- The fatty deposits on the walls of the heart’s arteries associated with cholesterol can cause diseases such as angina pectoris, narrowing of the heart’s arteries or myocardial infarction.
- In addition to an unbalanced diet, other factors can increase the level of “bad” cholesterol: a sedentary lifestyle, obesity or even an underlying disease.
Cholesterol is a lipid made naturally by the body. Its quantity increases or decreases in depending on the diet. There are two types of cholesterol: high density (HDL) and low density (LDL).
Saturated fat promotes the appearance of bad cholesterol
Considered the “bad” cholesterol, LDL can cause the formation of plaque and fatty deposits on the walls of the heart’s arteries when present in large amounts. This then prevents blood from flowing to the heart and brain. Conversely, HDL corresponds to the “good” cholesterol because it removes the excess cholesterol found in the blood.
Processed foods, fatty meats, palm oil, whole dairy products or butter contain significant amounts of saturated fat. Excessive consumption of these foods therefore increases the LDL level in the blood and the risk of cardiovascular diseases. “The consumption of saturated fat is directly related to the level of cholesterol in the blood (…) The higher the consumption of saturated fat, the higher the level of cholesterol in the blood will be”, pointed out Dr. Regis Fernandes, cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic (USA).
The right reflexes to lower cholesterol levels and protect your heart
In a publication, the American specialist revealed his recommendations to limit the presence of saturated fat in the diet. In particular, he advised:
- consume, at least twice a week, fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna or sardines instead of red meat;
- favors lean meat and poultry;
- limit consumption of processed foods;
- to use olive or soybean oil instead of butter for cooking.