Saturated fats clog your arteries and promote unhealthy plaque build-up that can result in heart damage. The dietary intake of more calories than necessary can promote a high triglyceride level in the bloodstream - which is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CD) similar to increased cholesterol on a "lipid panel". Reduction of oxygenated blood flow to the heart results from fats causing arterial narrowing. Symptom-free persons may be unaware of their CD until experiencing a heart attack, so early detection and prevention are key.
Determining Recommended Fat Intake
In relation to daily caloric intake, seven percent is the recommended maximum for saturated fat per an article on the American Heart Association's website . This translates to 15 grams per day on average. Red meat, butter, pizza, and cheese are the primary sources of saturated fat. Lowering consumption of these foods can improve blood cholesterol test results. Since one-third of all Americans have high cholesterol according to the Centers for Disease Control, reducing saturated fat intake is a good idea for millions of Americans.
Eliminating "Trans Fatty Acids" from the Diet
The type of fat most associated with high LDL cholesterol and atherosclerosis is "trans fat" as found in lard, margarine, and many processed foods. It is important if purchasing frozen dinners to ascertain the gram amount of this type of saturated fat, since the American Heart Association's daily maximum recommendation for "trans fat" is no more than one percent.
The Value of an Annual Routine Physical Exam
It may seem unnecessary for a healthy individual to undergo an annual visit to a healthcare practitioner to have a blood sample drawn - to obtain cholesterol and triglyceride results (as well as other lipids that circulate in the bloodstream). A triglyceride lab value is generally considered within normal range if it is less than 150 mg/dL. While there is greater public awareness of the dangers of a lab test result revealing an increased LDL cholesterol value, a report of high triglycerides can also enable a faster diagnosis of CD in "at risk" patients. People with poorly controlled diabetes often have high triglyceride levels (as do individuals suffering from kidney failure) which can lead to coronary artery disease.
Weight Loss for Lowering Cardiovascular Disease Risk
Obesity is a major risk for the development of CD - and decreasing daily calorie intake (as well as increasing aerobic exercise) can reduce the likelihood of developing a coronary artery thombosis. Angina occurs when the arterial blood flow to the heart is diminished. This can cause chest pain on exertion. If angina occurs at rest (as well as on exertion), it is considered a major factor in predicting heart attack. Losing weight can prevent the narrowing of the arteries that leads to angina.
The relationship of an unhealthy diet that is high in calories and saturated fats is strongly correlated to obesity in adulthood. The easiest method to reduce cardiovascular risk in the population as a whole is through promoting good nutrition in youth. Preventing cardiovascular disease is much easier than reversing it - and untreated CD can too easily become a life-threatening condition.
CATEGORIES: Healthy Foods, Healthy Fats , Heart Health