MURRAY — Eighty-year-old Leon Hoffman had high cholesterol, which he managed well through diet and exercise. But last July, he had a scare.
"It was really scary when he had his heart attack," said Karen Hoffman, Leon's wife.
The Hoffmans are more diligent now. They eat whole grains. "Leon grinds the wheat and I make the bread," she said. They also load up on fruits and vegetables, read labels, and avoid saturated fat and cholesterol.
Dr. Jeffrey Anderson with the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute says they're doing everything right.
"It's one of the most modifiable things we can do. We can change that — get that down with diet and exercise and medications if needed," Anderson said.
LDL cholesterol, or "bad cholesterol" is the most dangerous type. It can cause a narrowing of blood vessels to the heart, leading to heart attack and stroke. HDL is the "good cholesterol," which goes up as bad cholesterol goes down.
"You wouldn't have any symptoms until you have a heart attack or stroke, and then really, it's later than you want it to be," Anderson said.
On Saturday, Feb. 3, the public can have their cholesterol tested for just $8 at Intermountain's Community Heart Fair. They'll also do risk assessments for heart disease, and you can walk inside a mega inflatable heart to learn how to protect your own through diet, regular exercise and keeping weight at healthy levels, Anderson said.
"My motivation is to have a long, healthy life," Leon Hoffman said. "I want to be 100 years old."
"We both want to reach our 75th anniversary," Karen Hoffman said.
That's why the Hoffmans are doing all they can to keep their hearts healthy.
There will also be free heart-healthy recipes and cooking demonstrations at Heartbeat 2018. The Community Heart Fair is this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, 5121 Cottonwood St.