A Fat-Like Substance Found In All Animal Cell Membranes The Link Between Cholesterol and Coronary Heart Disease

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The Link Between Cholesterol and Coronary Heart Disease

Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in cell membranes. It is carried in the blood plasma of animals. It is an essential component of cells for maintaining fluidity and permeability. Cholesterol is needed to make fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin D, and vitamin A. Bile acid and steroid hormones also require cholesterol. High blood cholesterol is one of the main risk factors for coronary heart disease.

High total blood cholesterol and high LDL (bad cholesterol) are risk factors that can be controlled through diet and exercise. Good cholesterol or HDL can also be checked. Other controllable risk factors that must be addressed for good heart health include inactivity, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and smoking. Risk factors that cannot be controlled include a family history of heart disease and age.

Cholesterol is not found in plant foods unless it is added during food preparation. However, some foods such as peanuts and flaxseeds contain compounds that are like cholesterol. These are called phytosterols. It is believed that this group of ingredients will help reduce blood cholesterol levels. Another point to keep in mind is that cholesterol intake is less important to serum cholesterol levels than dietary fat intake. This is especially true when levels of trans fat and saturated fat are abnormally high.

There is no magic bullet for lowering blood cholesterol levels. However, there are natural products that you can use to improve good cholesterol, lower bad cholesterol and total cholesterol in your blood. Products are foods that are good for your health anyway. Here are some tactics you can use to help control your blood cholesterol.

You can start by adding soy products, oat bran and whole grains to the foods you eat on a daily basis. These foods will improve your overall health, as they reduce the risk of a heart attack. You’ll feel better and may have additional benefits as you lose weight. Diabetes is another risk factor that can be reduced by making better food choices. You can add sunflower seeds for snacks in place of some other choices. Nuts like walnuts and almonds can be included in a salad or used as a coating for baked chicken.

Adding healthy foods to your diet is only one part of preventing coronary heart disease. You should also eliminate foods that add unhealthy fats and other substances to your food intake. No more donuts, ice cream or pizza is a goal that will be better for your overall health.

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