A recently aired segment on ABC’s Catalyst program examined the role of cholesterol as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Cholesterol is considered a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes, and is found in the body in higher proportions if our diet is high in the consumption of saturated fat. Our current medical hypothesis is that by reducing cholesterol levels back to “normal”, you can reduce your risk of heart attacks and strokes.
"Heart of the Matter" aired on Catalyst to examine the assumptions underlying this hypothesis. You can view this special investigation by clicking the link below:
As Exercise Physiologists, our approach is to reduce cholesterol through structured exercise and lifestyle modification programs. This debate on the importance of cholesterol as a risk factor in heart disease will continue within the medical fraternity for many years. What remains clear is the critical role that exercise and optimal nutritional intake have on the prevention of illness and disease, and in positively contributing to your long-term health. Furthermore, structured exercise will remain an important component of the treatment of chronic disease and rehabilitation from stroke and heart attacks.
Perhaps the biggest lesson to be gained from this ongoing debate is how our community is focused largely on treatment. At an individual level, we need to focus more of our time and energy on the prevention of illness and disease by living a lifestyle that is active, free of unnecessary stress, with a diet that is rich in quality vegetables, lean proteins, and good fats. As Hippocrates, the founder of modern medicine, espoused, "Food is your medicine".
Written by Brendan Rigby, Accredited Exercise Physiologist.
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