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Fighting Cholesterol to Cut Heart Risks

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

The Importance of Reducing Cholesterol Combating Heart Disease

Slashing cholesterol can be an important tool in your fight against heart disease. By implementing a few modifications in your diet you can add years to your life.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is an essential body substance that is used by the body to manufacture hormones, digestive juices and nerve endings.  So if we need this substance to survive, what’s all the concern about?

Cholesterol is manufactured by the liver, which produces enough to meet our daily needs.

Additional cholesterol introduced into our system adds to our overall cholesterol level.  

The white, waxy substance slowly builds as a plaque in the coronary arteries. As the plaque builds, our blood cannot circulate property and the possible result is a heart attack.

How can reducing cholesterol reduce heart attack risk?

However, with a few very simple adjustments in our diet we can cut serum cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart attack by as much as 50%!!  One key strategy is to eat more of the foods that help lower cholesterol and less of the ones that can raise it.

How much dietary cholesterol per day is acceptable?

Physicians advise less than 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol per day.  Most Americans consume about 500 milligrams of cholesterol per day.

Tips that will help reduce cholesterol:

- Increase fiber intake.  Good sources for fiber include legumes, bread, oatmeal, fruits and vegetables.

- Eliminate or at a minimum, limit major sources of cholesterol (eggs, butter, whole milk, fatty meats).

- Limit total dietary fat.

- Recognize ‘hidden’ cholesterol.  A product may be advertised as 'cholesterol-free’, yet contain eons of fat that will end up blocking the arteries.  Take special care to note the amount of ‘saturated’ fat in a product as well as Trans fats.

- Take your vitamins.  

- Magnesium may help control cholesterol.  Good sources for magnesium include fruit, vegetables, whole grain cereals, legumes and unprocessed flour.

Implementing these few simple steps can literally add years to your life.  Begin TODAY for you. You deserve it!

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