What is the classification of bad cholesterol in the blood (LDL) and what is the role of saturated and unsaturated fats in controlling these levels?
What are saturated and trans fats?
Fats are classified into saturated fats and unsaturated fats according to their chemical structure. Saturated fats are rich in hydrogen atoms and no other hydrogen atoms can be added to them, unlike unsaturated fats. Saturated fats are mainly derived from meat and dairy products and can lead to high levels of blood cholesterol, and some vegetable oils made from palm oil and coconut oil are also rich in saturated fats.
On the other hand, most other vegetable oils are rich in unsaturated fats such as corn oil, olive oil, soy oil, sesame oil, and sunflower oil. Unsaturated fats do not raise cholesterol levels in the blood. On the contrary, they can lower cholesterol. Unfortunately, some vegetable oils are converted to saturated fats during the food preparation process (by means of a chemical process called hydrogenation, that is, the addition of hydrogen atoms).
Will lowering LDL cholesterol prevent arteriosclerosis and heart attacks?
Clinical studies have shown over the past ten years that reducing LDL cholesterol reduces the incidence of heart attacks and the benefits of reducing LDL cholesterol include the following:
1. Reducing the formation of new cholesterol plaques.
2. Eliminate existing plaques.
3. Prevention of tearing of existing plaques.
4. Reducing the risk of heart attacks.
5. Reducing the chance of stroke.
How are total cholesterol levels classified?
The desired level of total blood cholesterol is less than 200 mg/dl, in which case the risk of developing coronary heart disease is minimal if other risk factors are found (see later). However, it is even better in this case to eat less cholesterol and saturated fat.
If the cholesterol level is 200-239 mg/dl, then the risk is borderline, and a third of adults in America fall into this group.
A high-risk group where the cholesterol is higher than 240 mg / dL and the risk of developing coronary heart disease, in this case, is two times higher than in people with a cholesterol level below 200 mg/dl.
High blood cholesterol increases the risk of coronary heart disease.