Arteriosclerosis - Prevention
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Because atherosclerosis may be the result of the artery's response to cholesterol, it makes sense to reduce the intake of cholesterol. Two types of cholesterol are found in foods: cholesterol that contains high density lipoprotein (the HDLs) and cholesterol that contains low density lipoprotein (the LDLs). Researchers have found that LDL cholesterol is the culprit in atherosclerosis.
To keep the arteries healthy, individuals should eat no more than 300 mg of cholesterol a day. Cholesterol is found only in animal products; plant foods contain no cholesterol. Since many foods that are high in fat are also high in cholesterol, limiting fat intake can help reduce cholesterol levels. Knowing which foods are high in cholesterol and avoiding these foods (or limiting these foods) can also lower cholesterol. People should have their blood cholesterol levels checked periodically, particularly if there is a family history of arteriosclerosis. Those with hypercholesteremia or a history of heart disease may want to try a stricter diet that eliminates all fats and cholesterol. Before embarking on any major dietary change, however, consult your physician.
See also Circulatory system.
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