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What are the benefits of a low cholesterol diet?

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Benefits of a diet low in cholesterol include free flow of blood through the arteries over the years, which means strokes and heart attacks are much less likely. While some cholesterol is healthy, taking in too much has harmful results for the body, notes Dr. Frank W. Jackson for Jackson Siegelbaum Gastroenterology.

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Full Answer

The heart relies on arteries to carry blood throughout the body, explains Dr. Jackson. Blood has nutrients and oxygen that organs and tissues all over the body need. Even the heart relies on arteries, as the coronary arteries send blood to the heart. When people consume too much cholesterol, some of it remains behind in the arteries. As time goes by, plaque made from cholesterol builds up on the walls of the arteries, narrowing the available blood flow. If enough plaque sticks, it forms a total block.

The best way to keep a diet low in cholesterol is to limit the amount of animal meat, trans fats and meat products in the diet, recommends Dr. Jackson. Trans fats are often found in fast food and prepackaged snacks, and animal meat sources such as beef and pork are often higher in cholesterol than lean poultry cuts and fish. Choosing tub spreads with polyunsaturated fats or monounsaturated fats over butter, which is a highly saturated fat, and stick margarines, which often contain trans fats, is another helpful substitution.

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