Extensive studies have shown a definite link between blood cholesterol levels and coronary heart disease (CHD). A diet rich in cholesterol e.g. animal fats and egg yolk may result in increased level of cholesterol in the blood. The fat gets deposited on the walls of blood vessels causing them to be narrowed and eventually blocked, cutting off blood supply to vital organs. This may result in a stroke or heart attack.
Cholesterol takes several forms in the body. The two most significant forms are high density lipoprotein (HDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL).
HDL — Cholesterol
This is referred to as the “Good Cholesterol”. It carries cholesterol back to the liver where excess cholesterol is broken down and excreted from the body. Hence, it serves as a protective function against the development of CHD. In this context, a high level of HDL-cholesterol is desirable.
LDL — Cholesterol
This is referred to as the “Bad Cholesterol”. It transports cholesterol from the liver depositing the cholesterol on the walls of the blood vessels along the way. Hence, an increase in LDL-cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of CHD.
Triglycerides are reserve fuels in the body and are stored in fatty tissues. A diet rich in starchy foods, sugar and oily food can lead to high levels of triglycerides in the blood. Elevated levels of triglycerides are associated with obesity and risk of CHD.