Diet, exercise and health
Diet and cholesterol
- A high level of cholesterol in the blood increases the risk of developing plaques in the walls of the arteries. Figure 1 shows how this can happen.
- Sometimes, a clot blocks one of the arteries that take oxygenated blood to the heart muscle. This causes a heart attack - the muscle cannot work, so the heart cannot beat properly.
- Eating saturated fats (those found in animal products) raises blood cholesterol levels. Unsaturated fats, found in plants, seem to lower blood cholesterol level.
- Some people's bodies are better than others at keeping low levels of cholesterol in their blood. They have inherited this from their parents.
Good and bad cholesterol
- Cholesterol is carried in your blood in two ways, as:
- low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which is 'bad' and can cause heart disease.
- high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which is 'good' as it can protect against heart disease by helping to remove cholesterol from the walls of blood vessels.
1 of 1