High cholesterol can be caused by a combination of both genetics and having too many of the wrong substances in your diet. The three dietary culprits to be aware of and limit in your food are
- Saturated fats
- Trans fats
- Dietary cholesterol
Foods high in these substances can raise the LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol carrier form of cholesterol in your blood. LDL cholesterol is also known as the "bad" cholesterol as a high amount in your blood can increase your risk of heart disease. LDL cholesterol contributes to the buildup of cholesterol and other debris (also known as plaque) along the lining of the walls of your arteries. This buildup can cause your arteries to narrow and reduce the flow of nutrient-and oxygen-rich blood to your heart, as well as other parts of your body. If your heart is deprived of adequate amounts of blood, a heart attack can occur.
Even though saturated fats, trans fats and dietary cholesterol can raise your LDL cholesterol, saturated fats and trans fats are the bigger dietary threats.
Since your diet can play such an important role in helping lower the "bad" LDL cholesterol, it is not surprising that many individuals have come to realize that they can fight heart disease with a knife and fork.