Each year more than 750,000 Americans suffer a stroke. Strokes are often caused by unhealthy cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that circulates, but does not dissolve, in the blood. If a person has too much low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as bad cholesterol, it can slowly build up in the wall of the arteries. Eventually this buildup forms a thick, hard plaque that narrows the arteries.
If one of these plaques ruptures, it causes a blot clot to form, which can block normal blood flow to the brain and lead to a stroke. .. read more
You may be most familiar with avocado for its starring role in guacamole. But this fantastic fruit is full of healthy monounsaturated fats, a staple in a heart-healthy diet. Here are 8 new ways to add it to your next meal
More than guacamole
Though avocados are known best as the creamy main ingredient in guacamole, they are high in healthy monounsaturated fats and a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Sample our 8 ways to bite, nibble, and spoon up this fantastic fruit.
ALT (Avocado, Lettuce, and Tomato) Sandwiches
This vegetarian take on the BLT makes for a lighter, equally rich lunch. The heart-healthy fats from the avocados fill you up, while providing a creamy texture... read more
The AHA diet and life style guidelines recommend that you:
- Eat a variety of fruit and vegetable servings every day. Dark green, deep orange, or yellow fruits and vegetables are especially nutritious. Examples include spinach, carrots, peaches, and berries.
- Eat a variety of grain products every day. Include whole-grain foods that have lots of fiber and nutrients. Examples of whole grains include oats, whole wheat bread, and brown rice. .... read more
Coronary artery disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on the inside of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle.
Plaque is made up of excess cholesterol, calcium, and other substances that float in blood and, over time, build up on the inside walls of the coronary arteries and other arteries. ... read more
Cholesterol is a sterol (a combination steroid and alcohol).
Cholesterol is a lipid found in the cell membranes of all tissues, and it is transported in the blood plasma of all animals.
Because cholesterol is synthesized by all eukaryotes, trace amounts of cholesterol are also found in membranes of plants and fungi.
The name originates from the Greek chole- (bile) and stereos (solid), and the chemical suffix -ol for an alcohol, as researchers first identified cholesterol in solid form in gallstones by François Poulletier de la Salle in 1769.
However, it is only in 1815 that chemist Eugène Chevreul named the compound "cholesterine". Most of the cholesterol is synthesized by the body and some has dietary origin.
Cholesterol is more abundant in tissues which either synthesize more or have more abundant densely-packed membranes, for example, the liver, spinal cord and brain.
It plays a central role in many biochemical processes, such as the composition of cell membranes and the synthesis of steroid hormones.
Cholesterol is insoluble in blood, but is transported in the circulatory system bound to one of the varieties of lipoprotein, spherical particles which have an exterior composed mainly of water-soluble proteins.
The main types, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) carry cholesterol from and to the liver. According to the lipid hypothesis, abnormally high cholesterol levels (hypercholesterolemia) and abnormal proportions of LDL and HDL are associated with cardiovascular disease by promoting atheroma development in arteries ( atherosclerosis ).
This disease process leads to myocardial infarction (heart attack), stroke and peripheral vascular disease. As high LDL contributes to this process, it is termed "bad cholesterol", while high levels of HDL ("good cholesterol") offer a degree of protection. The balance can be redressed with exercise, a healthy diet, and sometimes medication.lipid . The body uses it for many things, such as :
- Making new cells and build the structure of cell membranes
- Make hormones like estrogen, testosterone and adrenaline
- Make work efficiently in our metabolism; for example, cholesterol is essential for the body to produce vitamin D
- Produce bile acids, which help the body digest fat and absorb important nutrients.
The body can get cholesterol from the foods example hamburgers, thickshakes, meats, egg yolk, butter, cheese etc.
The body needs some cholesterol. But if too much, the liver returns the cholesterol it can not use to the bloodstream. When there is too much cholesterol circulating in the bloodstream, it can build up into fatty deposits which can form calcium plaques .
These deposits cause the arteries to narrow (Arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart.). This is called hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis . It is usually a slow process that gets worse as you get older.
And can eventually block the arteries completely, leading to heart disease, heart attack , stroke and other conditions.
The other factors for atherosclerosis : smoking, overweight, and having high blood pressure. (To understand what happens, think about how a clog forms in the pipe under a kitchen sink. Like the buildup of grease in the pipe).
The trouble starts when you get too much cholesterol, when the intake of fats in your diet causes the levels of cholesterol in your blood to rise more than you need (normal).
A simple blood test can measure how much cholesterol in the body. The test results are given in mg/dL of cholesterol but people only talk about numbers. Cholesterol numbers help the doctor know the risk of heart attack. To know this risk, doctor will ask other factors like age, blood pressure, family history and smoke or not.
For a general idea about total cholesterol number :
|Best||less than 200|
|Borderline-high||200 to 239|
|HIGH CHOLESTEROL||240 or above|