Cholesterol: Why Fats Must Be Limited

In addition to the fact that fats are high in calories, fats play a major role in maintaining a healthy heart.  According to the American Heart Association, “too high a level of cholesterol in the blood is a major risk for coronary heart disease, which leads to heart attack.””Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance found among the lipids (fats) in the bloodstream and in all your body’s cells.  It is normal to have cholesterol.  It’s an important part of a healthy body because it’s used to form cell membranes, some hormones and other needed tissues.”  Your body makes some cholesterol.  Any other cholesterol in your blood has come from animal products.”Cholesterol and other fats can’t dissolve in the blood.  They have to be transported to and from the cells by special carriers called lipoproteins and there are two kinds that your need to be concerned with.  Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, is known as the “bad” cholesterol.  too much LDL cholesterol can clog the arteries to your heart and increase your risk of heart attack.  High-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is know as ‘good’ cholesterol.  Your body makes HDL cholesterol for your protection  It travels away from your arteries.  Studies suggest that high levels of HDL cholesterol reduce your risk of heart attack.”

“Triglyceride is a form of fat.  It comes from food and is also made in your body.  People with high triglycerides often have a high to cholesterol, a high LDL cholesterol and a low HDL cholesterol level.  People who eat a lot of saturated fats, sugar (including fructose, the form of sugar found in fruits), alcohol and simple carbohydrates are candidates for high triglyceride levels.  Many people with heart disease also have high triglyceride levels.  Several clinical studies have shown that people with above-normal triglyceride levels have an increased risk of heart disease.  Doctors need to treat high triglycerides in people who also have high LDL cholesterol levels.”

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