Just What is Cholesterol Anyway – After All the News Reports I’m Still Confused

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What is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a soft, white waxy, odorless substance found in all your bodys’ cells. It helps your body to form cell membranes, use fats, insulates nerve and brain tissues, waterproofs your skin and helps make certain hormones and other necessary tissues. So, how can such a vitally important and necessary substance be one of the leading causes of heart attacks and strokes? When too much of it exist in your blood stream. High cholesterol has been identified as one of the leading causes of heart attacks in the United Sates and throughout the world

Elevated cholesterol levels cause atherosclerosis, which is a hardening of the arteries or blockage in the arteries. According to the American Heart Association elevated cholesterol is a major cause of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease includes preventable diseases such as heart attacks, angina, (chest pain), strokes and hypertension (high blood pressure), etc.

Cholesterol builds-ups (deposits) called plaque are caused by a lack of sufficient antioxidant vitamins and other nutrients in your diet. These deposits over time restrict the flow of oxygen rich blood to the tissue. When these deposits completely block the artery a (thrombosis) forms at that site and causes an oxygen deficit during strenuous activity. If the deposit breaks free (embolism) it can be carried throughout the body in the blood stream and it eventually ends up at a restricted or narrowed blood vessel and becomes lodged at that site.

The tissues supplied by this blocked artery are starved for oxygen and die within minutes. When this happens to a blood vessel in the brain a stroke occurs. When this blockage happens in an artery surrounding the heart a heart attack occurs.

You know I’ve seen first hand the effects that strokes and heart attacks can have on individuals and families. Recovering from either is heart wrenching for families and financially stressful for everyone involved.

In fact in 2006, an estimated seven million inpatient cardiovascular operations and procedures were performed in the United States with and estimated direct and indirect cost of for 2008 is $ 475.3 billion. Seven millions people operated on who possibly could have avoided the discomfort, pain and financial strain with a few lifestyle changes.

If you or someone you care about have high cholesterol or heart disease take the first and simplest step to improving your health by changing your eating habits. I know change isn’t easy but if you don’t change what you’re doing today or real soon you may be heart surgery victim number seven million and one.

Changing your eating habits are not as hard as you may think it is if you have a guide to help you. Click here http://www.eatsmartforhealthyheart.com to get more information that will help you improve your eating habits, improve your overall health and just possibly with some determination lower your cholesterol.

Learn more about heart healthy eating habits and meals that help lower your cholesterol at http://www.eatsmartforhealthyheart.com

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