Natural Heart Health: The Problem with Cholesterol
Natural Heart Health Tip: The heart works hard to pump that blood throughout the entire body of blood vessels. It is forced to work even harder when we don’t take care of it. You may know something about cholesterol, but keep reading to find out how it can be unfriendly to your heart.
You probably know what foods contain which but do you know how it affects your the health of your heart?
The liver produces most of the cholesterol. If more is needed, it is processed from the foods we eat. There are healthy fats and not so healthy ones that we eat every day. The unhealthy ones come from processed baked goods, candy bars, fatty meats and the like. Eating these foods once in a while is okay but eating them often and in large amounts affects your body, specifically your heart and blood vessels.
You only need 20% of cholesterol from food. Check the labels. Eating foods that contain cholesterol is not a good choice. Instead, choose foods and ingredients that contain good cholesterol like unsaturated oils (olive, flaxseed, canola) and foods with healthy fats (nuts, cold water fish.
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In your body, bad fats are metabolized just like the good ones. LDL (low density lipoproteins) is the bad fats. They are an oxidized form of fat that is quite sticky and can attach to artery walls where they harden into plaque.
These plaques narrow the opening through which blood has to pass resulting in less blood that can pass. To get less blood through the same vessels, the heart has to pump harder. If the narrowed vessels are coronary arteries, then the heart is not receiving enough blood to do its job properly. Compromised blood flow can lead to a heart attack.
The good news is that good fats contribute to HDL levels, or good cholesterol. It travels around the bloodstream picking up stray bad cholesterol and ridding the body of it. Higher HDL levels work to prevent the buildup of cholesterol plaques.
Now that you know about cholesterol, you can choose foods that will help your heart do its job and reduce your risk of stroke or heart attack.