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True Causes of Heart Disease

There are a number of reasons why some people have extremely high cholesterol and some do not. It is usually genetic, but it can also be caused by a medical condition. For those people that have a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol levels, there is no avoiding the issue. If you have a family history of heart disease or diabetes, then you most likely will too. It is not much of a question as to why you have it, just that you had it.

You should know what type of cholesterol is good and what type of cholesterol is bad. Your body needs cholesterol, otherwise, it would not function properly. For example, triglycerides and Lp(a) cholesterol are both needed. However, only total cholesterol will deposit in your arteries and not HDL (high-density lipoprotein) or LDL (low-density lipoprotein). Total cholesterol does not adhere to the arterial walls.

So if there are multiple contributors to your high cholesterol levels, how do you choose which ones are true culprits? You need to find out the exact amount of each type that you have and begin to change your diet accordingly. This is easier said than done.

Most people have an idea of what is called total cholesterol. This is the total cholesterol that has been measured in the blood. Now, LDL is also called "bad" cholesterol. However, it has fewer lipids than total cholesterol. The word "heterocyclic" describes it best. LDL is very dangerous and increases your risk of heart disease significantly.

When people hear about "cholesterol isolates," they often associate these products with statins. Statins are prescription drugs that lower levels of LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream. However, LDL can also come from foods that are digested partially in the digestive system. These are called "partially digested foods."

Now we must learn to avoid foods that increase our LDL levels and increase our HDL levels (the good kind). Foods high in saturated fats should be avoided. Saturated fats are partially hydrogenated fats. Trans fats are also a problem and should be avoided.

What is unsaturated fat? These are fats that come from plants. Oils from plant sources contain essential fats that are vital to health. Unsaturated fats are necessary to maintain normal cholesterol levels.

The most important thing you can do to avoid high cholesterol is to choose healthy oils for cooking. Plant-based oils are much healthier than animal-based oils. For example, walnuts and canola oils are much healthier alternatives for cooking than vegetable oils. You'll be glad you did.

Why? Because these oils are very heart-friendly. They are low in saturated fat and cholesterol and actually have one of the lowest content of total cholesterol in any food type. Unsaturated fats lower cholesterol naturally by reducing plaque formation in arteries. One tablespoon of walnut oil contains only about 0.5 grams of fat and cholesterol, which is significantly lower than other fats commonly found in foods. No butter substitute will be quite as effective at lowering your total cholesterol as this one.

What about foods that are high in cholesterol? While it is true that a person who eats too many eggs may be at risk for high cholesterol, what is not so clear is whether or not eating large amounts of dairy products is a cause for concern. In general, dairy products are not that different from other foods in terms of cholesterol.

However, saturated fats are a different story. They seem to cause more harm than good. High levels of saturated fats have been shown to cause clogged arteries, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

So which foods do you think are true culprits? Most people would say fast foods. These are foods such as burgers, pizzas, fried chicken, French fries and ice cream parlors. While it is true that these foods are packed with calories, the reality is that there is likely more to them than meets the eye. While some of these foods do contain higher amounts of fat and cholesterol than others, the majority of fast food contains little to no fat and cholesterol and a high amount of sodium.

Most people realize that one of the worst foods that you can eat is a burger. But that burger is to blame? There is only one way to find out for sure and that is by reading nutrition labels. By comparing the ingredients label on each burger you will be able to determine exactly which one is the true culprit and which one is the healthier alternative. With this knowledge, you will be able to enjoy your next meal in peace.