The main cause of heart diseases is atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition in which the artery wall thickens as a result of the accumulation of fatty materials such as triglycerides and cholesterol. It clogs up the arteries and makes them less flexible. This causes a problem with blood flow.
There are a number of factors which can increase the risk of atherosclerosis: an unregulated level of fat in the blood, hypertension, diabetes, smoking, lack of physical activity, family history of heart disease and a high level of homocysteine in the blood.
Good eating habits can greatly lower the risk of heart disease.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is vital for the production of different materials such as hormones, bile salts and cell membranes. A normal level of cholesterol is 200 mg. Blood tests will differentiate between 'bad' (LDL) and 'good' (HDL) cholesterol byidentifying the cholesterol carrier, which causes it to sink into the blood vessels. The higher the level of LDL, the higher the risk of heart disease. A normal rate is 130 mg, a normal rate for diabetics is 100 mg. Good cholesterol gets rid of the extra cholesterol in the blood.
High cholesterol levels can be found in eggs, butter, fatty dairy products, fatty meats, and seafood. It is recommended to avoid large portions of these foods and to opt for low-cholesterol foods. One yolk has the recommended amount of cholesterol for a day. The recommended serving is 1-2 eggs a week. This includes eggs that are used in baking and cooking.