effective medications now that can lower cholesterol, but it's important that people work on their diet as well because you can, in fact, over eat these very effective medications".

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Created: 12/21/2000  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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