Health-conscious people are aware that high levels of cholesterol in their blood increase their risk of heart disease. However, many of us are not sure what cholesterol is or what it does. Or how to control cholesterol levels. 
Cholesterol is not a fat but it is closely related to fats. It is a chemical that is an essential component in the structure of cells and is also involved in the formation of important hormones. If your diet contained no cholesterol, your liver would still produce all the cholesterol you need. 
High levels of cholesterol can contribute to narrowed by deposits of a fatty tissue called atheroma, which are made up largely of cholesterol. Narrowing of the heart's coronary arteries by patches of atheroma causes angina. When you exercise and the artery has become narrowed enough to deprive the heart muscle of needed blood. This also increases the risk of an artery becoming blocked by a blood clot. In most instances, the more cholesterol there is in your blood, the higher your risk of heart disease. high cholesterol levels in your blood stream generally lead to more cholesterol being deposited in patches of atheroma. As a rule, greater the risk of severe athercsclerosis. 

The amount of cholesterol you have in your bloodstream depends on several factors, including your genes, your diet and your lifestyle. 
The genetic factor is very important. Some families have an inherited tendency to high cholesterol levels and members of these families may have heart attacks at an early age. One cause of this tendency is a genetic disorder called hyperlipoproteinemia, but there are a number of other genetic conditions that are associated with high cholesterol levels. 
Whatever your background, the amount of fat you eat affects your cholesterol level. However there are good fats and bad fats, just as there are good cholesterols (HDL cholesterol0 and bad cholesterols (LDL cholesterol). Fats that raise the cholesterol level most dramatically are called saturated. They are found in meat and high-fat dairy products and are easily recognized because they are always solid at room temperature. unsaturated fats are found in plant oils, which are liquid at room temperature and are less likely to elevate your cholesterol level. Too much unsaturated fat in your diet also has disadvantages, however. The overall fat content of your diet should be low (no more than 30 percent of your daily intake of calories0 and it should consist largely of unsaturated fats. There are some simple guidelines that will help you choose a diet that keeps your cholesterol level low, thereby reducing your risk of heart disease.



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