News & tips on health, fitness and nutrition

Monday, January 28, 2008

Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Coronary Heart Disease

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like material that is found in various parts of the body. It comes from two sources -- the liver produces it, and we consume it in animal products, particularly meat and dairy products.
Eating too much saturated fat is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. A diet high in saturated fat causes cholesterol, a soft, waxy substance, to build up in the arteries. Eventually, the arteries harden and narrow. The result is an increased pressure in the arteries as well as strain on the heart to maintain adequate blood flow throughout the body.
Because of its high calorie content, too much dietary fat also increases the risk of heart disease in that it increases the likelihood that a person will become obese. Obesity is another risk factor for heart disease.

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