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Why It Is Vitally Important To Follow A Low Cholesterol Diet

Aug 17, 2007
Cholesterol in the body comes from two sources. Most cholesterol is made by the lover from various nutrients and especially from saturated fats. The liver makes just about all the cholesterol the body will ever nee. Since all animals can make their own cholesterol, some cholesterol in the human body comes directly from eating animal products. These foods include meats, egg yolks, organ meats, whole milk, and milk products. This cholesterol is absorbed through the intestines and added to what the liver makes. It is also known that a diet high in saturated fat seems to increase cholesterol production in the body. Therefore, reducing dietary cholesterol and fats helps keep blood cholesterol levels within a healthy range.

Dietary Fats

Dietary fats can be saturated or unsaturated. An easy way to remember the difference is that saturated fats solidify or remain solid at room temperature. Unsaturated fats do not; they are liquid at room temperature. To reduce blood cholesterol levels, it is especially important to limit saturated fats. Saturated fats are found mainly in meats and dairy products made with whole milk. Unsaturated fats are found are found mostly in plants, and are less likely to raise blood cholesterol levels. In fact, there is evidence that monounsaturated fats may even help to lower blood cholesterol. There are a few vegetable fats such as, coconut oil, palm oil, and cocoa butter that act like saturated fats in the body, so they should be avoided.

Risks of High Cholesterol

The body needs cholesterol for digesting dietary fats, making hormone, building cell walls, and other important processes. The bloodstream carries cholesterol in particles called lipoproteins that are like blood borne cargo trucks delivering cholesterol to various body tissues to be used, stored, and excreted. But too much of this circulating cholesterol can injure arteries, especially the coronary ones that supply the heart. This leads to accumulation of cholesterol laden plaque in vessel linings, a condition called atherosclerosis.

Lifestyle

Cholesterol can be brought under control by a change in lifestyle. Several ways to achieve this is to diet, lose weight, exercise, or quit tobacco use. Cholesterol lowering drugs may be necessary for some with people with genetic history of early heart disease. A low cholesterol diet is not hard to follow, given the variety of foods available. Many food manufacturers also have low fat, low cholesterol foods available for people who do not have the time to fix elaborate meals. When you are shopping for such foods, be sure to look at the labels. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables; they are low in calories and fat. Try to lower your intake of saturated fats, since consuming foods with these fats could raise your cholesterol levels and place you at a higher risk of acquiring heart disease.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Florida. Find more about this as well as Gourmet Seafood Market at http://www.gourmetseafoodmarket.com
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