Diet high in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol
A diet high in
saturated fat, trans fat, or
cholesterol can directly raise cholesterol levels. But
not all fat has the same effect on raising cholesterol. Fat found in tropical
oils, such as coconut and palm kernel oil, has the greatest effect on raising
cholesterol. Check the ingredients on the labels of your foods to find out
whether a processed food contains tropical oils.
Trans fatty acids
or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are found in hard margarines, snack
crackers, cookies, chips, and shortenings. Hydrogenation is a process that
makes the fat solid or semisolid.
polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in olive, canola, safflower, and
peanut oils, may improve cholesterol levels when they are substituted for
saturated fat and trans fatty acids.
Although only about 20% of
cholesterol comes directly from the diet (the other 80% is produced by the
liver), a diet high in cholesterol and some saturated fats can cause the liver
to produce more LDL ("bad") cholesterol.
Each person's body
processes cholesterol differently. How much a person's diet influences his or
her cholesterol levels varies from person to person and is probably determined
by inherited characteristics. Some people who eat high-cholesterol diets have
very high cholesterol levels. Other people who eat high-cholesterol diets may
have normal or low levels.
Robin Parks, MS
Kathleen M. Ariss, MS
Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
July 11, 2008
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
July 11, 2008
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