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  • Harlem Word: Dr. Thomas Nickolas talks about keeping your cholesterol low in order to keep your kidneys healthy

    Dr. Thomas Nickolas, a nephrologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital tells us what we can do to keep our kidneys in good health. He also tells us what cholesterol is and how you can keep your cholesterol levels low.

    Q: How does somebody keep their kidney's healthy?

    A: Keeping kidneys healthy is pretty easy. We typically say that what's healthy for the heart and brain is healthy for the kidneys. Some ways to do this is by:

    • Eating a good diet that's low in fat and cholesterol
    • Making sure you aren't eating too much salt to make sure that your blood pressure [link to article 341 anchored what is blood pressure] doesn't go too high.
    • If you have diabetes, making sure that your blood sugar is under excellent control.
    • Exercising (which is good to help you stay a healthy weight and keep your cholesterol levels low)

    Kidneys are "innocent bystanders." This means that, in most cases, the kidneys become damaged because there are other things going on (your blood pressure or cholesterol levels are too high, or your diabetes isn't under control).

    In order to keep your kidneys healthy you need to know your numbers-that your blood pressure or cholesterol aren't too high. If either one is too high, you need to lower it.

    Q: What is cholesterol?

    A: Cholesterol is fat that's circulating throughout the blood. We have a certain amount of fat in the blood that's OK. But if there's too much fat in the blood it's not healthy. So, when we check someone's cholesterol we check how much fat is there. If the fat levels are too high we say that someone has high cholesterol levels. That can be dangerous for the kidney.

    Q: How do you lower your cholesterol levels?

    The exact same way as you would lower your blood pressure. A combination of exercise, diet and medication can help keep the cholesterol low. Diet and exercise alone can keep your cholesterol low, but taking medication can also help in many cases.

    Read more from Dr. Nickolas by clicking the links below:

    To listen to our interview with Dr. Nickolas, click here.

    Harlem Word is a series of interviews with Northern Manhattan health experts, written by HHPC and reviewed by our Health Advisory Board.


    i am just doing research on cholesterol and how it is caused, your site has really helped me, can anyone suggest me where i can get a complete Cooking Oil Comparison chart.

    Maintaining your cholesterol level is important in maintaining your health especially if you are diagnosed with other chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, my mother is a good example. Many individuals do not understand that LDL (low density lipoprotein) are "bad" cholesterol and HDL (high-density lipoprotein) are "good" cholesterol. By maintaining high levels of HDL, you are decreasing your risk of heart disease.

    Attn: Annacrasto, you can find a cooking oil comparison reference on the United States Dept of Agriculture ( under the Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page. Hope this helps!

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