Why It’s Important to Watch Your Cholesterol, Even if You’re Thin

High cholesterol is a sign of both our diets as well as the overly sedentary lifestyles that many of us lead. If you have told yourself that you don’t need to worry about your cholesterol because you are thin, think again.

Many think women neglect their annual physicals and doctor’s check-ups because they believe that their scales tell the whole story. This is often not the case, and by ignoring important vital signs you may be putting yourself and your health in danger!

It is not unusual for thin people, especially women, to suffer from high cholesterol that is not only elevated but is actually dangerously high levels. If you haven’t been to the doctor in a while because you consider your weight to be the only benchmark that matters, it’s time to stop living in a fantasy world!

The Emergence of “Skinny Fat” as a Body Type

Because our society is so obsessed with the ideal of a thin body, many people cut a lot of health corners in their quest to become skinny and stay that way. This has become such a common phenomenon, that doctors have begun referring to such patients as skinny fat.

As in, their weight may be at healthy levels, but they are far from healthy. For too many people their size is the end all and be all of their health monitoring, and they figure that because they are a size 4 then they must be healthy.

While maintaining a healthy weight level is an important part of your overall wellness, it is not the only metric that matters. Far from it. Whatever your size or body type, a nutritious diet and an active lifestyle are key.

If you are not exercising regularly, you eat a lot of junk food, eat when you’re bored, or you do not visit your doctor on a regular basis, you may have health problems that are being masked by the fact that you are thin.

We recommend that everyone eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet, exercises a few times a week, and is mindful of the overall health of their bodies. Annual check-ups that include a full work-up of blood testing and screening for other common illnesses are a necessary part of our modern lives. Don’t be fooled into thinking that your health is just fine, go and get checked out and be sure that it is!

Why Cholesterol is Such a Common Issue for Thin People

Many people that are naturally thin can often fall into the “I can eat anything I want” trap because as long as they stay thin they believe that they are healthy. Because of this mindset, they may eat rich foods on a regular basis that many people consider to be a treat or indulgence.

Eggs, red meat, dairy products, and desserts can all contribute to high cholesterol, especially when eaten on a regular basis. Thin people often eat such foods with abandon with no thought of the health implications, only those related to their weight. When a person has these eating habits, and they do not exercise regularly, the problem can become even more serious.

If your family has a history of high cholesterol it becomes even more important that you have yours checked regularly. The American Heart Association recommends that starting at age 20 patients should have their levels tested every three to four years.

As you grow older, the frequency of the testing will increase as the likelihood of complications from the condition also increases.

Changes to Diet and Lifestyle are Often Enough to Correct the Problem

Luckily, if you are a member of the skinny fat cohort, you can usually correct your health issues without medications. Unless it is caused by genetic factors, high cholesterol is often lowered by some straightforward changes to your diet and exercise levels. The most important first step is to begin regular doctor visits and testing for these types of conditions, no matter what your weight level may be.

Once you have been tested, and if you find that your cholesterol is elevated, your doctor can provide guidance for correcting the problem.

Eliminating high-fat foods is the obvious first step, and while many people are able to completely knock these foods out of their diets, others find success with reducing the number of times that they eat these rich foods.

Another easy hack is to include more exercise and activity as a regular part of your day. You know, the simple things like taking the stairs rather than the elevator, and parking a short walk away from your destination.

While these behavior modifications are easy, they do make a difference. Once you start to look for simple ways to add more exercise into your day, it will become second nature. In fact, you may soon find yourself suggesting a walk to catch-up with a friend, rather than meeting to chat over a glass of wine!