Martha Jefferson Healthwise: New Cholesterol Class

By: Stephanie Satchell Email
By: Stephanie Satchell Email

September 13, 2012

Folks in Charlottesville are learning how to keep their cholesterol in check with a new class at Martha Jefferson Hospital. In this week's Martha Jefferson Healthwise report CBS19's Stephanie Satchell has more on the class being offered to help patients in Charlottesville learn how to keep their cholesterol at a healthy level.

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance found in the bloodstream and Martha Jefferson Hospital dietitian Dianne Vitt says it can be brought on by genetics or your diet.

“When we consume a diet that's high in fried foods, animal fats saturated fats, and trans fats which come from a lot of processed foods, that is what elevates our bad cholesterol,” said Dianne Vitt, Dietitian, Martha Jefferson Hospital.

The bad cholesterol is known as LDL and there's also good cholesterol which is called HDL.

“The difference between good cholesterol and bad cholesterol is sticky and clogs the arteries and the other prevents the bad cholesterol from clogging the arteries,” said Vitt.

At a new class being offered at Martha Jefferson's education center, Vitt teaches patients what they need to do to achieve and maintain a healthy cholesterol level.

“We'll teach the types of fats that are unhealthy fats, the importance of eating fruits and vegetables and whole grains because those are the foods that give up fiber. A good intake of fiber everyday helps to get rid of cholesterol in the blood stream,” said Vitt.

In addition to maintaining a healthy diet, exercise can also improve your cholesterol levels.

“Exercise plays a key role in raising the good cholesterol and so if you have a high HDL that can offset the bad cholesterol the LDL,” said Vitt.

Vitt says keeping track of your cholesterol now could help prevent serious heart related problems like heart attack and stroke in the future.

The first class will be held September 25th from noon until 1:00 p.m. sign up or for more information, call health connection at 434-654-7009.

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