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October, 1991 The Broncos' Voice Page 13
From The Wellness Center
Why should I care about cholesterol?
High blood cholesterol is one of three
main controllable risk factors for
coronary heart disease. A risk factor is
a habit, trait, or condition in a person
that is associated with an increased
chance (or risk) of developing a disease.
The other two main controllable risk
factors for coronary heart disease are
high blood pressure and cigarette
smoking. Any one of these risk factors
increases an individual’s chance ^of
developing heart disease, and all three
together may greatly increase heart
disease risk, perhaps by ten times or
more. Obesity and diabetes are other
risk factors. Being a male or having a
family history of premature heart
disease will also add to an individual’s
risk of heart disease.
Genetic and animal studies
have shown that elevated levels of blood
cholesterol, whether caused by genetic
defects or dietary excesses, lead to early
development of hardening of the arteries
and coronary heart disease. Scientific
studies of large population groups
(epidemiologic studies) have shown that
people with high blood cholesterol have
more chance of developing coronary
heart disease than do people with lower
levels of cholesterol, and that the
chances of developing coronary heart
disease increase in proportion to the
amount the cholesterol is elevated,
especially for values over 2(X) mg/dl
(mg/dl = milligrams per deciliter). In the
United States, people with a blood
cholesterol of 240 mg/dl or higher have
more than two times the risk of
developing heart disease as do those
with a level of under 2(X) mg/dl. About
25 percent of adults in the United Slates
have blood cholesterol levels over 240
mg/dl and more than half of U.S. adults
have levels over 200 mg/dl. Recently,
blood cholesterol levels for adults have
been classified as (1) desirable (less
than 2(X) mg/dl), (2) borderline-high
(200 to 239 mg/dl), and (3) high (240
mg/dl and above). These categories
apply to all adults over age 20,
regardless of age or sex, and are part of
medical guidelines defined by the Adult
Treatment Panel of the National
Cholesterol Education Program in
In adults, a total blood
cholesterol level above 240 mg/dl
warrants medical attention to help bring
it down. However, levels above 2(X)
mg/dl also increase the risk of heart
disease and may require further
evaluation, depending on whether other
heart disease risk factors are present.
When persons are evaluated for
borderline-high blood cholesterol levels,
other factors that increase their risk
status for coronary heart disease are low
HDL-cholesterol levels (below 35
mg/dl); advanced hardening of the
arteries in the head, legs, feet, hands or
arms; angina or other evidence of
blockages in the arteries serving the
heart; or a previous heart attack. These
factors are considered in addition to the
main heart disease risk factors
A physician can assess a
person’s risk for heart disease, offer
advice on how to make dietary changes
which are generally sufficient to lower
blood cholesterol to an acceptable level,
and monitor progress toward cholesterol
reduction. Persons with very high blood
cholesterol levels might also be
prescribed a cholesterol-lowering drug.
From the National Heart, Lung and
Blood Institute Part II of II
USDA Gives Tips On Food Preparation For College Kids
FOOD SAFETY TIPS FOR COLLEGE FOOD SHOPPING AND COOKING
1. After grocery shopping, always take perishable food home quickly and refrigerate it within two hours. Don't stop by the
library or visit a friend until this is done.
2. When using microwaves, follow product directions and plan for extra cooking time if you are in a dorm. Other equip
ment can drain current from the electrical circuit.
3. Leftover pizza, fried chicken, Chinese food, and other carry-outs should be refrigerated as soon as possible. Remember
that perishable food should never be unrefrigerated more than two hours.
4. Never store foods on the window ledge even if the weather is cold (not even that pizza box). Buildings radiate heat,
making the sill warmer than the outside temperature. And, using a metal box to protect food from birds and animals could
act as an "oven" in direct sunlight.
5."Care packages" of food from home are always welcome. But be sure to check any can or package labels to see if the prod
ucts require refrigeration after opening.
WASHINGTON - Many
college studenus use small microwave
ovens or toaster-ovens to prepare food
in dormitories. The U.S. Department of
Agriculture’s Meat and Poultry Hotline
gets many calls from parents and
students with questions about the
handling and storage of foods in dorms.
Here are some sample questions and
answers, with tips on safe food
Q. Our dorm has a kitchen with a
microwave on each floor. Often food
prepared according to the printed
directions is not cooked as thoroughly
as I like it. What is wrong?
A. In a large building like a dorm, other
electrical equipment such as personal
computers, toaster-ovens and stereos can
compete for current and reduce the
electrical wattage of a microwave. A
community oven may also be used more
frequently than one at home. A
microwave oven that has just cooked
several foods often cooks slower than a
cold oven. To compensate, set the oven
for the maximum time given in the
instructions, or add several seconds
more cooking time.
Cover foods for cooking in a
microwave. Stir or rearrange food, and
rotate the dish during cooking. If your
oven has a temperature probe, use it or
a meat thermometer to check internal
temperatures of meat and poultry. To
avoid food-safety hazards, red meat
should be cooked to 160 degrees F;
poulU7 to 180 degrees F. Juices should
Remember that microwave foods
continue to cook after they are removed
from the oven, so allow foods to stand
before they are eaten.
Q. I am living off campus this year. My
two roommates and I will be preparing
our own meals. We know how to cook
and we plan to buy healthy food. What
else do we need to know to make this a
succes^ul venture and avoid food-safety
A. When shopping, buy perishable foods
last and get them home quickly. Never
leave perishable food in a hot car while
you run other errands. Refrigerate
perishables as soon as you get home.
Freeze any fresh meat, fish or poultry
you won’t use in the next few days.
Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator -
not on the counter. Wash your hands
before preparing foods. Always clean
dishtowels and sponges. Wash cutting
boards and utensils in hot, soapy water.
Use a plastic - not wooden - cuttijjg
board. Don’t allow raw meat or poul^
to drip on other foods.
Cook food thoroughly. Never partially
cook food. Finally, if you feel food has
not been handled safely, throw it out.
Q. I frequently send "care packages" to
my son at college. What other foods
besides cookies, crackers and candy can
I send safely?
A. For a change of pace, send a
sampling of the new shelf-stable
microwave entrees now available in
supermarkets. They are not frozen and
keep fresh without refrigeration for
more than 18 months. More than a
dozen different entrees are available -
from chili, roast beef and lasagna to
more exotic linguini with clam sauce.
Your son can stack them on the
bookcase and use them as needed.
Loaf cakes, like banana bread, carrot,
applesauce or sour-cream cakes, ship
well if wrapped in aluminum foil and
packed in a can or box.
Packages of hard or processed cheese
and some sausages like beef sticks, dry
salami and pepperoni don’t need to be
refrigerated. These mail well too. Check
the label carefully for handling
USDA continued on p. 18